I never met the dude, but Secret Society got our start at CB's, which I always felt was fitting.
Here's an excerpt from Hilly's online history of CBGB:
The beginning of what we now think of as CBGB came early on. I was on a ladder in front of the club fixing the awning in place, when I looked down to notice three scruffy dudes in torn jeans and T shirts looking up at me inquisitively.
"WHAT'S GOIN' ON?" or something of that nature, was the question they asked.
They were Tom Verlaine, Richard Hell, and Richard Lloyd, three of the four members of the rock group "Television." A few days later, Terry Ork, Television's manager came around to try and get the band a gig at CBGB.
He was a pudgy little dynamo with a penchant for non-stop talking; energy and enthusiasm up to here. He believed Television was going to be the hottest new sound since John Cage first played his "clothes line."
Since at that time we weren't open on Sunday, I decided to give Television a try out, about three and a half weeks hence, on a Sunday.
The admission was one dollar. ----It was not an impressive debut (at least not in my opinion). There were only a few paid customers and not too many more friends. They not only didn't pay admission but didn't have any money for drinks.
I thought the band was terrible; screechy, ear-splitting guitars and a jumble of sounds that "I just didn't get." I said, " NEVER AGAIN!!!" After much cajoling and haranguing, however, Terry Ork persuaded me to let them play again with another "hot' new rock group from Forest Hills, Queens. They were called "The Ramones." Terry said that the Ramones had a big following and the combination of the two bands will make a great show. I thought, "What the hell, what do we have to lose!!?....Ha!"
Well the anticipated night came, and there were not many more people than before.
As for the Ramones, they were even worse than Television. At that first gig at CBGB, they were the most untogether group I'd ever heard.
They kept starting and stopping-equipment breaking down- and yelling at each other. They were a mess.
Little did I suspect that both Television and the Ramones would eventually get it together and become two of the most important punk bands of the 70's.
It taught me to be more forgiving in judging new bands, and to listen a little more closely. I think both the Ramones and Television teach a valuable lesson for aspiring artists. They were wonderfully talented, they believed in themselves, they had integrity, they were persistent, and they worked hard. The Ramones to this day have millions of fans all over the world and to many kids they are still the quintessential punk band. Television was an inspiration and a great influence on bands that came after. Rock critics today, still rate Television's debut album as one of the ten best albums of the 70's.
Since their inauspicious beginnings, both groups have played over a hundred sets each at CBGB.
UPDATE: Brooklyn Vegan has pictures of the impromptu shrine fans set up yesterday outside the skeletal remains of CB's.