Can CBGB spirit be recreated — in Savannah or anywhere?

As Savannah gets ready for the filming of CBGB, with Alan Rickman as legendary club owner Hilly Kristal, I can’t help wondering if the filmmakers can really capture the era.

I sure hope so. I’m sure they’re working hard — and I’m sure they’ve been poring over images and videos like the ones I’ve embedded here.

It’s a daunting task not only to get the look right, but to capture the spirit and the vibe.

And things seem a little more complicated because of a family feud in the years since Kristal’s death. Check out the WSJ’s 2010 piece CBGB Holdings Slams Kristal Estate or last week’s piece in Spin: CBGB Film Cast Grows as Movie Draws Ire of NYC Club Owner’s Son. That more recent piece notes that Kristal’s ex-wife Karen will not be in the movie’s plot because of legal wrangling over the estate, movie rights, and screenplay authorship.

And there have also been some snarky comments about making the film in Savannah, like this one from a New York-based writer at Movieline:

We get some stuntbozo driving a sportscar into a Sbarro for Jerry Bruckheimer, and Savannah gets Malin Ã…kerman as Debbie Harry, Rupert Grint as Cheetah Chrome, Joel David Moore as Joey Ramone, and Alan Rickman in the aforementioned role of club proprietor Hilly Kristal, all reviving the dawn of punk and new wave in the edgy metropolis where the Girl Scouts were founded Hollywood honchos go to self-immolate.

Screenshot of Debbie Harry at CBGB

After all these years, do New Yorkers really think they still have a monopoly on New York?

Especially the New York of the 70s and 80s, which has gone the way of John Varvatos?

And if such conversations weren’t enough to keep CBGB the film simmering in the news, there’s the first ever CBGB Festival, scheduled for July 5-8.

Anyway, if you’re looking for more info on the cast of CBGB, click here.

Otherwise, stay here and check out a few videos from the club back in the day.

Debbie Harry and Blondie:

A fabulous 28 minutes of the Dead Boys (skip ahead to 16:20 if you want to see beer drooling in closeup):

The Ramones: