Last week Jay and I were lucky enough to be invited to attend the LA premiere of “CBGB the Movie” by none other than Lisa Kristal Burgman, the daughter of the owner and founder of CBGB, Hilly Kristal.  Did you recognize the CBGB stage from my post earlier this week?  Lisa and Jay are work colleagues and she has made CBGB a part of of our life for awhile:


Wild Boy, 2 months old, sporting CBGB wear

It was an honor to be invited to share this event with Lisa and her husband, Ger.  CBGB the Movie was not only a way for Lisa to honor her father (who passed away in August 2007) but it was in many ways a tribute to the time and life of a man who loved music and wound up a pioneer in ushering in the New York City punk music explosion in the early 1970’s.










This was a very surreal experience not only because of the “transplanted New Yorker going to a Hollywood premiere” aspect but Jay and I were attending with one of the people being portrayed in the movie!  Lisa and Ger stayed with us on their visit to LA and it was great to get some inside history of CBGB, Hilly Kristal and about the movie itself.

As a blogger, I’ve been invited to some fabulous events but never a Hollywood premiere so I was nervous for a couple of reasons:

Have you seen the cast list?  It’s pretty extensive:

There’s a reason that gossip magazines do well – people are intrigued by celebrities.  I’m not above admitting that I get starstruck and I was a bit floored by the list of talent in this movie:

  • Alan Rickman (if you need a reference to his work, you should not admit it)
  • Donal Logue (big fan; have you seen him in “Sons Of Anarchy” this season?)
  • Freddy Rodriguez (“Six Feet Under” and “Ugly Betty”)
  • Ashley Greene (Alice in “Twilight”)
  • Malin Akerman (“27 Dresses” and “Children’s Hospital”)
  • Johnny Galecki (come on, he’s Leonard from “Big Bang Theory”!)
  • Ryan Hurst (Opie, “Sons Of Anarchy”)
  • Bradley Whitford (he’ll always be Josh Lyman from “West Wing” to me)
  • Estelle Harris (Mrs. Costanza from “Seinfeld”)
  • Stana Katic (“Castle”)
  • Justin Bartha (“The Hangover”)
  • Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from “Harry Potter”)
  • Josh Zuckerman (I knew him as Max from the new “90210”)
  • Joel David Moore (“Avatar” and “Bones”)
  • Taylor Hawkins (yes, from the Foo Fighters)

“Red Carpet” are frightening words to non-fashionistas

I appreciate fashion but I’m far from fashionable.  I’m not in the mom-jeans category but I’m lucky if I ever wear make-up, wear my hair in anything but a ponytail or buy anything more fashionable than fitness wear, so this event had me panicked!

I wasn’t walking the red carpet but Lisa was (and she’s a non-fashionista like me) so I’m lucky that I had experience at the wonderful DryBar for hair and that there are cosmetic counters that apply make-up with a purchase (thank you Joey Loera at Bare Escentuals at Macy’s Pasadena).  I know that these 2 entities helped both Lisa and I both look our best!

After driving myself insane with fashion research that would allow me to be red carpet ready but not pay red carpet prices (via avenues like Rent The Runway, Ebay and thrift stores), I decided to go rock ‘n’ roll and with a dress from Forever 21 (believe it or not), my own Joan and David shoes and of course, some CBGB earrings.

CBGB The Movie, red carpet

CBGB Red Carpet ready with Jay. Close up of earring and nails.

I may not have been high fashion but I felt appropriately dressed and fit in with the vibe just fine.

Playing it cool is difficult if you’re a dork.

I’m a dork and after seeing the cast list, I was excited at the prospect of meeting so many noted actors.  Sadly, a few members of the cast did not make an appearance at the LA movie premiere (Alan Rickman, Donal Logue, Freddy Rodriguez, Ryan Hurst and Rupert Grint) but many did.

Even though I have no pictures to prove it, I did get to meet Johnny Galecki (with a handshake), Ashley Greene (who is now platinum blonde and nearly unrecognizable but said the most lovely things to Jay in the one ear that he can hear with), Malin Akerman (who is gorgeous and so unbelievably nice) and Stana Katic (who was as gracious as she was beautiful).

CBGB The Movie

From the Red Carpet: (Large) Lisa, Randall Miller, Writer/Director and actress Stana Katic; (Surrounding) Lisa on the red carpet, John Holstrom, founding editor of Punk Magazine and the actor who played him in the movie, Josh Zuckerberg, Malin Akerman & me with my security friend, Vic.

I had no idea that Stana Katic had such a rabid fan base!  She had an entire fan club bum rush the velvet rope barricades (one fan came all the way from Brazil and Stana was so lovely to her)!  I think Jay may have been the only male there who may have appreciated Stana but who was secretly hoping that Nathan Fillion might show up to support his TV co-star.

I tried to play it cool but I couldn’t help but tweet about the fact that I did a (semi) silent “Squeeee!” when I gave directions to Taylor Hawkins and when I saw “Mrs. Constanza” on the red carpet. I was really hoping to meet Bradley Whitford but it wasn’t meant to be.

Seeing an actual movie premiere and going to the after-party is pretty damned cool.

It’s an interesting energy that surrounds the room when you watch a movie with the people who made the movie especially when it’s a fictionalized version of real events.

CBGB the Movie

CBGB the Movie is fun.  The music is plentiful and absolutely fantastic!  Even though the actors playing musicians were lip-synching, I will tell you that Justin Bartha as Stiv Bators from The Deadboys gives a performance so raw and shocking that you’ll be floored.

Insider Tidbit:  Cheetah Chrome of The Deadboys (played by Rupert Grint in the film) actually coached Justin Bartha on getting the pinnacle of his performance just right.  If this movie was any indication of how performances went at CBGB, I can only imagine what it must have been like to see The Deadboys live.

While I loved seeing the major players in this movie, I especially enjoyed Richard de Klerk (as Taxi), Jared Carter (who delivered the David Byrne stare perfectly), the portrayal of the Ramones, and Keene McRae (as a young Sting).

Watch out for Keene – mark my words, he’s destined to be cast as a young Leo DiCaprio character in a future film.  I also love that Keene took his mother to the premiere!  PS – If you think the actress who plays Patti Smith looks familiar, she does because she’s Mickey Sumner, the daughter of Sting.

Cliche as it may be, it was fun going to the after-party felt decadent but it was fun.  Hemingway’s in Hollywood was turned into a mini CBGB’s complete with a replica of the famous awning, live music, tons of posters on the walls and Pabst Blue Ribbon at the bar.

CBGB, Punk Magazine

A print from Punk Magazine

The night was definitely one that gets deeply marked into the memory banks.  Many thanks to Lisa and Ger for giving Jay and I an experience we’ll never forget (and likely never duplicate) and best of luck to all involved in CBGB The Movie which opens in wide release today, October 11th.