The Tubes are a San Francisco-based theatre rock band founded in the early 1970s and known for their live performances which combined lewd quasi-pornography and wild satires of media, showbiz excess, consumerism and politics.
Influenced by the Mothers of Invention and Captain Beefheat & his Magic Band — The Tubes performed covers of Frank Zappa’s ‘More Trouble Every Day’ and ‘King Kong’ in a 1972 concert, and recorded a cover version of Beefheart’s ‘My Head Is My Only House Unless It Rains’ on their 1977 album, NOW.
Their 1978 album, What Do You Want From Live, is considered by many to be the quintessential “live” album. I tend to agree. I was also fortunate enough to see The Tubes live myself in 1981. I was not disappointed. Their live shows are legendary. After they broke up in the late 80s I thought that was it for The Tubes, but fortunately for new fans, after the release of their 1996 “return to form” album, Genius of America (after several disappointing efforts in the 1980s), a reformed line-up of The Tubes began touring again, including:
Fee Waybill (lead singer/songwriter)
Roger Steen (lead guitar/vocals)
Prairie Prince (drums/percussion)
Rick Anderson (bass)
David Medd (keyboards)
(Note that David Medd was invited to sing on Genius of America by Gary Cambra who has since left The Tubes to do solo projects).
If you can’t see The Tubes live, yourself, there’s always The Tubes Wild West Show on DVD (Unlike the live album, it doesn’t have any of those nasty “bleeps” the record company censors loved so much in the late 70s).
BTW, I know who I’d like to dedicate this particular video to…