Aug 5, 2005


It's strange in this day and age, with Google at my fingertips, and data everywhere, that I still have nagging questions I don't know the answer to. It's not because the data isn't out there. It's either because I'm lazy or I am only reminded of the question at times when I don't have access to the web. One of those questions is, 'what the hell does CBGB's stand for?' I pass by the club every now and again in the city and then promptly forget that I'm interested in the origins of the club name when I get back home.

If you are not familiar, it's a club that became famous for promoting punk bands back in the 70s. Groups like Blondie, Talking Heads, The Ramones, The Velvet Underground all cut their teeth there.

Well I finally looked it up. Actually as you can see from the picture above, it also has the tagline OMFUG. What the hell does that stand for? I felt sure it stood for something off color. As it turns out I'm not alone in that belief. Ironically the first acronym doesn't stand for anything to do with what the club became and the second acronym is not in fact off color in any way.

CBGB - Country, Blue Grass, and Blues
OMFUG - Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers

Apparently the club, when initially formed, was to be a showcase for country, bluegrass, and blues bands. "Gormandizers" means to eat voraciously but here it means people who consume music voraciously.

And while I'm here, here's another thing I didn't know. Where the hell did the phrase "cut your teeth on" come from? As far as I can tell it's a reference to a baby's first tooth. It's really the gums that are getting 'cut' but we'll let that slip. Hence cutting teeth refers to a time when something was transitioning from a 'baby' to something more accomplished.

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