Freddy Fender died Saturday night, October 14 in Corpus Christi, Texas at age 69. The El Be Bop Kid was a true rocker and in the 50's he recorded Spanish versions of American rock songs like "No Seas Cruel," one of Elvis' big ones. His work with Doug Sahm in the Texas Tornados won him Grammy's in the 90's. He was definitely one of the all-time greats, a road dog, and a true rocker.

Sunday night, October 15, CBGB's, America's birthplace of punk shut its doors forever. If you've never been there you've seen the black t-shirt with the white lettering&CBGB & OMFUG which stood for Country, Bluegrass and Blues and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. Some people who were there doing their thing and making their statement were Blondie, Television, Talking Heads, Sonic Youth and, of course The Ramones. All those bands and more broke out of the graffiti covered club in the 1970's.

Patti Smith was the last act to play and on the final night she said, "There's new kids with new ideas all over the world. They'll make their own places. It doesn't matter whether it's here or wherever it is." She's right, of course. CBGB's was just the latest of many great rock and roll venues that have come and gone in New York City. For my generation the place was The Fillmore East. Today people are excited when an act like The Stones play a small theater like The Beacon and why not? What a great place to see them a theater that has about 3000 seats. Well that was just like the Fillmore and each weekend no less than 3 acts made up the bill. The likes of Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Crosby, Stills and Nash, and Janis Joplin played there all the time. Every March when The Allman Brothers Band plays the Beacon it's like walking back in time and into The Fillmore. Everyone's older audience and band alike but it's the closest thing to The Fillmore experience that you can have today. Over the years The Bottom Line, The Mud Club, Tramps, The Continental, Wetlands Preserve and so many other venues have come and gone in Manhattan. Now you can add CBGB's to the list.

But in less than 24 hours Flogging Molly re-lit the torch and kept the whole thing going with a concert at Webster Hall. One time in the early 70's some guy wrote "I've seen the future of rock and roll and its name is Bruce Springsteen" or something like that. Well now in 2006 there's this great group who are not the future of rock and roll&they are rock and roll right fn' now&they are Flogging Molly! How can you describe music in words? You can't! You have to hear them. You have to see them. And you can do both with their latest release, a music CD and a DVD documentary called "Whiskey On A Sunday." The mere fact that you are reading this site guarantees that you will love this band.

That night at Webster Hall I was talking to a guy in the balcony who said that without the electric guitars they'd be an Irish folk band, without the fiddle, banjo, and accordion they'd be a punk band. With everything they are just a great fuckin' band! Their electrifying show in Webster Hall the night after CBGB's closed proved to me that the venues are fine, but it's the bands who make the music that keep the whole thing alive. CBGB's will be missed, but Freddy Fender cannot be replaced.

The same guy I was talking to at Flogging Molly showed me a sticker he had in his wallet for the band Public Nuisance. It had their name and the words "cheap sex and beer." He told me he ripped it off the wall at CBGB's and now he would always have a little piece of the place. I told him the owner was going to move the whole place to Vegas. My man said he would never go to that "side show attraction." I understood.

I don't even know if they still exist, but if they do I'll bet he'll go see Public Nuisance again. I know he'll go to see Flogging Molly again and I will too no matter where they play.

Venues come and venues go, but the music lives on forever.

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