Rick Anderson - bass, vocals; Michael Cotten - synthesizers; Mingo Lewis - percussion, vocals; Prairie Prince - drums; Bill Spooner - guitar, vocals; Roger Steen - guitar, vocals; Re Styles - vocals; Fee Waybill - vocals; Vince Welnick - keyboards; Guest: Aynsley Dunbar - drums; Guest: Dick Bright - guitar, vocals on tracks 8 & 9
Dust off your imagination and buckle the fuck up—the Tubes are gonna pump the weirdness directly into your face whether you like it or not. With this cavalcade of characters, prepare for everything you've ever known to be obliterated, new wave-style.
If Frank Zappa directed community theatre, he may have come up with something as outrageous as the Tubes' thrift store satire. Ridiculous costumes, elaborate choreography, and a band capable of mastering and skewering any genre of popular music made this revue the premier live spectacle of the mid-to-late 1970s. Naturally, these antics proved nearly impossible to capture in the studio, but their on-stage reputation makes it difficult to deny their significance, then or now.
Captured here during an incredible series of concerts leading up to the close of the Winterland in '78, the Tubes play like the building is being demolished around them that very night. A warm introduction from Bill Graham precedes opening favorite "What Do You Want from Life," which quickly dissolves into a late night info-mercial routine. From there, the band wastes no time featuring material from their then-forthcoming, Todd Rundgren-produced concept record, Remote Control, while still making enough room for crowd-pleasers like "Mondo Bondage" and "White Punks On Dope."
1979 would prove to be a tumultuous year, even for a group so well versed in chaos as the Tubes. Upon its release, Remote Control continued a commercially disappointing trend and the band was dropped from their label. Though they would sign a new deal and enjoy the greatest success of their career in the coming decade, the close of the '70s was a time undoubtedly fraught with uncertainty for Fee and his cohorts. But here they are, at the threshold of the unknown, as a bleak era wanes, fearlessly doing what they do best.