An idiosyncratic outfit, the Tubes are as much a group of social satirists as they are a rock band. After forming in Arizona in the late 1960s, the original members moved to San Francisco where they built a following thanks to their outrageously theatrical live shows. Songwriter and vocalist Fee Waybill would dress up as a variety of characters, each a parody of a popular cultural archetype (the wasted rock star Quay Lewd was one of his most famous). The song “White Punks on Dope” became a radio favorite, but the band’s albums never fared well commercially; nevertheless, the Tubes recorded through the ‘70s and ‘80s (including concept albums like 1979’s television-themed REMOTE CONTROL). The success of pop-minded, early-‘80s singles like “Talk to You Later” and “She’s a Beauty” raised the band’s profile, but they broke up in ’85. They later reunited and continued touring and recording into the 2000s.
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