James Wolcott writes a eulogy for the now defunct CBGBs.
As a west coaster, I never went to CBGBs, but I had my own chapter of punk history and this quote from Wolcott struck a (power) chord. "I tended to hang at the back, taking the wide view, but for the second set I'd stand nearer the stage, not wanting to miss a thing. I think I'd knew even then that I'd never be that close to anything that phenomenal again, and that nothing else the night had to offer could compare."
In college, I went to Winterland to see the final Sex Pistols concert. At the time we had no idea that the band was in the middle of a melt down. We made the trek once again from Berkeley to San Francisco to see Elvis Costello's first US tour, back when he was angry.
After leaving Berkeley I lived in LA where there was a thriving punk scene in bars that were once Chinese restaurants, like Madame Wong's and the Hong Kong Cafe. We saw X and Fear and a ton of other local bands whose names are lost in memory. And to once again quote from Wolcott, "I think I'd knew even then that I'd never be that close to anything that phenomenal again."