As that great protest singer Yogi Berra once sang, "CBGB ain't over till it's over."

As that great protest singer Yogi Berra once sang, "CBGB ain't over till it's over."

Yes, an eviction notice for failure to pay back rent has been served. Yes, every city in the world wants the club to relocate to a place where it might feel more welcome. And yes, Hurricane Katrina was a bigger, more serious tragedy and all the attention and money went there, as it should have.

But CBGB is still open. There are bands playing every night. The lawyers will be in court for at least a few months.

So this gives the record industry one more chance to try and save the last important rock club in New York. One more chance to keep the landlord, Bowery Residents' Committee executive director Muzzy Rosenblatt, from being the most despised man in New York forever. One more chance to keep Mayor Michael Bloomberg from being embarrassed by losing the last historically significant rock landmark -- and, by the way, one that brings in millions of dollars in tourist activity, and always will.

The mayor has tried to talk to Rosenblatt. So has Gov. George Pataki.

Forty-three city council members, the Coalition for the Homeless, the Creative Coalition, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Local Community Board, historic preservation societies, filmmakers Jonathan Demme and Jim Jarmusch and artists from Blondie to Public Enemy all support CBGB staying where it is.

Why? Because a new band can walk in there tonight and play on the exact same stage in the exact same location as the Ramones, Blondie, the Patti Smith Group, Television, Richard Hell & the Voidoids and the Dictators.

And aside from that, one landlord should not be able to take on the entire city, the city's best interests and the entire rock'n'roll industry, and win. And right now, he is winning.

The reason he is winning is he has $30 million of taxpayers' money and Hilly Kristal has only himself and his one personal lawyer fighting for survival.

We need money to fight.

We need artists and executives with real power to speak with the mayor and the other board members of the Bowery Residents' Committee.

We need the club where it is, not in a different state or city or on a different block.

The music industry will give more than $100 million to hurricane relief. We always give, and that is something to be proud of. But lately everybody wants to pretend we are all born rich and famous and successful. And that is why we are able to give.

Well, once upon a time we were just starting out. And we had plenty of clubs in which to find our way and develop our talent. And one by one, they are closing.

It is not just the music business. The problem is infecting our entire society.

There is no development anymore. No patience. No long-term thinking. The entry-level doorways to our culture are disappearing before our very eyes.

We cannot afford to lose another one.

For more information on how to help, go to or, or contact Alex Ewen at (212) 868-9000.