CBGB (Could Be Good But…) Movie

Published October 17, 2013 by Maryanne

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMe and Emily from All the Pretty Horses at CBGBs in 2004

When I heard they were making a movie about CBGBs I was excited. I missed the 1970s heyday, as I was too young, but did catch another generation of bands there in later days (from the 1980s to 2000s) — one of them being Jayne County who is on the soundtrack for the movie.

I’m not a musician, but one night I had the pleasure of being on the CBGB stage. It was for a battle of the bands. I was a journalist and suggested that Father Divine, from Montclair, enter the contest as I recently reviewed their CD for Aquarian Arts Weekly and also did a write-up in Montclair Times. They were great — and they won the contest.

I was seated at a table of celebrity judges: John Holmstrom, founder of Punk Magazine, plus-size model Mia Tyler and musician/producer, Genya Raven. When the emcee was too drunk to continue his job, it was Genya who suggested I emcee! It was a thrill to be on the famous CBGB stage.

So, that’s my little CBGB story. I’m no one famous. I wasn’t at CBGBs during it’s heyday. And even when I was old enough to go to night clubs and see bands legitimately, I was more of a Max’s Kansas (again, tail end, not heyday), Peppermint Lounge and Ritz kinda gal.

STILL — I’m all jazzed for the movie because A. the soundtrack and B. my very good friend John Holmstrom has a major role in the film, he’s played by Josh Zuckerman.

When my husband told me the movie was playing in South Orange, I was so happy! We set up a “date night” mid-week (last night) and decided to go after voting. I washed my hair and was all set for DATE NIGHT! And CBGBs!

Everything was running smooth as silk. We voted quickly, got to the theatre (which was in a lovely artsy area near Seton Hall University) and parked with no problem. It was a gorgeous night in October.

SAM_2642CBGB movie at 7:30

SAM_2634We’re here! Going to see CBGB’s movie — yeah!

We went inside and it was just us — and another couple. The entire theatre was EMPTY.

My husband made a joke that we were at a private showing. I took advantage running up and down the aisles, jumping in front of the screen and taking photos.

Then the movie started. It looked amazing. Excellent cinematography. Then I saw my friend John Holmstrom’s name and I screamed, “YAY!”

Then …. it dawned on us …. there was NO SOUND!

My husband and the other woman in the audience went to complain to management. The answer they got was, “We’re working on it.”

Nothing happened. They just couldn’t get the sound working.

Now, my husband is very tech savvy, and the other guy in the audience worked as a cameraman for CBS. Both offered to try to get the sound going, but the management wouldn’t have it. “We can’t just let people go back there.”

Since it was a DVD, not film, the woman had a genius idea. She wanted to BORROW the DVD, leave her license there, and then have Dennis and I over their house for wine and a movie! How sweet is that? I was in shock of the kindness of strangers. But the management said, “No.”

The other couple said they were dying to see the movie because they were big CBGB goers back in the day. And the guy had a cousin who was in The Shirts. They seemed so cool and it would have been so much fun to hang out with potential new friends. But it wasn’t happening …

So, this was the only night it was playing in our area. Otherwise we’d have to drive to NYC, which is out of the question due to being actively busy both socially and business, so there are major time constraints.Β  (We could do it on a Sunday, but hey, it’s October, my favorite month of the year and I don’t want to be cooped up in a movie theatre in the afternoon).

We got a refund and tickets for a future movie. I’m totally bummed because “CBGB” is the only movie out I wanted to see. I’m not a movie person. The last movie I saw was “Frankenweenie” — a year ago!

“That really looked like it was going to be a good movie,” my husband Dennis said as we walked out.

So, I guess we will wait until the DVD comes out. Which means it will probably be a great movie because everything I ever had to wait for in my life was well worth waiting for!

UPDATED SIDE NOTE: I just realized Village Voice used the same headline I did in an earlier article about the movie! This was strictly coincidence.

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18 comments on “CBGB (Could Be Good But…) Movie

  • Sorry the movie didn’t have any sound. A movie about music without any sound is worthless. I do have to admit I had never heard of CBGB’s till the Jack Daniels commercial came out this year which mentioned it. Still don’t know what CBGB stands for or if it stands for anything. Hope it is on DVD soon, so you and Dennis can see it. These were the songs in the movie for those who might recognize some of them: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1786751/soundtrack

  • I was able to get my hands on a copy so I was able to watch it at home; I was there during the heyday, they got a LOT of stuff wrong but it’s still worth watching; I spent my time going back and forth between CBGB’s and Max’s and saw it all, lived it all, was pulled onto the stage by Stiv Bators and years later, one of my bands played there and had an unheard of honor bestowed on us after my stupid lead singer smashed a beer bottle on the floor and danced barefoot in the glass- not only were we banned from CBGB’s but after that, she was kicked out of the band and I became lead singer, that’s another story though ;-D

    Oh and CBGB”S and OMFUG actually stands for Country Blue Grass Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers πŸ˜€

    • I did finally get to see it On Demand: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2013/11/08/cbgbs-movie/

      Great stories! Thanks for sharing. Stiv is one of my favorite punk rock stars. I saw him perform quite a bit over the years with Lords and Dead Boys reunions.

      I have a good story I’m sharing in my upcoming book, “On The Guest List” — I was at a Battle of the Bands sitting at a table with judges Genya Raven, John Holmstrom and Mia Tyler. The emcee got too drunk and couldn’t emcee any more so Genya Raven suggested I go onstage and be the emcee. It was so much fun — and I got to be on the legendary stage without being a musician — ha-ha!

      • OMG! Looking forward to your book! I have quite a few Dead Boys stories but thats what happens when you ahem, umm, lose your virginity to Stiv and see each other off and on for a few years…lol, last time I saw him was at a DB reunion in NYC, me and Johnny Blitz went back to the Diplomat with Zero and Cheetah while Stiv ran out to get party favors πŸ˜‰ only I flew the coop because I didn’t feel like waiting and it wasn’t long after that he died….I always feel guilty for that, he was a really sweet guy.

      • Wow, that’s super cool! Stiv was the best! We should talk “off the record” — I’d love to hear more of your stories. I tried to find Reno’s Whorehouse on You Tube, but came up empty handed. I’d love to see a link. Email me at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com — I’m also wondering if I know you?

      • We were called Reno’sWhorehouse at the time but she took it a little to far lol; still playing with different people and a different name (Bullet Train) πŸ˜€

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