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 also done well working with the Foo Fighters, 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 SCTV, 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 had the pleasure of interviewing Fee Waybill about his upcoming gig at Los Angeles hotspot The Whisky on December 20th and why he loves Los Angeles. More on Fee Waybill and The Tubes can be found online by visiting their website at www.thetubes.com.
You’re not originally from California, but what is it that keeps you based out here with extensive ties to Phoenix and San Francisco?
Fee Waybill: I grew up in Arizona and my brother still lives there but all I could think about when I was a teenager was music and California was where the music was. My friends and I used to drive to L.A. on the weekend to see bands. I saw The Doors at the Avalon Ballroom in 1967. I moved to San Francisco in 1969 as a roadie for Roger Steen’s band because it was a way to be closer to live music. The rest is a mystery. I moved to L.A. in ’89 to find a place to park and I’ve been here ever since. My wife’s family is here and it’s feels like home to me now.
Do you have a favorite venue to play live in Los Angeles?
Fee Waybill: We played the Greek Theatre last September and it was great. We’re playing The Whisky this month, 42 years later — pretty cool.
Do you have a favorite restaurant in Los Angeles?
Fee Waybill: Dan Tana’s.
Where does Los Angeles rank on your “favorite cities” list?
Fee Waybill: I think it’s number 1 for me, right in front of London and New York City.
Finally, Fee, any New Year’s resolutions for 2020?
Fee Waybill: To be authentic! On every level.