While many people consider Iggy Pop to be the "father of punk," I would argue the title truly goes to Hilly Kristal. The owner and founder of CBGB's (OMFUG) (which stood for "Country, Bluegrass, Blues, and Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers") gave a venue for future Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members the Ramones, Patti Smith, and Talking Heads to play in. Had CBGB's not existed, it's likely these people would never have been discovered.
Hillel "Hilly" Kristal died August 28th from complications of lung cancer. He was 75.
Kristal opened CBGB's as a venue for acoustic music in the early 70s in the Bowery section of Manhattan. Something went "wrong" along the way, as his home for "country, bluegrass, and blues" became the proving ground for punk rock. Television was the first punk band to play regularly at the club, followed soon by the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Mink DeVille, Talking Heads, and the Fleshtones.
CBGB's was forced to close in 2006, and its ending might have put an early nail in Kristal's coffin (although he was planning to take CBGB's to Las Vegas).
Farewell to the man who helped make punk music possible, Hilly Kristal.