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11-05-2011, 06:14 PM
Anybody familiar with this group?

They managed to put out few respectable albums. But by showing up on late late TV shows with stripers and other odddball charactors, they went down the hill pretty fast. Couple of good tunes from them are:

Talk To Ya Later
Monkey Time
She's a Beauty

11-06-2011, 05:06 AM
They were always performance artists as much they were musicians, at least lead singer was. I only owned Completion Backwards Principal. But people I know who have seen these guys in concert would tell that showing up on late-night TV with strippers is at least par.

11-06-2011, 07:24 AM
I remember them well. We used to perform "What Do You Want From Life" as part of our regular play list. The narration at the end ("Well, you can't have that, but, if you're an American citizen, you're entitled to...") was always a show-stopper.

11-06-2011, 08:08 PM
But people I know who have seen these guys in concert would tell that showing up on late-night TV with strippers is at least par.

As you said there were always performance artists as much they were musicians, and it does show on couple of MTV videos they put out back in the days. It seem they were in financial trouble and accepted alot of low gigs to make a quick buck. I remember seeing them on NBC's Tom Snyder late show.

Mr MidFi
11-07-2011, 06:38 AM
My freshman roommate in college had their live album. We used to play "White Punks On Dope" fairly often, mostly for ironic effect.

I played the Completion Backward Principal nearly every day, back in my record-store days. "Talk To Ya Later" would always sell a disc or two when it played.

And for whatever reason, I can easily remember the name of the singer/songwriter/performance artist... Fee Waybill.

11-07-2011, 11:09 AM
I saw them a few years ago at the Funky Frog club down the street. I've never been a fan of their music but checked them out anyway. I think they came again the following year but not sure if the show was cancelled or not.

11-07-2011, 08:54 PM
Yeesh! Those guys are looking pretty haggard these days. You forgot about "White Punks On Dope" which was their first big hit.

Their elaborate stage shows on the San Francisco club scene are legendary. In those days, they were more of an underground band that thrived in the club scene when punk was king.

The Tubes Video was way ahead of its time, and largely forgotten now as it has never been released on DVD. A lot of the early discussions about music video as an artistic form pointed to that production as the first true landmark music video, as it was a full-length concept video. Directed by Russell Mulcahy (who would dominate the early video music award shows for his work with Duran Duran, among others) the project was apparently all filmed in one day at a warehouse in San Francisco, with the band and full cast. They basically filmed 12 music videos all at once.

I've seen it, and it's a great work of manic invention. It wasn't a concert video per se, but it had a similar energy to it as a great live show. Raunchy, energetic, creative, fun, dark, spontaneous -- a lot of what got squeezed out of the music video form in latter years. This is a clip from that video (Sports Fan probably better illustrates the raw energy of that video, but it's on the R-rated side)

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The problem that The Tubes had was how to handle mainstream success. After A&M Records dropped them, megaproducer David Foster (who also produced Chicago, Toni Braxton, and Kenny Loggins, among others) guided them through their two biggest hit albums. For their longtime fans, seeing Fee Waybill in a jockstrap with a bunch of scantily clad women on stage, was just part of the act. But, for newer mainstream fans not familiar with the band's history, I would imagine that their concerts were shocking.

I remember their follow up album Love Bomb was horrible, and it alienated everybody -- their newer fans who liked their overproduced mainstream stuff, and the longtime fans who liked their more punk-influenced music. They got dropped by Capitol Records, and they've been in and out of the club scene since then.