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Old 08-28-2012, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Tubes


Now here's a band that I've hardly ever seen mentioned on this forum. They were shocking, unique and highly original and fronted by one of the best frontmen that rock has ever seen in Fee Waybill.

Like Alice Cooper before them, they hailed from Phoenix but early on moved to San Francisco, where they fit in perfectly with the flotsam and Jetsam lifestyle there Here was a band that based their career around highly arranged elaborate theatrical stage shows, with frontman Fee Waybill usually going through a costume change for most songs. When it comes to shock-rock they got it down to a fine art and they're probably the best I've ever seen from a theatrical rock perspective. If I had a time machine, I'd nip into it to see this band live back in the 70s and 80s when they were in their element, the shows were an experience.

So how did their music match up to the stage shows? Well that was a major problem for the band, as their early sound on their first three studio albums mostly consisted of multi-layered 1970s rock, infused with pop and touches of disco, a sprinkling of ballards and Zappa style satirical humour. Whilst there is a lot of good stuff on these albums especially the debut, the type of music and the stage shows didn't go hand in hand and the group faced being dropped by the label. Then the group in 1977 managed to break in the UK on the strength of their fourth album the classic live set What Do You Want From Live. Largely due to the fact that punk references were often in their songs, despite the fact that their music was so far removed from anything punk!!! But the punk interest got them finally noticed and in stepped a certain Todd Rundgren, who ushered the group into a tighter new-wave direction and the band struck gold with the classic Remote Control album in 1979, despite it being a classic album A&M dropped them, but Capitol took up the slack and the group finally found the commercial success that they richly deserved and released The Completion Backward Principal their finest moment and easily in my all-time favourite albums list. It was around this time as a kid, that I first discovered this band on a now defunct UK music show called "The Tube" when on there they simply stoloe the show. After this they released one more classic album Outside Inside.

The Line-Up
Fee Waybill -Vocals
Roger Steen -Guitar
Bill Spooner -Guitar
Rick Anderson -Bass
Vince Welnick -Keyboards
Michael Cotten -Synthesizers
Praire Prince -Drums

and Re Styles sometimes on guest vocals.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Going to have to listen to them again. I remember many of their songs, and was even interested in them when "White Punks on Dope" stood out on FM radio when listening to it as a kid.

The sad thing is that Remote Control was a regular in the cut out bins when instead it should have been a hit. One mini-regret for me was that I did not get it until long after the fact as I always loved getting those albums on my parent's change when they were fresh in those sections.

I loved them when they appeared on SCTV, where I finally got to see what they were about.
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Memories!
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Old 08-28-2012, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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@Screen 13, I'd never seen that clip before and was that Jon Candy with them?

Anyway, some vintage performances by them from 1983 even though these songs are from their debut album in 1975.


The Tubes - White Punks on dope - live 1983 - YouTube


The Tubes - Mondo Bondage - Live 1983 - YouTube
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yeah, that was John Candy. Great SCTV moment! That was the skit that fully introduced me to the Tubes beyond what was played on the radio.
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Old 08-28-2012, 05:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yeah, that was John Candy. Great SCTV moment! That was the skit that fully introduced me to the Tubes beyond what was played on the radio.
Hell I used to love John Candy, one of my favourite comedy actors ever out of the USA.
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The Tubes imploded after achieving pop success. It's too bad, because the 1981 and 1983 albums had some good songs, including "She's a Beauty." Fee Waybill has since worked a lot with Richard Marx and maybe deserves some credit for the latter's success. Apparently he co-wrote "Chains Around My Heart," which is one of the better Richard Marx ballads.

Last edited by sopsych; 09-01-2012 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by wisdom View Post
The Tubes imploded after achieving pop success. It's too bad, because the 1981 and 1983 albums had some good songs, including "She's a Beauty." Fee Waybill has since worked a lot with Richard Marx and maybe deserves some credit for the latter's success. Apparently he co-wrote "Chains Around My Heart," which is one of the better Richard Marx ballads>
I always felt Fee Waybill wasted his writing talents by writing for Richard Marx, I always felt that Richard Marx was always one of the blandest AOR artists around as well.

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Saw them again 6 years ago.
Amazed that Fee could still
stand up wearing those
gigantic platforms!
Just down to years of practice
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If you can't deal with the fact that there are 6+ billion people in the world and none of them think exactly the same that's not my problem. Just deal with it yourself or make actual conversation. This isn't a court and I'm not some poet or prophet that needs everything I say to be analytically critiqued.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:31 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I saw them in Boston, MA on Halloween night in 1981.
Interesting show with lots of props/theatrics/effects.
Appropriate band for that particular night.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The Tubes tour regularly in both the US and Europe, and are outstanding musicians. 4 original members most of the time (Waybill, Steen, Prince, Andersen), plus David Medd on keyboards.

They generally play outdoor fests and 500-1000 seat clubs.

The show is great, Fee's voice usually very strong, but the standouts for me are Roger Steen who has become an extremely good rock/funk guitarist, and Prarie Prince, long one of the best drummers in rock.

Check them out. Well worth the $20-$25 most venues charge.

ETA: And if Ive inspired you to see them in Pleasanton CA next week, stop by and say high...first row left of center!
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