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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Keepers of the Flame

billnolan, originally uploaded by Cool Auntie.

This guy is Bill Nolan. He's one of the owners of the Ding Dong Lounge in New York City. Its on Columbus Avenue, between 105 and 106 Streets in a neighborhood called Manhattan Valley.

Bill and his biz partner, Steve Naidich love music, love punk rock and put their money where their mouths are -- since the bar opened four years ago, they've hosted a bevy of pure punk rock shows in the intimate, dark space - a space where rock n roll simply belongs. Its the kind of place that downtown NYC used to be like, before gentrification started the domino effect of NYC losing its beloved rock n roll hang-outs. More on that later...

The Ding Dong Lounge has hosted some of the finest purveyors of punk:
The Lyres, DMZ, Real Kids, Lazy Cowgirls, Cosmic Psychos, Demolition Dollrods, The Raunch Hands, Cheater Slicks, Kid Congo Powers, Wetback, The Bamboo Kids, and most recently, The Saints.

But while rock n roll is thriving uptown, downtown, its a whole different story. Gentrification is killing rock n roll. The Luna Lounge just closed. The venue didn't charge a cover and hosted many bands of all genres in its intimate space on Ludlow Street. The building is coming down and in its place: condos.

Fez is closed, other Lower East Side clubs are shutting down as quickly as they opened. But the most heartbreaking thing of all is the imminent end of the CBGB's era.

Hilly Kristal's CBGB was the birthplace of NYC punk - hosting and launching the careers of bands we love that are now household names, like Blondie and The Ramones, as well as punk's beloved Dead Boys and new and no wave bands like Talking Heads and Television.

The Dead Boys are going to do their part for CBGB's this August. Keep your eyes peeled.

Here are some CBGB All-Stars... you've seen these before, but you love these bands!

Johnny Ramone
Johnny Ramone

The Cramps
The Cramps

Debbie Harry - X-Offender
Debbie Harry of Blondie

Stiv Bators, Dead Boys

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