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'Expect a freak-out, as usual'

  • The Tubes will be performing tomorrow night at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
    The Tubes will be performing tomorrow night at Penn's Peak in Jim Thorpe.
Published October 22. 2009 05:00PM

John Waybill, lead vocalist of The Tubes, is excited about playing at Penn's Peak tomorrow night.

"It's great," he said of the venue. "We always have a great meet-and-greet. It's one of our best meet-and-greets of all our shows."

He added, "This is the perfect place to go because the stage is big and people can get close. It's about the perfect venue for us."

He prefaced this with, "Expect a freak-out as usual."

The Tubes perform at 8 p.m. Opening for them will be NightWind. Tickets at the door are $20.

Waybill said The Tubes are primarily a weekend band, doing 20 to 30 shows a year, but have been performing for over 30 years.

In 1983, when they had the number one hit "She's A Beauty," the Tubes toured with David Bowie.

They headlined with Frank Zappa in England in the 70s.

More recently, they did a charity show with the Foo Fighters at Jay Leno's Love Ride, a motorcycle festival event in Los Angeles.

All members of The Tubes have other jobs. Waybill owns a commercial property development company in Los Angeles.

Two other members play in other bands and one member, Rick Anderson on bass, refurbishes and builds classic cars.

Waybill, in a phone interview from his home in California, said, "We have a brand new show that we never played at Penn's Peak. It's a very theatrical show with new characters."

The show relies on costume changes, he said.

He described the music by The Tubes as "kind of a classic rock, psychedelic, intellectual, freak-show rock. It's very high energy. We really know how to work a crowd and make everybody happy."

Waybill said because the band doesn't play every night, "We pick and choose our venues and we pick and choose our shows."

Asked how the band got its name, Waybill said, "We wanted something to be visually oriented. We were going to call the band the 'Boob Tube' but instead agreed on 'The Tubes'. We're a visual band with costumes, props, and outfits."

He said the performance by the band is "a group effort," adding, "I write most of the lyrics. We all come up with costume ideas. We make the set list so we have time to change clothes."

In addition to their own music, they integrate a few cover tunes, including songs by Frank Sinatra and James Brown.

He suggested that children not attend, stating, "as a general rule, it's not a family show. Normally we do an over-21 type show, although sometimes we do play casinos and fairgrounds. We are a San Francisco band."

The band formed in Phoenix, Ariz. but moved to San Francisco after landing a record deal. They produced such classic rock staples as "White Punks on Dope," "What Do You Want From Life," "Mondo Bondage," "Sushi Girl," and "Talk To Ya Later."

Tickets for The Tubes will be available at the door.

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