This seems to be my season to encounter toilet scenes. What I love about this toilet I saw at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is just that: it’s part of a punk fashion exhibition, a historical look at lifestyle. And it perfectly evokes the era and the situation. Those in the know say it’s a scarily accurate reproduction of the earliest bathroom at the iconic club, complete with cigarette butts (remember those?).
The minute I saw it, I got the era and the scene. In an instant it told me everything and I could hear, see and even smell the place.
CBGB stands for Country, Bluegrass & Blues, and that’s what the founder intended in 1973 when it opened in New York City, but, more fitting to its Bowery location, it became the epicenter of the punk rock movement, instead. The Ramones, Patti Smith (a favorite of mine), the Dead Boys, Blondie, Talking Heads–all New Wave and Punk bands did time at CBGB.
Pre-AIDS, that bathroom saw its share of casual sex, for sure. The club closed in 2006 with a final concert by Patti Smith.
The bathroom reproduction is part of the museum’s exhibition on Punk culture and I got to spend some time there last month while in New York City.