Punk queens Deborah Harry and Patti Smith have led the tributes to CBGB club founder Hilly Kristal, who lost his battle with cancer on Wednesday (29Aug07). Harry's Blondie and Smith performed early shows at Kristal's famous punk venue in New York's The Bowery, and both ladies have been devastated by Kristal's death. Harry says, "He was a big help to Blondie and to the New York music scene for many years. His club CBGBs has become a part of New York lore and rock + roll history." Smith adds that Kristal's death prompted her to recall the last night of CBGB - before the venue closed last year (06). She states, "On that last night he knew that we loved him. He stood up and we saluted him."