Monday, October 16, 2006

No Future

It's Sunday night in Red Bank, and somewhere north of here about an hour or so, it's closing night at CBGB's. Not everyone can be there; most of us who think that they want to probably shouldn't be anyway. Tonight is reserved for those who made the place what it was--those who created it. (Or at least those of them who are still alive.) I had though about going, but decided against it, partially because I'm not really a big Patti Smith fan. But mostly because it was not ever my place. I had only spent a couple evenings there, and both were in the last year or two. I would've felt like an imposter if I had gone there tonight. It wasn't my night; I didn't belong there. So I stayed in Red Bank and sat in on a trio set by Maybe Pete at a very trendy and swank bar called, oddly, Red. This town is full of such upscale hangouts; there are expensive looking black tables lit with small candles, and very low chairs (what is it about these places with the low furniture--does being closer to the floor signify hipness?).

Onstage, lead singer Frankie dedicates his song "This Town" to the lost souls who had found home at CBGB's over the years, and to Lenny Kaye doing the robot (ok, inside joke). And I smile and nod.

But it was never my place. So though the music fan in me is sad, I am not heartbroken the way I will be when the places I have known in Asbury Park are gone. (I know this because it has already happened to those places I loved in my hometown of Washington DC.) When they go, that's my youth disappearing right there. And that's a strange thing to experience. But it really doesn't happen all at once; it happens little by little, eroding slowly so you don't notice. So enjoy these things now while they're still there--get out and see those bands and drink that beer until you're drunk, and scream and shout and dance like an idiot. Because one day, you'll just wake up and it'll be gone. And then it will be too late.

In a sense, CBGB--the real place--was dead a long time ago. The things that made it what it was--the bands and their fans that made it their home--are long since gone. So last night was really just a formality. But everything has its time and place; nothing lasts forever, and that's as it should be.

So R.I.P. CBGB's, and long live rock'n'roll.

Onstage at Red, Maybe Pete rock into "Just My Imagination," and for now, the future is here in Red Bank.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, just found your blog through the Marah boards - another Marah fan in RB??? Whee!!! Anyway, just wanted to say hi!