12 Legendary Lubbock Clubs
I'm about to lay out three decades of Lubbock partyin' on ya.
I've got a dirty dozen clubs that will bring back some memories. I'm betting we even met in one of these places, though chances are likely neither of us remember it.
Although there are numbers on this list, let's consider all things as equal. These places were all loved and frequented for their own merits.
The Depot Warehouse hosted the majority of concerts that would go in the Pavilion these days. FMX celebrated many Birthday Bashes there.
Kid Rock, Alterbridge, Blue Oyster Cult, The Jim Rose Circus and hundreds of other acts played the Warehouse (now the site of the Buddy Holly Statue). Across the hall was Einsteins for smaller shows and great sandwiches.
The Depot Warehouse had a companion club next door. Sometimes there were shows that took up both sides, other times just this room with its balcony would host them.
Lamb Of God, Drowning Pool, The Nixons, Coal Chamber (my concert t-shirt says Slipknot was with them, but I don't remember) and many more played the big room. The place was called Liquid 2000, Iridium and South Beach in pretty rapid succession (or so it seems), so I listed this as one club.
The Rox was the granddaddy of rock clubs in Lubbock. They were present during the new wave/punk explosion through the early metal years. Head East was a regular visitor. U2, Talking Heads, The Clash, The Cramps, Pat Benatar and many others made stops at The Rox.
The owner of the Rox would eventually go on to run three other clubs on this list: Abbey Road, New West and Fast and Cool.
Abbey Road was the successor to The Rox. Whereas The Rox was near Texas Tech (in that car lot/club building next to the Marsha Sharp Freeway), Abbey Road was in the shopping center off of The Loop and Slide.
Wendy O. Williams, Ratt, Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols and hundreds more visited Abbey Road. FMX even made an album and video series at the location. Even though it says "Live On The Rox," that was the name of album by Impeccable. This video was made at Abbey Road and features a younger version of me on the intro (and that's Darren Welch on guitar).
Fat Dawgs was the blues-twinged doppleganger of The Rox. It was just across the road from The Rox and featured many of the same kind of acts, but with a heavier emphasis on blues and the Austin scene. Stevie Ray Vaughan was a regular.
In later days, the club featured a bunch of comedians from the Houston scene, most notably the legendary Bill Hicks.
Coldwater Country used to be located right across the street from the Target on University Ave. Let's put this right out there: If you were a young guy in the late 70s and early 80s and you wanted to meet a young girl, you went two steppin' at Coldwater.
Lubbock's Maines Brothers and Joe Ely also had regular stops there.
Belly's was mostly a thing after I moved to Austin. The club was run by P.J. Belly, who was also responsible for the first two Buddy Holly Tribute concerts.
The idea of a "house band" that plays most nights seems somewhat foreign, but it worked. Local favorites Elvis T. Busboy and Dangerous Dan were regulars.
So, I've mentioned a lot of places to see live music, and even some places to go two steppin'. What about those people who have to boogie? Lubbock's premiere dance club was Rox-Z.
It was located just over the Clovis Highway in the building that now hosts Club Pink. Rox-Z was THE place to go to dance, or, for me, the place to go and stand in the corner and nod my head.
The Main Street Saloon brings back two very distinct memories for me. I believe they hosted the original jam night. I might be wrong, but I know of the jam nights out there, Main Street was more likely to have a little rocks instead of just blues in the mix.
I spent MANY nights at Main Street. My second memory was that for a short time they did a promotion where you got either free or cheap beer until someone had to go pee. It was a test of wills for the ages.
New West was a slightly more rock-oriented dance club. It did feature occasional rock and country acts on the big stage. The big draw though was the open bar on weekends. For a small cover, you could wait in a long line to drink all you could get within a few hours. We would basically get a drink, then go to the back of the line and on and on.
The club hosted Cheap Trick, Billy Thorpe (Children of the Sun) and a few others.
The Backroom was a small club attached to New West (where 34th and Slide collided). The club was decorated imitation hard rock-style. (Spoiler alert: None of those signatures on the guitars were real.) This is the club Driver and I hung out in when I first brought him to Lubbock from Austin.
The place hosted a lot of the harder metal. I'm near 100 percent certain that Slayer played there. I also saw some really cool old school shows from Foghat and Steppenwolf at the club.
I always have to bring Uncle Nasty's into the mix. I say my first wet t-shirt contest there when I was 18. It created quite an impression on me. The club was at that weird juncture of Main and Avenue X and featured what had to be the worlds smallest dance floor. It was almost like they brought in a gazebo from outdoors.