CBGB Made Hilly Kristal a Millionaire—His Ex Got Nothing

Turns out the punk impresario was loaded and a fight is brewing

"She needs a nurse now," Dana says. "She needs a shunt. She needs a brain operation. You need a nurse after that."

Dana has conferred with lawyers and is weighing his legal options. The will cannot be finalized until he signs off on it. He says the real issue is his mother—that she gets the recognition for her role in CBGB, as well as compensation enough to live her last years in health and dignity.

Karen Kristal and Dana Kristal in an undated photo from some time in the Eighties.
Karen Kristal and Dana Kristal in an undated photo from some time in the Eighties.

"She was waiting to get paid, and they were waiting for her to get confused," says Dana. "Even if she does get paid, she's gonna get paid when she's really not all there. That makes me sad. She should have gotten that money 20 years ago, when she would have enjoyed it."

« Previous Page
My Voice Nation Help

A lot of the bands and people in the music industry don't realize that they would not have had a CBGB without my mother, "Karen Kristal". And even though Hilly Kristal helped a lot of musicians, he used my mother most of her life in doing this. Many people benefited from CBGB and never thanked her. Most of them thanked my father. Especially, The Talking Heads, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, David Burn, Patti Smith, Lenny Kaye, Jay Dee Daugherty, Debbie Harry, Chris Stein, the Ramones, Seymour Stein, Richard Hell, Dick Manitoba, Agnostic Front, Murphy's Law, Legs McNeil, John Holmstom, Bob Gruen, Warner Brothers, and The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame etc. etc. etc. They benefited the most and never ever thanked her. She's 88 years old and bed ridden. What are they waiting for?

This is how I feel today!…


@markdanakristal I just saw the movie, and your mom is not even mentioned in it, let alone portrayed. I used to be a fixture at CBGB when I was going to NYU. A close friend of mine was a cocktail waitress there and played in a band that used to perform there regularly. I remember your mom. I am so sorry that she got the short shrift.

New York Concert Tickets