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Plano teen nightclub Rock Steady may close
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Thread: Plano teen nightclub Rock Steady may close

  1. #1
    HIAWATHA! transplant's Avatar
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    Plano teen nightclub Rock Steady may close

    And we all weep. . .

    http://www.guidelive.com/sharedconte...1.1a722ca.html

    09:23 AM CST on Wednesday, December 12, 2007

    By MICHAEL GRANBERRY / The Dallas Morning News
    mgranberry@dallasnews.com


    Also Online

    Music blog: Where else can teens hang out or catch live music?

    Location info: Rock Steady music venue
    PLANO Back in 2006, Lindy Denham got tired of driving his aspiring-rock-star son to gigs as far away as Lewisville, Grand Prairie and Deep Ellum. So, the McKinney dad opted to open his own venue.

    Almost overnight, Rock Steady earned its buzz as an alcohol-free venue where teenagers could groove to their kind of rock. For almost two years, the strip-mall club has provided a home to such amateur sensations as Gym Class Dropouts, the Cadillac Incident and those death-metal mavens I, the Emperor.

    But as much as kids and parents like it, Rock Steady may soon have to close.

    Mr. Denham cites the rent ($4,000 a month) and terminal inconsistency in drawing crowds. He drew 325 for the Scene Aesthetic (his capacity is 241), but for a recent fundraiser to benefit a Plano chess team, not one person showed.

    Recently at Rock Steady, left to right: Ashley Levesque, 19; Lindsey Frazier, 17; Alysa Edwards, 17; and Taylor Weig, 19 "It hasn't been enough to justify the rent," says the 48-year-old father of two who has a day job as an information technology consultant. "When I told my staff that I was contemplating closing it, there were tears. They have come to identify with Rock Steady, and if it closes, they may be reduced, once again, to the typical things kids do, such as malls and movies."

    That would be a shame, fans say, because Rock Steady addresses what many contend are a pair of glaring needs: safe venues for kids between 13 and 18 to hang out, and places for aspiring bands to strut their stuff. Both are rare in the Dallas area.

    "It's just a great place to meet a bunch of new people you've never met," says Collin McKinley, 16, a student at Allen High School. "It's also a great place to see and contribute to bands who are traveling across the U.S.A., just trying to make a living."

    Pedro Revilla, 19, is a member of one such band, whose hard-rock gyrations shook the walls Saturday night. "Rock Steady provides an opportunity for local bands to come in and showcase what they got," says Mr. Revilla. "If it closes, man, it will be a travesty."

    All but hidden in the middle of a row of nondescript businesses near Parker Road and Central Expressway, Rock Steady doesn't look like much, outside or inside. Past its electric-blue door, the ceilings are low and the curtains are black (hand-stitched by Mr. Denham). Its bare wooden stage, 13 inches off the floor, rests atop a cluster of bricks. Each weekend night, the stage is filled with amplifiers, drums, guitars and electric cords. And, of course, hope.


    Owner Lindy Denham speaks to the audience while Sami Kramer and Shelbi Watkins pose for a cell phone photo. The sound is loud enough to shake the floor and walls, which are covered with posters: Green Day, the Ramones, Dead Kennedys.

    "The genesis of Rock Steady," says Mr. Denham, "is that parents would not let their kids go to Deep Ellum. The only other place they could hear live music was Fat Daddy's Sound Shack in Lewisville, which I don't even consider competition because it's so far away."

    His son Don, 18, formerly of Gym Class Dropouts (they have since merged with Westchester), had played a club near Southern Methodist University that Mr. Denham says was terrifying. A shooting in the parking lot triggered the decision to open his own club.

    He took over an abandoned Tex-Mex restaurant that had a liquor license, which he surrendered as soon as possible. He began charging $10 per person (parents excepted) for shows on Friday and Saturday nights and occasional Sundays.

    Kids love the concessions (only $1 for nachos) and the fact that Mr. Denham puts no restrictions on noise. (He's never without his pair of $300 noise-canceling headphones.) But booking the bands is often a spotty exercise.

    If a touring band drops out at the last minute, Mr. Denham sees a sharp and dramatic downturn. Sure, he doesn't have to pay the band, but because local groups like playing with a well-known headliner, they cancel as well.

    Plus, rent and utilities aren't cheap. When a 20-ton air conditioner went bust, it cost him $9,000 and that was only half the bill (the landlord picked up the other half).

    "I was severely undercapitalized for what I needed to do," he says.

    The location is not the easiest to find, and advertising has proved to be as tricky as it is expensive. Kids listen to so many radio stations these days, how can you pick just one?

    So, the inevitable may soon arrive.

    "If I don't get a dramatic increase in what's going on, I'll probably shut it down," possibly within weeks, he says.

    He says he was recently approached by a Dallas club owner (whom he declines to name), saying the potential buyer envisions Rock Steady as a kind of farm club where acts could be groomed before heading to sexier venues.

    Continuing to go it alone is almost out of the question, says Mr. Denham, since he has operated at a loss since the venue opened.

    "From a financial standpoint," he says, "Rock Steady has been a silly idea. But that's the only way it's been a silly idea."

    He treasures the fact that kids have a safe place to go on weekend evenings, something they continually tell him. He's proud of having showcased the likes of Sages and Saints and the Secret Handshake. His stage has served as the launching pad for such singers as Patrick Alan, the Allen-based lead singer of Shorelines End, whose acoustic indie rock recently led to a record deal.

    Mr. Denham is also proud of the Rock Steady crowd. He acknowledges that one of his strip-mall neighbors has complained about the noise. But over the course of 400 shows, he says, "I've had only two incidents": one involving a kid with marijuana, the other a fistfight. Security has never been an issue.

    "This is a great place," says Brandon Wilson, 18, a recent graduate of Allen High. "It's a good place for kids to come out and have a good time, to hang with friends. It keeps them into the music. They're not out drinking. They're here, relaxing and having fun. On a Friday or Saturday night, I can't think of any place I'd rather be. And if it goes, yes, it would truly be a shame."
    Saturday Struttin @ The Windmill Lounge 2nd and 4th Saturday

  2. #2
    a legend in my spare time Deff Gordon's Avatar
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    where will you go now?
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  4. #4
    HIAWATHA! transplant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nitetripp View Post
    where will you go now?
    Would you be willing to open your garage to us poor emo rockers? SAVE THE SEEN!
    Saturday Struttin @ The Windmill Lounge 2nd and 4th Saturday

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by transplant View Post

    "I was severely undercapitalized for what I needed to do," he says.
    if i had a dollar for every time ive heard a new club owner say this...
    -273 = absolute zero. You can only go up from there.

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  6. #6
    Black Rascal for life!!! Funkenstein's Avatar
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    Andy and I will start the Save Crave flyers and fundraiser STAT.

    Someone get Idris and Nobu on the phone for the follow up next month.
    Quote Originally Posted by Soccer Mother View Post
    Oh, and props to the DDM womens for lowering our already low expectations of you.
    Quote Originally Posted by djredeye View Post
    i dont care how good you are at something, im still not jumping on the American bandwagon of rewarding people for bad behavior or being a douchebag. Look whats its done to most of society. Now, because people see acting like that getting rewards, the world is overun with douchebags and bitches thinking behaving that way gets them what they want or respect. Sorry, it's lame.

  7. #7
    HIAWATHA! transplant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by david austin View Post
    if i had a dollar for every time ive heard a new club owner say this...
    I kind of wondered, if the Dad realized the kind of money it would take, besides the rent. DUR.
    Saturday Struttin @ The Windmill Lounge 2nd and 4th Saturday

  8. #8
    HIAWATHA! transplant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sexual Chocolate View Post
    Andy and I will start the Save Crave flyers and fundraiser STAT.

    Someone get Idris and Nobu on the phone for the follow up next month.
    On it and I already sent the book/dvd to the editor.
    Saturday Struttin @ The Windmill Lounge 2nd and 4th Saturday

  9. #9
    House Is A Feeling!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sexual Chocolate View Post
    Andy and I will start the Save Crave flyers and fundraiser STAT.

    Someone get Idris and Nobu on the phone for the follow up next month.

    HAHAHAHAHA! Save Crave!

    I miss those threads.
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    welcome to Dallas, we have an abundance of maniacally egotistical house dj's, cocaine, and herpes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DREX View Post
    i can only hope to one day possess within my whole body the exquisite taste that eric has in his tiny penis
    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy
    and the crowd chants..."Give us Barabus!"

  10. #10
    Johnny Funk's Avatar
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    Maybe the kids werent showing up b/c the jaded 19yr olds were always telling the newbie 13yr olds that the scene isnt as fun as it used to be?
    The bass keeps coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and coming and going and going and going and going and going and going and DROP!

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  11. #11
    a legend in my spare time Deff Gordon's Avatar
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    how it went down.

    DAD: "Son. I will support you with whatever you want to do. But I can't let you play out in Dallas anymore. it's just too dangerous for a 16 year old to be out that late."

    SON: "But DAD!?!"

    DAD: "Son, it's for your own good"

    son goes to room crying. a week or two go buy and his daddy hating emo-ness grows...

    MOM: "you aren't getting any until he starts coming down and eating dinner with us as a family!"

    DAD: "OPPS"
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  12. #12
    House Is A Feeling!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Funk View Post
    Maybe the kids werent showing up b/c the jaded 19yr olds were always telling the newbie 13yr olds that the scene isnt as fun as it used to be?
    HAHAHAHA I hate that crap. I hate when I'm hanging out and people start remembering the good ol days.

    Crave Fan: Man these parties are nothing compared to what used to go on at Crave.

    Same goes in the IT Industry.

    IT Guy: Man nothing compares to the .com days!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ash
    welcome to Dallas, we have an abundance of maniacally egotistical house dj's, cocaine, and herpes.
    Quote Originally Posted by rufuspunk
    We let you ride your high horse in, but send you home on a burro.
    Quote Originally Posted by DREX View Post
    i can only hope to one day possess within my whole body the exquisite taste that eric has in his tiny penis
    Quote Originally Posted by snoopy
    and the crowd chants..."Give us Barabus!"

  13. #13
    Registered User --)Ordos(--'s Avatar
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  14. #14
    boba fetching juandingo's Avatar
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    i can only hope this will stop at least one faggot emo/mallcore band from being created.


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  15. #15
    HIAWATHA! transplant's Avatar
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    "Mallcore" = lol
    Saturday Struttin @ The Windmill Lounge 2nd and 4th Saturday

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