The Tubes: Beautifully Rebellious
By Melissa and Wes Anderson (ROCKwellUnScene.com)
Photography: Rockwell Anderson Media
Posted 5/13/13 11:48 PM EST
It is not very often that you get to see legends on stage and take a quick trip back in time, but when The Tubes took the stage at M-15 in Corona, CA, that is what happened. However, they were not the only band to grace the stage this night. Warming up the stage for the headliners, the West Coast Rock School band Shot in the Dark opened the evening with three songs performed by kids 17 & under that had all in attendance on their feet and wanting more, followed by The Sedans who've been playing together since 1983 and kept the party going with a tremendous Classic Rock set.
The Tubes have a long and colorful past, starting in the San Francisco bay area in 1973. In a way, they were Punk before Punk, or at least that is how I and others have described them. Thanks to the M-15 (the House of Blues of the Inland Empire) it was a great night for fans who wanted to see great new/young talent mixed with Legends whose songs they could sing along to. This all ages show not only let fans that have followed the band since the start to see them on stage, but a whole new generation of people of young Rock fans also.
If you are not familiar with The Tubes, here is a quick history. The Band got its start in San Franscico in 1973. The hit "White Punks on Dope", off their first album, The Tubes, was a single and one of their best known hits. In 1973 the Tubes Opened for the New York Dolls at the Matrix, Iggy Pop at Bimbos, and Led Zeppelin at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco.
In 1977 the band held residency at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco for one month, the Whisky a Go Go nightclub in Los Angeles for two shows a night for one month, and Hammersmith Odeon in London for a week. In 1979 the Tubes played Japan and members Cotten/Welnick/Prince/and Styles appeared on a Japanese soap opera. The Tubes also appeared in Andy Warhol's Interview magazine. In 1983 the band opened several dates for David Bowie on the "Serious Moonlight" tour and on this tour, among other highlights, they were the first artists to ever play the newly opened Tacoma Dome in Tacoma, Washington. At the end of the Bowie tour, they played a few shows featuring their classic no-holds-barred theatrics in Portland, Oregon, and other West-coast cities.
is just a few of the bands highlights (source: The Tubes Fabebooke
page About). There is so much that the band has done it is hard to
compress into one quick snap shot, but since I have to, I would say
the Tubes were pioneers in Punk and they did not even know it. They
used their music to voice their view on media and politics.
Now that you have seen a quick resume of The Tubes, here is what you get when you go to a show; a SHOW! The lead singer (John Waldo Waybill) has several characters he becomes during the set. They include,"Quay Lewd" (a Punk on Quaaludes) who is a drunk, drugged out, barely coherent lead singer, wearing flashing glasses and stilt-like tall platform shoes and a whiskey bottle in his tights, among other accessories. The band builds a story through-out their set and with each character the story changes. I had the rare chance to see this in person and I was amazed at the amount of energy, and showmanship on display at this concert. I have seen a lot of bands, over 170 so far this year, and I have to put this show in the top 10 for the pure history, and the fact that after all these years the band still rocks it on stage as hard as ever. The crowd at the M-15 had an intimate night with a legendary band, and that's one of the key elements to a great show.