The Once Proud Punk Rock Venues of Lubbock, Texas.

 

Main Street Saloon.
Late-80's.

I was in a band called The Goiter Girlz plus Tim. Tim was the drummer, and he refused to call himself a girl. The place was a cowboy bar, and for years, they only had country acts, with the occasional Led Zep tribute band thrown in for variety. Then the booking lady started to let punk rock bands play. The first time we played at the Saloon, we opened for Chuck Barnes' Genuine Country Band. The place was full of drunk cowboys. After every song, there was this eerie silence. The cowboys just sat there, staring, too utterly incredulous to start beating the fuck out of us with cue sticks. After our set, Chuck Barnes, a tall, handsome man in a white cowboy hat and a starchy white shirt and blue jeans with a crease ironed in them-- Chuck Barnes himself shook each of our hands.

 

Kitchen Club.
Early 90's.

This place wasn't even a little bit punk rock. It was the place your band would play when you couldn't think of anywhere else to play. They served bad sandwiches downstairs, hence the name. Upstairs, frat boys sat around at picnic tables drinking pitchers of Coors Lite. Then you played, and the frat boys yelled things at you, and then there was a fight. I forget what the point of this was.

 

Einsteins Laundry.
The 90's.

Lubbock's version of CBGB's. Like lots of legendary places, it was great despite the fact that it was run by a trio who hated punk rock music and punk rockers, and spent months on end rolling their eyes and advising bands to learn to play their instruments. Half of the space was a laundromat, all lit up with fluorescent lights, and the other half-- a long, narrow, gloomy space with a dinky stage at the far end-- was where the bands played. On any given night, some kids from Portland or SF or New York would be tearing it up on stage, while old men with coke-bottle glasses and heads wired with hearing aides would be sitting in the next room, reading the newspaper and waiting for their laundry to dry. The landlord finally evicted the club and rented the space to a blood bank.

 



Motor 308.
Mid-90's.

After Einstein's closed, there wasn't any place for the kids to play, so Kev and I rented a warehouse space on the east side. Some skater boys opened a skate shop called Dealer's up front, and built a skate park in the back. At night, Kev and I would push the ramps out of the way and bands would play. We couldn't afford air conditioning or heat, so the shows were usually these grueling tests of physical endurance. After a while, we started renting the space out for raves to help pay the bills. An astonishing amount of drug dealing went on. Then we got kicked out, and were replaced by a Christian youth center.

 

Motor 308 #2.
Late-90's.

Kev rented this building after I left town. It was right on Broadway, just across the alley from City Hall. Some creepy tattoo guys rented the front of the space, and Kev set up his recording studio in the back. The tattoo guys covered the building with graffiti, and, because of its prominent location, the place came to represent everything that was bankrupt and degenerate about local youth culture. By now, the kids weren't playing in punk rock bands anymore. They'd moved on to electronic music and hung out at the dance clubs near campus. This was the last stop for punk rock in Lubbock. A year later, Kev got kicked out, and the landlord painted over the graffiti with battleship gray latex paint.

 

- Bill Brown