Over the years I have heard many references to the New York club known as CBGB. It wasn’t until reading this book and talking to Binky Philips that I discovered the actual original name of the club was Country Bluegrass Blues , which, interestingly enough was exactly the type of music NOT played in the club!

LA has the veritable Troubadour and New York boasted the CBGB, two very different clubs in terms of music genre, yet very similar in acting as a jumping off spot to launching musical careers.

My Life In The Ghost Of Planets is a scant 50 pages long, so it is hardly a taxing read, it is however a gripping story, it details the colorful history of Binky Philips and his band The Planets.

It was 47 years ago that a young Binky with ‘stardust’ in his eyes formed The Planets. Prior to this point there had been some school rock bands, and some exploration of a ‘real band’, but the music was ‘covers’, doing ‘covers’ is an unlikely route to stardom. Covers of rare occasion can work, but often it is a ‘one hit wonder’.

CBGB owner Hilly Krystal had no interest in ‘cover’ bands, he wanted new and original material only. I read a rather interesting article on this aspect of CBGB that suggested that it was a move to avoid any licensing issues. I will leave that question to those above my pay grade to answer.

Armed with some original material Binky and the Planets, not only got a gig at the club, but they rapidly became a fixture in the place.

GBGB did launch many bands, too many to name here. Alas The Planets was not one of them. Bad luck and bad judgment were certainly major factors. The result was Binky and his band could not escape the gravitational pull of CBGB.

If you love music and the history of the tumult of the early 70’s (I’ll give you a clue, Punk might be involved), buy the book (amazon link top right).

I had the chance to talk to Binky Philips about not only his book, but also his debut album Established 1972 NYC , my interview is here.

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