My 7 Favorite Local Lubbock Bands of the Past 40 Years
Wow, this is going to be a trip down memory lane for some. I spent a lot of time in bars and a lot of time checking out local music.
I can only tell you what I like. I'm not here to judge quality, how successful they were, or any of that, I just want to name-check the bands that I enjoyed. I can also say that why these are some of my favorite bands, there are so many musicians in this town that have drifted from project to project that put a smile on my face. I hope I'll find a way to honor them at some point in the future.
Impeccable were the first Lubbock band that I thought could go toe to toe with any national band on any stage.The album "Impeccable Live At The Rox" is still highly coveted and quite a collector's item. The really reminded me of Rush, without all the mystical nonsense. I guess this impression came from the high vocals of Donnie Allison and that the razor-sharp guitar work from Darren Welch. I didn't really intend for this list to be in any order, but it's appropriate for this band to be at #1. I had just moved here from Southern California, I was in love with music, and Impeccable gave me a connection with other rockers in the area.
You guys don't even know how close Blood Red Summer came to breaking out. They actually played at least one record company showcase and came within a razor's edge of getting some interest beyond that before they imploded. The band had a style that resembled the industrial rock of Static-X, but they were actually a bit more mainstream in their sound.
Not many of you will even remember The Virgils, but I loved them so much I modeled my first band after them. They were somewhat punky West Texans who played some really strange but fun covers. I later actually got to play in a band with one of the band members and these guys were just fun.
I actually have a 45 of this band called "Instant Mad Rock". These guys were really fun and were pretty much the house band of a live music spot that was located under a pizza parlor on University Avenue (did you know some of those buildings have basements). The guys were also famous for a mini-medley of tunes from The Rocky Horror Picture Show, during which the singer would strip down to reveal he was wearing fishnet stockings. These guys taught me out to make flashpots and fog machines.
You have a treasure under your nose right now, and you probably don't know it. Ronnie might be a little less rock/metal that FMX audiences would expect, but he really isn't country either. He just plays good, heartfelt music. Ronnie recently released his latest album, and by latest album, I mean download, c.d. and actual vinyl record. It's some great music and features some great West Texas musicians. Unfortunately, life and music are taking Ronnie from us and planting him in New York. Try to catch him before he leaves.
We did a national band search thing with Coors Light. Basically, they were looking for an ambassador type band in every time. I still remember telling them, "I have the perfect band for you, but their name may be a problem" (go read the band name again, if you didn't get it the first time). Luckily everybody was cool with it and the band got a lot of cool gigs out of the association. Just fun, straight ahead rock guys.
I lost friends in the music business over this band. I was so convinced that their cover of The Cutting Crew should be given a national forum. We actually played an original of theirs too. Think about this, the video posted has 54,000 views. That ought to tell you that something is going on right there.