Hilly Kristal (Alan Rickman) is broke. He has two failed marriages and he has been bankrupt twice. He wants to open another Bar. He walks into a place that most people wouldn't even want to take a crap in but he and Merv Ferguson (Donal Logue) go to Hilly's mother Bertha (Estelle Harris) and barrow the money to open up this bar. Now this place is a dive at best. Oh they clean it up and make it somewhat presentable but you see Hilly wanted to make a Country BluesGrass Blues kind of place. Instead, he helped open up a phenomenon called PUNK.
Some say CBGB's was the origin for the punk movement but in essence that started in a basement in Connecticut with the beginnings of Punk Magazine. Hilly's daughter Lisa (Ashley Greene) would come to help in the beginning for a place to sleep in between boyfriends. Taxi (Richard de Klerk) would run the sound stage.
Band promoters such as Terry Ork (Johnny Galecki) would bring bands by so that they could perform live. These were bands that probably wouldn't have been heard if it wouldn't have been for Hilly.
When the place was in it's heyday it was the place to be seen. It was the place to party. It was the place.
Director Randall Miller gives us an excellent piece on a phenomenon that should never have taken off. It did, and what's great was when some of these bands were installed in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame they gave Hilly credit for all he did for them. This is a beautiful piece of history portrayed on the screen. For you see, way back when even though I never made it to New York City and to CBGB I was Punk and I can only say thank you to a man who let's face it probably should never had owned a business let alone run one gave us so much. So for some sit back and relive your youth.