Interviews

Published on November 20th, 2019 | by Darren Paltrowitz

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The Tubes’ Fee Waybill On Upcoming Tour Dates, Favorite Tubes Deep Cuts & More

As led by singer Fee Waybill since 1972, The Tubes have scored plenty of hit songs, including “She’s A Beauty,” “Talk To Ya Later,” “White Punks On Dope” and “Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore.” Waybill has experienced further acclaim in working with the Foo Fighters, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Kenny Loggins, Vixen and Richard Marx, beyond appearing in Xanadu and Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

One of the first theatrical rock bands, The Tubes have been innovators in every sense. In turn, they are the rare sort of band that would have played theme parks, had an MTV concert special, opened for Led Zeppelin, appeared on the SCTV‘s TV show, and also appeared in Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. In other words, with The Tubes, it’s always been a mix of pop and the avant-garde.

I spoke with Fee Waybill by phone on October 21, 2019 and again interviewed him by e-mail during the week of November 20, 2019. Upcoming tour dates include Hartford, CT’s Infinity Music Hall on December 13th, Westbury, NY’s The Space At Westbury Theater on December 15th, Nashville, TN’s Ryman Auditorium on January 23rd and Waukegan, IL’s Genesee Theatre on January 25th.

More on Fee Waybill and The Tubes can be found online at www.thetubes.com.

With some bands the hits are undoubtedly the best songs. But with The Tubes there are also great deep cuts. What are some of the songs from the catalog you wish more people knew?

Fee Waybill: From The Complete Backwards Principle: “Amnesia” and “Sushi Girl.” From Outside Inside: “Tip Of My Tongue” and “Monkey Time.” From Genius Of America: “How Can You Live With Yourself.” From Young & Rich: “Hit Parade.”

I love the bizarre Ric Ocasek cover of “White Punks On Dope” from Fear Of A Black Hat. Do you have favorite cover of a Tubes original?

Fee Waybill: There is a new cover of “White Punks” by [Def Leppard singer] Joe Elliot’s solo band, The Down ‘N Outz, that is really great!

Is there a Tubes career accomplishment you are most proud of?

Fee Waybill: I think just the fact that we’ve been together for 45 years and we’re better than ever.

You have been a working artist for all of your professional life, as far as I’m aware. Did you envision it that way from the beginning?

Fee Waybill: No, I was just a hippie from Arizona and my life evolved in ways I could never have imagined, but I did dream of being a singer in a band.

What does 2020 look like for you and/or The Tubes?

Fee Waybill: It looks busy. We just signed with Wolfson Entertainment, a Live Nation management company, and are planning a big summer tour. I just finished another solo album that I’m very proud of and want to perform solo, and I have a book almost done. The band is working on new material also.

Finally, Fee, any last words for the kids?

Fee Waybill: Don’t give up on your dreams. Imagination creates reality.


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About the Author

is a New York resident (and Long Island native) with over 15 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. In the years following, he worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer.Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World, TheStreet.com, Format Magazine, Businessweek, The Improper, the L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal. He has been a member of the SATW and the IFWTWA organizations as a food and travel writer.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host the recently-launched "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" podcast, as co-produced with PureGrainAudio.


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