The Curator of Punk
August 29, 2007 6:45 AM   Subscribe

Hilly Kristal has died at age 75. First the club, now the man.
posted by kimdog (35 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
now he deserves a .

I KNOW 70's US punk rock would have not been the same without him.
posted by ShawnString at 7:02 AM on August 29, 2007

2005 interview with Hilly.
posted by liam at 7:11 AM on August 29, 2007

I was one of the thousands who played in his now-legendary club, and he sort of grunted at me and mumbled a few words in my direction on more than one occasion. He was crusty and indefatigable. A good soul, I believe.

posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 AM on August 29, 2007

Gabba Gabba .
posted by scblackman at 7:44 AM on August 29, 2007

How sad. The man's a well-deserved legend.

posted by Pope Guilty at 7:47 AM on August 29, 2007

Oh damn.

I too was "one of the thousands". It was always a trip to go to CBGB in the daytime (this was the early 90s) to say hello to Louise P. (the booker) and see about a show and find Joey Ramone hanging about with Hilly cracking wise. My head would nearly asplode from the presence of not one, but TWO, punk rock gods. Joey was a very sweet man. Hilly was quiet and a bit gruff, but always a gentleman w/o a pretentious bone in his body. Now both gone to that great CBGBs in the sky. I hope the men's room is a bit cleaner, but the music is just as good.

RIP Hilly.

posted by Skygazer at 7:54 AM on August 29, 2007

You know how when a couple who has been together for 50 years and one of them passes away and then the other one goes just a few weeks later?

posted by gwint at 8:04 AM on August 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

This wont stop the cretins from hopping.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:06 AM on August 29, 2007 [4 favorites]

Last night I had a dream that Matt introduced a new section on Mefi called Burgerfilter as a home for all of these dot threads. I never got a satisfactory answer from myself wheter was so named because when you're dead you're burger or if, um, the . is shaped like a hamburger. The color scheme was totally sweet, cast in the same shades as a bubblegum hamburger.

So Matt, how about it? I think "Burger" would fit quite nicely right between "Jobs" and "Podcast" on the navbar. Make this dream ludicrously prophetic.

A huge drippy . doused in A1 sauce.
posted by bunnytricks at 8:09 AM on August 29, 2007

I was just going to say at least he never had to clean the bathroom. The first show I ever saw was the Toasters at CB's when I was 13, I had rice and beans from a paper cup from the bodega across the street, I drank half a 40 and was shit scared of all the skinheads, it was awesome, I still remember every minute of it. Godspeed Hilly, thanks for all the good times.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:12 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by Stynxno at 8:16 AM on August 29, 2007

I am also one of the thousands. Playing an awful show there on a Sunday night in front of about 15 people was one of the great thrills of my life.

posted by deadmessenger at 8:23 AM on August 29, 2007

Never played there, but near-weekly trips to the tiny sweaty mess that was CBGB's in my teen years, getting bonked about by skinheads in the mosh pit during Murphy's Law shows and the like, shaped much of my taste in music. Damn shame.
posted by Aversion Therapy at 8:49 AM on August 29, 2007

Now HE'S a guy that deserves a NYC street named after him.
Godspeed, Hilly.
posted by SPUTNIK at 9:10 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by tugena13 at 9:23 AM on August 29, 2007

Hilly is off in Heaven having a laugh with Joey.

New York City is pretty much over for me, between this, CBGB, Shopsins, 2nd Ave. Deli and that Polish butcher market on 2nd between 8th & 9th closing down, the Village is almost gone. The egg creams at Gem Spa would be just about the only thing to make me want to visit that part of the city now (well, that and the Strand), and once Wo Hop (on Mott Street) closes, that would just about wrap it up. It is nothing less than the passing of the guard, and the hipsters taking the baton are just not made of the same stuff, IMO.

Safe voyage, Hilly, you will be missed.
posted by dbiedny at 9:29 AM on August 29, 2007


even though the two times I played at that club, they treated us unforgiveably badly (the last time, they put us on *three* hours late -- 2AM on a Tuesday night, after all these acts that weren't on the bill -- and then wouldn't invite us back because "none of our crowd were there" when we played...)

That said, the place did a lot for the music biz. It's really sad that he had to see his child die right before he did.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:41 AM on August 29, 2007

I've got mixed feelings about the guy from past personal experience. Trust me, he was no saint. If you had the misfortune of working for him, you would understand.

R.I.P. you cheap lying bastard.
posted by cazoo at 9:45 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by padraigin at 10:27 AM on August 29, 2007

Trust me, he was no saint

Yeah, I heard a lot of horror stories from his employees.

I can however, say, that he treated the people who played there on a regular basis a hell of a lot better than anybody in town. He bought me a beer a couple times just for playing amateur security.

Plus, he kept that place going long after reason and sense would have told him to pack it in.

So, saint, no. But we could still use a few more like him in this world.
posted by lumpenprole at 10:29 AM on August 29, 2007

Well okay no saint, but if you worked really hard they were fair. True your slot might be canceled with no notice whatsoever and you would have the very unpleasant surprise of not seeing your band's name in the newspaper ad CBGB ran every week (that happened twice and sucked bigtime as you basically had to let everyone know who you'd invited to the show), but on the other hand, once we got the thumbs up from the booker and the sound man, my band got a lot of good weekend shows and were treated really well.
posted by Skygazer at 10:59 AM on August 29, 2007

I hear the canopy has been taken down and replaced with a "For Rent" sign.

This is such a sad thing to see happen.

posted by trip and a half at 11:25 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by cobra_high_tigers at 11:48 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by amberglow at 11:54 AM on August 29, 2007

The Bowery is almost all luxury condos/lofts now--it's sad.
posted by amberglow at 11:55 AM on August 29, 2007

posted by mike3k at 12:24 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by jtron at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:41 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by dtp at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by languagehat at 2:12 PM on August 29, 2007


(Any word on what's gonna happen to Marz Bar? He owns that place.)
posted by jason's_planet at 4:01 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by Joey Michaels at 4:35 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by bashos_frog at 5:19 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by at 5:40 PM on August 29, 2007

posted by gomichild at 9:07 PM on August 29, 2007

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