The Best Bands That Got Their Start at CBGB

Voting Rules
Bands that achieved mainstream popularity after they played CBGB; mostly bands who played there in the '70s and '80s

List of bands that got their start at CBGB--70s punk bands that became famous by playing at CBGB in NYC. CBGB was a legendary music club located at 315 Bowery at Bleecker Street in Manhattan. While it was originally intended by its founder, Hilly Kristal, to feature Country, Bluegrass and Blues (hence the name CBGB), it became a forum for American punk and New Wave bands that launched the careers of some of the most famous musicians of our time.

A new film that shares the club's namesake, CBGB, follows the story of Hilly Kristal’s New York club from its conceit to what it ultimately became: the birthplace of underground rock ‘n roll and punk.

Kristal had one demand of the acts he booked; they could only play original music. No top 40′s, no covers. It was the credo he lived by, support the artist at whatever the cost. Hilly Kristal ironically became known as the godfather of punk giving a chance to such bands as Blondie, Television, Ramones, Talking Heads, Dead Boys and The Police.

For more information about the film, visit: CBGB Film.
Photo: uploaded by D and E Entertainment
Ranked by
  • Ramones
    1,002 votes
    Ramones, Rocket to Russia, End of the Century
  • Talking Heads
    923 votes
    Stop Making Sense, Remain in Light, Fear of Music
  • Blondie
    779 votes
    Parallel Lines, Heart of Glass, Blondie
  • The Police
    774 votes
    Synchronicity, Ghost in the Machine, Zenyattà Mondatta
    The band played its first two North American shows at the legendary venue on October 20 and 21, 1978
  • The B-52's
    444 votes
    The B-52’s, Wild Planet, Planet Claire
  • Patti Smith Group
    556 votes
    Easter, Radio Ethiopia, Wave