BlondieAngry music fans protested outside New York's new John Varvatos store last week - because the clothing store had taken the place of punk mecca CBGB. The East Village live music venue closed its doors in 2006 after CBGB boss Hilly Kristal lost a lease battle with his landlords.

The space is now shared by rock art gallery Morrison Hotel and designer Varvatos' new clothing store.

But die-hard devotees of the club - famous for launching the careers of bands like the Ramones and Blondie - aren't happy with the choice of new tenants and stormed the velvet ropes at Varvatos' VH1 Save the Music Benefit last week.

They booed arriving guests like Gina Gershon and Bob Dylan's son Jakob.

A protest group spokesperson said of their efforts, "New York City should not be a town just for the wealthy. But who can afford their clothes?"

Meanwhile, Varvatos insisted, "I respect people's freedom of speech and expression."

The designer's launch event was a charity success - rockers Slash and Joan Jett performed at the party, helping to raise $30,000 for music education programs in America's public schools.

(This news article provided by World Entertainment News Network)




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