Something had to go
into the space vacated by CBGBs,
and it could have been a lot worse
than a John Varvatos store. Varvatos’
fashion line may be too expensive
for some of the club’s former
patrons, but the company’s ads
feature rock luminaries such as
Alice Cooper, Billy Gibbons, and
Green Day, and, the first Thursday
of each month, Varvatos clears
away the clothing, and books bands
into the space.
“People were bummed that
CBGB’s was gone, but you have to
hand it to John Varvatos—there is
still live music in here,” says Chris
Masterson of the Mastersons, who
performed at the store to promote
his husband-and-wife act’s debut
CD, Birds Fly South [New West].
The shows are free—as is the
booze—thanks to the sponsorship
of companies such as Jack Daniels
and Eastwood Guitars.
“When the Varvatos staff asked
if we minded Eastwood sponsoring
our show, we told them to save the
sales pitch—my wife and I already
use their instruments,” says Masterson.
“We got some 6-strings
from them for this event, and they
have a lot of character for new guitars.”