Subculture Group’s Respectable Street

By Darien Davies

Photos by Thomas Pinyati

If you’re ready to feel funky and spread the funky, look no further than one of the premier live music venues in the country, which happens to be right in our backyard.

If you haven’t heard of Respectable Street, or have yet to attend one of their events, you’re seriously missing out. The first physical brain-child of the Subculture Group’s brainiac Rodney Mayo, Respectable Street has grown into much more than just a venue. It’s an institution for all those who are looking to jam out with a little bit of an underground vibe. If the general saying for music locales is “Dance like no one’s watching” then Respectable Street’s motto is “Dance like you don’t f-ing care because we’re here to get down and have the best time around.”

Built in an old Salvation Army building circa 1923, Respectable Street has hosted more than 1,000 live acts ranging from the first performing avant-garde act Chris & Cosey to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and legends like The Damned, and the Misfits. Indie newcomers Surfer Blood have even honed their talents at Respectable Street and have gone on to national acclaim.

Respectable Street, of Subculture Group, in West Palm Beach.

“I always liked old historic buildings for the character, it was also cheap! It was the onlything I could afford,” said Mayo, Subculture founder, who was 23 years old when he opened Respectable Street. “It was a wreck, and condemned to be torn down. I spent three years fixing it up and building out Respects.” Literally and figuratively, that is.

Not only did he create the venue for himself and his love of music, he also created it because there was nothing like it around at the time. Rodney reminisces that Clematis back in the late ‘80s was a “shit show, but kind of fun.” His love of punk rock and new wave music, which wasn’t playing locally at the time, called for him to create a venue in his hometown of West Palm.

He continues to fight with the monopoly giants like Live Nation and AEG Presents, but they have nothing on what he brings to the dance floor. Highlighting local bands and up-and-coming bands in an eccentric location that was the first of it’s kind in West Palm just hits all the right chords.

Be on the lookout for their 36th Anniversary Party in November, as well as new locations in Lake Worth (Manray), Delray Beach (Subculture), Boca (Penelope), and more.

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