I had never travelled to Savannah, Georgia before – Atlanta numerous times, but never to the birthplace of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of the Girl Scouts. I wasn’t there for those tasty little cookies, although I would have bought a few boxes if the opportunity presented itself. I was there on a work assignment – possibly my favourite on-set since being here at ET Canada – to visit the set of the movie CBGB and the cast including Malin Akerman, Ashley Greene, Johnny Galecki and Alan Rickman. That’s right, the legendary music club CBGB (Country, Bluegrass and Blues), which opened in 1973 at 315 Bowery in New York City.
CBGB was a forum for American punk and new wave bands like Ramones, Misfits, Television, the Patti Smith Group, Mink DeVille, The Dead Boys, The Dictators, The Fleshtones, The Voidoids, The Cramps, The B-52′s, Blondie, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, The Shirts and Talking Heads. Punk rock in its heyday and at its very best!!! Unfortunately I never saw any of those bands perform at CBGB – one of the most famous clubs in music – but as I walked on the Savannah set and witnessed ‘the Ramones’ doing “Blitzkrieg Bop” it was like the ’70s punk movement had just hit me in the face.
The producers of CBGB went as authentic as they could go with this movie – the actual bar, telephone booth, cigarette machine, band posters, desks and urinals… yes urinals – and they smelled like… well you know!
So the whole spirit and vibe of what that little club on 315 Bowery stood for was all there on this tiny set in scorching Savannah. In between stage sets by the bands we caught up with the actors – Malin who was excited about playing Debbie Harry and doubly pumped that her husband, Roberto, was going to play Blondie’s drummer, Clem Burke.
Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters was very candid and gave us his best Iggy Pop impression… he has the looks – especially the abs – down perfectly. Ashley seemed very keen to step out of the Twilight franchise and test her chops at another role… she plays Lisa Kristal – the “hands on” daughter of CBGB owner, Hilly Kristal, played by Alan Rickman.
There was another daughter of a famous person involved in CBGB – Sting’s daughter Mickey Sumner, who plays one of the most influential women in punk rock – Patti Smith. So be sure to tune into ET Canada this week to see our exclusive interviews with the actors, their transformation into punk rockers and of course, the club that started it all CBGB.
Watch my interview with Malin and Taylor below!