Sotheby’s held an auction on Saturday where an original CBGB awning sold for $30,000. “A Rock & Roll Anthology: From Folk to Fury” featured an impressive collection of memorabilia ranging from the Beatles to the Eagles. Nearly $850,000 was raised by the end of the auction.
Over the duration of its life in Manhattan’s East Village, CBGB had three different awnings. The original awning was reportedly stolen by a punk band in the late 1980s. The second awning is the one that sold at Sotheby’s, which hung at the entrance from 1988 until the early 2000s. The final CBGB awning hung from 2003 until the closing in 2006.
Drew Bushong, former manager at CBGB, had the second awning in his possession for more than 10 years. He worked at the venue from 2000 until it closed in 2006. He stumbled upon a box in the trash, where he found the awning. Bushong told Sotheby’s:
“I remember thinking, ‘Why is this in the trash?’ I woke up the next morning – shoes on, I was rather hung over – and the box with the awning in it was sitting in my bed.”
Bushong later discovered that an intern was supposed to mail the box with the awning to Cleveland Hall of Fame. The box remained under Bushong’s bed until making its debut in the auction. Eventually, the third and final CBGB awning made its way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Bushong explained that he was not always a manager at CBGB, landing the job as a ‘door guy’ first. He started out working a couple shifts a week and even considered quitting. One night, there was someone in the crowd who started a fight near the stage. Bushong attempted to walk the individual out of the venue, not knowing he had a knife. According to Bushong, he handled the incident so well that he was promoted to manager shortly after. He said:
“I actually got stabbed underneath the awning – which is a sales point I hope.”
Featured Image via Flickr/franciscodaum