the tubes Archive

Take Five: The Tubes’ Fee Waybill

Tubes lead singer and founding member Fee Waybill celebrated his 72nd birthday on September 17. Founded in 1972 and still performing today, The Tubes were among the most outrageous bands of the 1970s; their music combined satire with art rock, and their uproarious live shows flirted with the edges of good taste. Complex and ambitious

SF Music History: The Tubes

Rock has often been about spectacle. From the mock-horror of Alice Cooper to the blood-spattered antics of GWAR to the inevitable pyrotechnical visuals of most every stadium act, giving audiences a memorable visual experience has long been a key component of what makes a rock show worth the price of admission. And few groups have

March Through Time: The Tubes

Satirical group? Yes. Hard rockers? Sometimes. Progressive band? Now and then, yes. Punk? Not quite, but the spirit was there. One of the greatest live acts of all time, the Tubes got it right on their albums more often than not. Save for a brief time in the early ‘80s, they were destined to remain

A Look Back at the Tubes’ ‘Remote Control’

The Tubes were among the most outrageous of 1970s rock groups. With an impressively muscular and underrated instrumental foundation, the group – or at least lead singer Fee Waybill – acted out the band’s bizarre tunes live onstage. Songs like “White Punks on Dope,” “Don’t Touch Me There” and “Mondo Bondage” were clever to begin

In a Word, Yes: Rick Wakeman on the ARW Tour (Part 2)

Continued from Part One … My conversation with Rick Wakeman continues. Note that our chat took place in summer 2016, before the lineup of ARW had been finalized. Wakeman discusses plans for as “utility” player – a sixth member – but in the end ARW was just five musicians. I saw them in October, and

Some Long-lost Artist Biographies

Way back in the depths of the Great Recession (2007-2009), one of my former writers (from my time as Editor in Chief of a now-defunct magazine I won’t dignify by naming) put me in touch with the good people at Amoeba Music. The California-based record chain had an ambitious plan: creating artist bios to serve

A Conversation with The Tubes’ Founder Bill Spooner, Part Five

Continued from Part Four… “We’re waiting for an investor. Maybe it’s you.” Bill Kopp: I remember something from a little later in The Tubes’ career, from The Completion Backwards Principle era tour. The way you opened the show was that you’d all come out dressed in business suits, with briefcases. But you weren’t in that;

A Conversation with The Tubes’ Founder Bill Spooner, Part Four

Continued from Part Three… “No one would get my wheelchair.” Bill Kopp: We’re talking about the songs on The Tubes‘ 1977 album Now, and whatever comes to your mind about each of them. Side Two continues with “I’m Just a Mess.” Bill Spooner: That’s a Roger [Steen] song. He came over to my place when

A Conversation with The Tubes’ Founder Bill Spooner, Part Three

Continued from Part Two… “If I get you guitar lessons, will you stop playing that?” Bill Kopp: Let’s talk about the Now album from 1977. Bill Spooner: What do you know about the album? Do you know the circumstances behind that album? BK: I’ve understood that it was done during a difficult time for the

A Conversation with The Tubes’ Founder Bill Spooner, Part Two

Continued from Part One… “Can’t you control your bitches?” Bill Kopp: If you don’t mind, I’d like to run down the track lists of the Young and Rich and Now albums, and just get whatever comes to mind from you for each song. As much or as little as you would care to say. First