UK SUBS' frontman Charlie Harper talks about playing Hilly's legendary venue.
“From the first time we played CB's, gatecrashing a Fall gig in 1979, to the last time when Hilly was very ill and his son took over the place, we played CB's a good twenty times, probably more than most. Hilly loved the UK Subs and would let me have a pick of all the new t-shirt designs, and we had certain other privileges too, like the use of the staff loo!
“Anyone who has been to CB's will know all about that basement hell of a toilet - once down, it was a struggle to get up. There was no respect for fire regulations in the Bowery, it was a lawless strip and a club which we in Blighty would put three hundred heads in, CBs would often double. In 1980, Patti Smith held the house record of around seven hundred and fifty, and the Subs had eight hundred and twenty in but this was almost immediately taken over by The Jam the same year. There must have been three hundred people stuck in the bogs but there was never a place with a more intense atmosphere and character along with great light and sound.”
READ MORE INTERVIEWS ABOUT CBGB'S IN THE NEW ISSUE (NO. 14), OUT NOW. ORDER YOUR COPY HERE