More than three decades after the release of their debut A&M album in 1975, the Tubes have never received the recognition and attention from rock historians they truly deserve. They have always been a cutting edge band, and the best material in the Tubes' repertoire has been able to melt quirky humor, intricate musicianship, and radio friendly pop hooks into a memorable blend. They have always been known for putting on an incredible live show, spearheaded by front man Fee Waybill's vaudevillian stage charisma.
At the end of the day, however, the Tubes' "in-your-face" theatrics were their greatest virtue and their biggest liability—when the Tubes became trapped by an unprofitable stage show they had developed, they went barebones and decided to focus only on the music. Unfortunately, no one was all that interested. The indifference caused the breakup of the band in the mid-1980s, and though they tried to re-group in 1987 without Waybill, it wasn't until a new deal with BMG imprint Radikal Records in 1995 that the core line-up finally reformed.
This show was staged at Winterland in the band's hometown of San Francisco, a few months before the release of their self-titled debut album in June of 1975. There is no visual aid here, but it should provide a good idea of Waybill's over-the-top showmanship with a litany of characters (which included a drug-hazed rock star named Quay Lewd). This is a short set, clocking in at just under 30 minutes, but clearly demonstrates the vivacious onstage energy of the Tubes at an early point in their career.