In 1972, when Lubbock "voted wet" to allow liquor by the drink in bars
and restaurants, a trio of Texas Tech law students, including eventual
university chancellor Kent Hance, opened a juke joint called Fat
Dawgs near the campus. That success enticed the fraternity brothers
John Kenyon and Bruce Jaggers in 1973 to open the nearby Main
Street Saloon, which they positioned for live music as well as alcohol.
Their monthly rent was $175. In 1978, as Hance entered the race for
the Congressional district seat and handed George W. Bush his only
electoral loss, the two bought Fat Dawgs as well. They sold both
ventures within the year.
Gayla Klemett later managed Main Street Saloon as it became one of
the primary West Texas venues for contemporary popular music,
particularly in the metal, hair, rock, and punk genres but also acoustic
folk and blues. Both national acts and locals like Joe Ely, Jesse
Taylor, John Sprott, Eddie Beethoven, Cary Swinney, Human,
Squarehead, The Nelsons and Ponty Bone played there. D. G.
Flewellyn and the drummer Johnny Ray hosted open mic
Ken "Keno" Ramage eventually purchased the bar and operated it
through 1998. He settled a court case for keeping false records by
surrendering the liquor license and paying back taxes for 1990 and
1991. The Main Street Saloon space eventually was subsumed into
the back room at Bash Riprocks, where it remains a showcase for
musical talent, though without its notorious topless mural.