The Tubes Needle “White Punks On Dope” in 1974

Listen to the pioneering Bay Area satirists before their first album came out.

Music Features The Tubes
The Tubes Needle “White Punks On Dope” in 1974

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The Tubes were still working out their unique blend of underground comedy and rock music on the Bay Area scene when this very early and rare recording was originally broadcast on KSAN FM’s “Live From the Record Plant” series. Recorded on Nov. 21, 1974, almost a year before the release of their first album on A&M Records, it reveals the band as a work in progress. But the brash and powerful mix of cutting-edge musicianship and theatrical satire that would bring The Tubes to national attention are clearly here.

Spearheaded by lead vocalist Fee Waybill—and aided by director and choreographer Kenny Ortega, who would go on to work extensively with Michael Jackson—The Tubes would become one of the most talked-about live acts on the West Coast as a result of Waybill’s over-the-top showmanship and litany of characters, led by a drug-hazed rock star named Quay Lewd. Much of what was presented on this radio concert eventually made it to The Tube’s first album, including staple songs like “What Do You Want From Life?,” “Boy Crazy” and “White Punks On Dope.” The latter is a brazen satire of their overprivileged Bay Area fanbase.

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