Artist: The Tubes

White Punks on Dope ~ The Tubes

the-tubesThe Tubes are a San Francisco-based theater rock band, which were popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and were known for their live performances that combined lewd quasi-pornography and wild satires of media, consumerism and politics.

The Tubes is a collection of high school friends from Phoenix, Arizona. The Beans and The Red, White and Blues Band eventually merged after relocating to San Francisco in 1969. The core band membership remained largely intact for more than a decade: Fee Waybill (real name John Waldo Waybill) (vocals), Bill “Sputnik” Spooner (guitar, vocals), Roger Steen (guitar), Prairie Prince (real name Charles L. Prince) (drums), Michael Cotten (synthesizer), Vince Welnick (piano), and Rick Anderson (bass). Singer Re Styles (born Shirley Marie MacLeod) (vocals) and ex-Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis were also fixtures for much of the band’s early history.

Showbiz excess was a common theme of the band’s early work, with Waybill sometimes assuming the on-stage persona of Quay Lewd (a pun on Quaalude), a drunk, drugged-out, barely coherent lead singer, decked out with flashing glasses and impossibly tall platform shoes. “White Punks on Dope”, from their debut album, was an absurd anthem of wretched excess, and a tribute to their rich, white teenage fan base in San Francisco. The tune was covered (with different, non-translated German lyrics) by Nina Hagen as “TV Glotzer” (“Couch Potato”), the opening track of her band’s first album.

White Punks on Dope

The Tubes is the debut album of The Tubes. Songs from this album which received significant airplay include “What Do You Want From Life” and “White Punks On Dope”. The latter song peaked at number 28 on the UK singles chart.

The line “hang myself when I get enough rope” in the song “White Punks on Dope” later inspired the title of the 1978 album by The Clash, Give ‘Em Enough Rope

Teenage had a race for the night time
Spent my cash on every high I could find
Wasted time in every school in L.A.
Getting loose, I didn’t care what the kids say

We’re white punks on dope
Mom & Dad moved to Hollywood
Hang myself when I get enough rope
Can’t clean up, though I know I should
White punks on dope
White punks on dope

Other dudes are living in the ghetto
But born in Pacific Heights don’t seem much betto

We’re white punks on dope
Mom & Dad live in Hollywood
Hang myself when I get enough rope
I can’t clean up, though I know I should
White punks on dope
White punks on dope

I go crazy ’cause my folks are so fucking rich
Have to score when I get that rich white punk itch
Sounds real classy, living in a chateau
So lonely, all the other kids will never know

We’re white punks on dope
Mom & Dad live in Hollywood
Hang myself when I get enough rope
Can’t clean up, though I know I should
White punks on dope
White punks on dope

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  • Audio from the 1975 The Tubes album:

the-tubes album
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She’s a Beauty~ The Tubes

The Tubes are a San Francisco-based theatre rock band, which were popular in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and were known for their live performances that combined lewd quasi-pornography and wild satires of media, consumerism and politics.

The Tubes is a collection of high school friends from Phoenix, Arizona. The Beans and The Red, White and Blues Band eventually merged after relocating to San Francisco in 1969. The core band membership remained largely intact for more than a decade: Fee Waybill (real name John Waldo Waybill) (vocals), Bill “Sputnik” Spooner (guitar, vocals), Roger Steen (guitar), Prairie Prince (real name Charles L. Prince) (drums), Michael Cotten (synthesizer), Vince Welnick (piano), and Rick Anderson (bass). Singer Re Styles (born Shirley Marie MacLeod) (vocals) and ex-Santana percussionist Mingo Lewis were also fixtures for much of the band’s early history.

Showbiz excess was a common theme of the band’s early work, with Waybill sometimes assuming the on-stage persona of Quay Lewd (a pun on Quaalude), a drunk, drugged-out, barely coherent lead singer, decked out with flashing glasses and impossibly tall platform shoes. “White Punks on Dope”, from their debut album, was an absurd anthem of wretched excess, and a tribute to their rich, white teenage fan base in San Francisco. The tune was covered (with different, non-translated German lyrics) by Nina Hagen as “TV Glotzer” (“Couch Potato”), the opening track of her band’s first album.

She’s a Beauty

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Step right up and don’t be shy
Because you will not believe your eyes
She’s right here, behind the glass
You’re gonna like her
‘Cause she’s got class

You can look inside another world
You get to talk to a pretty girl
She’s everything you dream about

(But don’t fall in love)
She’s a beauty
(She’s one in a million girl)
She’s a beauty
(Why would I lie)
Why would I lie

You can say anything you like
But you can’t touch the merchandise
She’ll give you ev’ry penny’s worth
But it will cost you a dollar first

You can step outside your little world
(Step outside)
You can talk to a pretty girl
She’s everything you dream about

(But don’t fall in love)
She’s a beauty
(She’s one in a million girl)
One in a million girl
(Why would I lie)
Why would I lie

(But don’t fall in love)
If you do you’ll find out
She don’t love you
(She’s one in a million girl)
One in a million girl
(Why would I lie)
Now why would I lie

(Step outside your world)

(But don’t fall in love)
She’s a beauty
(She’s one in a million girl)
One in a million girl
(Why would I lie)
Now why would I lie

(But don’t fall in love)
If you do you’ll find out
She don’t love you
(She’s one in a million girl)
One in a million girl
(Why would I lie)
Why would I lie

(But don’t fall in love)
(She’s one in a million girl)
(Why would I lie)

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