Remembering Lubbock’s Legendary Fat Dawgs
You may have seen bigger names, but for me, these nights were game-changers.
Fat Dawgs had an odd dynamic back in the day. It was more of the rhythm and blues club while down the street The Rox catered to the punk and metal crowd. At some point, Fat Dawgs took over most of the bookings and threw a little bit of everything up against the wall. Though I probably visited the place a hundred times, there were three nights that really stuck out for me.
Around 1984 there was a band making huge waves in L.A. They became the center of a big bidding war between record labels. At the time they were referred to as a "Spaghetti Western Version Of Kiss". They wore dusters, boots, cowboy hats, and civil war-looking attire. I had heard about the band before their album was released and I was all about it. The name of the band was "The Unforgiven".
Well, life and music fans are funny and The Unforgiven never really got off the ground. They did however tour and ended up playing Lubbock at least three times. The first visit ended up with all of us playing a drunken game of basketball behind Fat Dawgs. We were shooting hoops with a long neck in one hand and the ball in the other. We also dropped enough bottles that our hands ended up being all cut up but we didn't care. To me it was the ultimate night with one of my favorite bands.
My second favorite memory was one of the many appearances by legendary comedian Bill Hicks. There was a small window when Fat Dawgs jumped on the comedy craze (so many great comedians exploded out of the Houston comedy scene). I think Bill played Fat Dawgs three times. One of those times, for whatever reason, I was at the show all alone. After the set Bill came over to the table and we talked about comedy over a couple of long neck Budweisers.
The final night I'd like to mention is another act that you may not have heard of. I was fortunate enough to catch the legendary Stiv Bators when he toured with his new project, "The Lords Of The New Church". That show had one of the most memorable openings ever. Stiv hit the stage chewing a huge wad of bubblegum. He then spits the gum into his hand and started "giving communion", that is, giving pieces of gum to the people in front of the stage. Yes, they took it, and yes they chewed it.
You can still catch a little of the spirit of the old Fat Dawgs by visiting the Mamaritas on Quaker. They've been known to display just a little bit of the old memorabilia now and again.