That Time Ratt Almost Burned Lubbock Down
If you look at a picture of Ratt from back in the day, it's easy to lump them in with the hair bands of the day. The reality was that they were more of a glam metal band like Motley Crue or Dokken. The difference being that the glam metal bands were a bit harder and cut their teeth on the Sunset Strip of Los Angeles.
Ratt was a revelation when they came out. They were metal, and they had the biggest video on MTV with "Round & Round." This was a good thing for us rockers, because we had to wait through a lot of fluff to see a metal video on MTV. Lucky for us, they played a tiny club called Abbey Road in the shopping center where Cardinal Fitness and Mamarita's are on May 19th, 1984.
We packed into Abbey Road for the show and were really rockin' before lead singer Stephen Pearcy said something that came off as really arrogant about how this was the last small club they were playing -- that their very next gig was an arena show or something. I can't remember the exact statement; I just remember a lot of people talked smack about the band after the show.
The other big moment from that show was a tragedy averted. Ratt had some type of flash pots (they were really popular before actual fire took over for bands). These pots were set off at some point in the show, and we all thought it was pretty cool.
The club owner, though, noticed that one of the acoustic ceiling tiles was smoldering. In his thinking 'the show must go on' (so he could keep selling drinks), he sent a guy INTO THE ROOF with a fire extinguisher to put the fire out.
Knowing what we know these days about the Great White Fire that killed 100 people, it's a bit spooky looking back. Even if we would have made it out, we would have lost an entire shopping center and who knows what else (Albertsons was there, too).
Sure enough, the band returned a year later for a headline date at the Lubbock Coliseum.