Ahh, CBGB, one of those legendary music venues that everyone of a certain age claims to have called a second home and those of two young an age mourn for not being able have gone there or at least plausibly lie about it.
Well, now whether you were there, like to say you were there or wish you had been there, you will be able to see something of its story. Variety reports that Alan Rickman will star in the aptly titled “CBGB,” a film about the club to be directed by Randall Miller, who also wrote the script with Jody Savin.
Rickman will play Hilly Kristal, who owned and operated the club for about three decades, until a rent issue forced him to shut it down in 2006. I believe Kristal had talked about reopening in another location, but he died soon after closing the original.
Kristal opened the club in 1973, giving it an acronym based name long before that became a standard method of communication. “CBGB” stood for “Country, Bluegrass, Blues,” the type of music Kristal thought the club would feature. The actual name was “CBGB and OMFUG,” with the latter part standing for “Other Music for Uplifting Gormandizers,” but that was way too long and way too ’60s-ish (I think) and thus it became known just for the first four letters of the name.
Rather than country, bluegrass, and blues, the club became the home of the punk and New Wave movement of the late ’70s and early ’80s. The Ramones, the Talking Heads, and Blondie were some of the acts that played there.
Rickman previously worked with Miller and Savin on “Bottle Rocket.” He recently completed a run on Broadway in “Seminar” and will next be seen on screen in the heist film, “Gambit.” I believe he’s retired from wizardry.