Over a quarter century before Lady Gaga, the Tubes brought spectacle on a grand scale to the rock and roll stage.
In 1975 the band released a self-titled debut album including the hit single White Punks on Dope.
They won’t be appearing in a DARE commercial any time soon. At their peak the band had a stage show that featured a cast that included choreographed tap dancers and acrobats.
Other hits included: Don’t Touch Me There, Talk to Ya Later, She’s a Beauty, and What Do You Want From Life?
Based in San Francisco, they fit a concert appearance at Cal Poly into their touring schedule February 16, 1978. An estimated 2,200 fans saw a show unlike any other. Here is the story:
Tubes rock Poly gym
Featuring smoke, fire and dancing girls, the Tubes, a one-band rock and roll extravaganza performed at Cal Poly’s gymnasium Thursday night to a sea of pulsating fans.
From the antics of a video tape lean-in to songs to the elaborate skits and dancing routines, the Tubes held the audience’s rapt attention for over two hours.
Fee Waldo Waybill, the lead singer, donned everything from punk rock attire to Sam Spade overcoat and hat during a performance liberally laced with references to sex and four-letter words.
With a finale of their most popular song, “White Punks on Dope,” the Tubes left the gym to a thundering ovation.