Below: Angry music fans protesting the opening on Thursday of the new John Varvatos store on the Bowery - in the space previously occupied by CBGB.
In case you can't read the signs, they say : "$800 PANTS KILL MUSIC IN NYC," "ONE 'SMALL' LOSS OF A MUSIC SPACE, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR PANTS," "$1600 USED JACKETS DESTROY COMMUNITY," "SAVE THE MUSIC, BOYCOTT HIGH RENTS," "OH LUXURY, UP YOURS," etc.
I mean, I'm pretty bummed too that a place as epic as CBGBs went under because they couldn't pay rent. It was truly the end of an era, and a really tragic event for a lot of people. However: John Varvatos didn't put anyone out of business, he simply moved into a space that was available. Also, from what I hear, he's worked hard to preserve the history of the original space, leaving up walls and keeping a general rock and roll vibe to the place.
As far as the absurdity of the luxury industry: well, I can't really disagree that $800 pants and all that are a little nuts. But maybe I'm just having a hard time making the connection between said pants and the killing of the music industry.