“To us, New York was the mecca not only of punk, but of music,” Billy Idol said at the kickoff event for the third annual CBGB Music & Film Festival, which began as a way to keep the hard-core spirit of New York’s famed CBGB club (now a John Varvatos store) alive.
After an unplugged set that featured songs like “White Wedding” and “Kiss Me Deadly,” the U.K. rocker feted his just-debuted autobiography, Dancing With Myself, which was published Oct. 7. The festival, held in multiple venues across New York, also featured a 30th-anniversary screening of This Is Spinal Tap, a viewing of Up in Smoke hosted by Beastie Boys‘ Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and performances from The Muffs and Macy Gray, who sang tunes from her newly released album, The Way.
And in keeping with its punk roots, the festival culminated with an outdoor concert in Times Square, where We Are Scientists, Surfer Blood, Devo and Robert DeLong performed. And Perry Farrell of Jane’s Addiction — which received the festival’s Icon Award at a dinner held at Center 548 in Chelsea — even dove into the crowd. “This is so much f—ing fun, New York City,” he shouted. “We got to close down Times Square every weekend — every weekend!”