The Tubes are one of the most underrated bands of the last 50 years.
Yes, the Tubes.
If you are a live stage musician in a rock and roll band you can instantly see why the Tubes delivered from the gut with next level musicianship and hutzpah.
They were this weird combination of something like Utopia blended with The Cars with the punk scene thrown in and brought it to the masses.
The live show was over the tops with orchestrated chaos from not only the band but all sorts of bit players who just materialized on stage.
The amazing thing to think about is in the late 70’s and early 80’s there was no hiding behind the modern production levels concerts have today. These guys have to actually play the music while running through the show, handle on-the-fly costume changes all while ripping through brute force 2 and 3 way guitar assemblies.
People tend to only think of them for their 80’s hits of ‘Talk To Ya Later” and “She’s a Beauty” but the true masterpiece song in my opinion hands down is White Punks on Dope.
White Punks on Dope, released by the Tubes in 1976, is a true masterpiece that seamlessly blends music and live theatrics.
The song’s lyrics tell the story of a group of wealthy, drug-addled teens who are trying to rebel against their privileged upbringing. The music is a perfect accompaniment to the lyrics, featuring a driving beat and a catchy guitar riff that perfectly captures the energy and chaos of the story.
From the first power chords of the song you know you’re in for a cathartic beating. That leads into the slower thematic riff, only to then rip straight into a sort of Meatloaf style rock and roll.
The middle section of the song comes with the heavenly ascending choral section while Fee Waybill screams W.P.O.D. surrounded by a collection of oddball collection Rocky Horror Picture Show style characters.
But it’s Fee’s Qway Lewd character’s shoes that deliver. You can also see (I think) where Dee Snider got his look.
See the video, you’re gonna love it.
This is a real band putting on a real show — analog style.
That takes skill.
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