Founded: late 1960s

Headquarters: San Francisco, CA

Website Link(s): Official Site




Band MembersEdit

Includes Members ofEdit

Band BiographyEdit

The Tubes were a theatrical, satirical band that ended up making it big as a pop group. When they started, they typically would do a series of parodies of other musical styles and cultural touchstones ("What Do You Want From Life" parodied game shows, for example). They were initally popular on a cult-level (DEVO was initially signed by Warner Brothers as a "low-rent Tubes"), though their records on A&M didn't make a huge smash hit. After Remote Control, a concept album about television, A&M dropped them, as they didn't like the album intended to be the followup (to be called Suffer For Sound). That album was never released, as they recorded a brand new album for their new label, Capitol Records. That album was The Completion Backward Principle, and the last Tubes record to be a concept/joke record. The artwork for that album had the Tubes all in business suits, and the stated concept was that Bill Spooner had found a book with the same title as the record that taught how to write a hit record, so they followed the rules put forth. In reality, what the Tubes did was take the pop-radio landscape and re-wrote hit songs as soundalikes -- hence the title of the album. Surprisingly (or not), that album ended up being a hit, and Capitol wanted more follow-up successes like that. Next was Outside Inside, which had the similar sound, but minus the satirical purpose. That album was an even bigger hit, with the hit single "She's A Beauty" coming from that one. The follow-up, however, Love Bomb tanked, due to both a lack of promotion and the fact that the band was running on fumes at that point -- the band was falling apart, and writing The Completion Backward Principle for a third time didn't help. Bill Spooner was fired from the band (despite being the band's lead songwriter), and shortly afterward, the band broke up. Bill Spooner put out a couple of records on Ralph and filled in for the recently-deceased Snakefinger on some dates of the end of The Residents' 13th Anniversary Tour. Lead singer Fee Waybill put out a solo album, and then became Richard Marx's writing partner, having some hits with him. Prairie Prince became a drumming hired-gun for such acts as XTC and David Byrne, in addition to his design work. Vince Welnick joined the Grateful Dead. In the 1990s, the band reformed (minus Bill Spooner) for Genius Of America, replacing Spooner with Richard Marx on songwriting duties, but the album was absolutely terrible. Today, the Tubes are still playing shows on the Oldies Circuit, and they have continued to release albums, but they're typically either live albums or greatest-hits packages. The last Tubes album to feature any new Tubes songs was Tubes World Tour 2001, which only had two new studio tracks -- both of which were better than anything on Genius Of America, but still cannot capture the spark the band had in the A&M days with Bill Spooner writing.

Trivia note: You can see Fee Waybill and Vince Welnick in the film Ladies And Gentlemen: The Fabulous Stains! as metal band "The Metal Corpses". They also appear in the Olivia Newton-John vehicle Xanadu.





Appears OnEdit



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Further ReadingEdit

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