The Cameron Village “Subway”


One of Raleigh’s forgotten treasures, the Cameron Village underground, once echoed forth with the music of The Ramones, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett, and many other up and coming musicians.  A thriving music scene, the Cameron Village underground finally closed in 1984, but only after a remarkable collection of musicians performed within its walls.

CVillage Venues

Originally the Cameron Village Subway featured shops, restaurants, and other stores similar to its above-ground counterpart, but due to lack of business, most of the facilities converted into bars, restaurants, and music clubs. RDUWTF published a copy of the design floorplan detailing the original layout of everything from the pottery store to the art gallery.


The area coined the name the “Subway” due to its entrance being modeled after a traditional New York City Subway entry port.  The theme is still evident in the features that have endured until today.


I’d like to give credit to the good folks over at Goodnight, Raleigh! for doing much of the background research. Together they compiled an extensive listing of the bands that have performed during the lifetime of the Subway.

“The number of talented artists that graced the halls of the underground is quite impressive. Bert from the Player’s Retreat provided me with this enormous list of some of the artists that played there:”

  • Doc Watson
  • Eddie Money
  • Huey Lewis & The News
  • Steppenwolf
  • Peter Tork/The Monkees
  • John Cale (of Velvet Underground)
  • Nantucket
  • Flock Of Seagulls
  • Frank Zappa (?)
  • 38 Special
  • Iggy Pop
  • Papa John Creach (of Jefferson Airplane)
  • Joan Jett
  • Jimmy Buffet
  • Black Flag
  • Cutting Crew
  • The Ramones
  • Pat Benatar
  • R.E.M.
  • Maynard Ferguson
  • Dead Kennedys
  • Sonic Youth
  • Bette Midler
  • Barry Mannilow
  • Violent Femmes
  • The Replacements
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Go-Gos
  • Steve Martin
  • Martin Mull
  • Dizzy Gillepsie
  • Roger McGuinn
  • Tom Waits
  • Muddy Waters
  • The Bangles
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Arrogance

Cameron Village Library

Today the Library and the rest of Cameron Village rests atop what has been paved over and forgotten.


~ by lazerwo1f on 02/25/2011.

2 Responses to “The Cameron Village “Subway””

  1. would love to see it reopened , loved shopping there.

  2. Gone are those days…up close and personal! Sit and strum…sing along..with JB….Joan was HOT!!! Arlo was for REAL!!! Never knew I was with Legends…just really good folk who happened to be musicians. WOW

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