BD: Fee, a big thank you for taking time out of your tour schedule to chat with Bluesdoodles. Ahead of your 12 nights tour across the UK with The Tubes on your Mondo Pulp Tour. Check out the venues and dates HERE
BD: What were your early musical influences that led to your brand of rock and roll that shocks and mixes up the styles.
Fee: My early influences, everything! From Beatles, Hendrix and the more unusual Captain Beefheart, Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention. Jazz, Rock, Stones, Zep. We listened to everything such a varied array, including James Brown this led to music that would always be varied. We include R&B; Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock in the set this time there is even a cowboy song! We listened to everything nothing was out-of-bounds we were interested in all forms of music. We bring to the music all interests and experiences, I was a Theatre Major, Prairie and Mike are artists and Bill Spooner’s the guitarist blues. These influences melded together creating the depth and variety of The Tubes.
BD: Following on do you think it is the depth & width of creative resources used that has given The Tubes music its longevity that keeps filling venues across the world?
Fee: Yes, combined with The Tubes satirising the trends of the day whether that was Punk Rock, Glam Rock, or Formulaic Rock like Bon Jovi. We thought about it created stage persona making the show both visually interesting and a way of expressing our parody. An example of this is British Glam Rock Quay Lewd, reflecting examples in the real world David Johansen, New York Dolls and the gimmicks that bands have to do to get attention.
BD: The Tubes were a niche cult band with performances being banned back in the 1970’s when they toured England; The Tubes creating a media. Then you created songs that got radio play why the change of direction?
Fee: Yes, we were a niche band with a following but we were not making the record label A&M any money. After five albums the production cost was not re-cooped. The Tubes were not receiving radio play so they let us go. Moved to Capitol basically the same and if you don’t get radio play we will have to let you go. Producer David Foster – he helped us do that with tracks from the album being radio friendly. Some said we had sold out but music, it is a business you have got to make money. The truth is the quality of the songs and songwriting was not any less valid. We started out with topless girls you can get away with it in San Francisco but not in Kansas or Missouri, in the real world do that and you get banned. On the tour to England we got banned by reputation, the media exaggerated saying we were having live sex on stage – we never did that it was bollocks, we had tits. Why would that be a problem in England where there are tits every day on page three? The fathers of Portsmouth decided in their wisdom to ban us, then the media storm, exaggeration sells papers and that is the business they are in. We didn’t care as it sold us more tickets for the next show.
BD: Tell the fans old and new who are in the current Tubes line-up and what can the fans expect in the show in the current UK tour.
Our current line-up is four of the original Tubes, myself on lead vocals, guitarist Roger Steen, Rick Anderson on bass and Prairie Prince behind the drums. Joining the quartet is David Medd on the keyboards. We have a new show for this tour. We try to do something different each time we hit the road. Last year when we visited the UK it was about creating Film Noir, 1940’s Black & White. We have moved on much more colourful, homage to Quentin Tarantino and Pulp Fiction with two songs from the soundtrack in the set list. The whole show evokes pulp art era. The weird and colourful magazines outrageous fiction, monsters, superheroes and cowboys. Lots of songs being played live for the first time including Golden Boy. There is also a Marlon Brandon character Johnny from The Wild Ones. Stella a track evoking Street Car Named Desire. We surround the new unheard music with White Punks On Dope; She’s A Beauty and others that people respond to and definitely want to hear every time. From Remote Control album and being played live for the first time since 1979 will be Loves A Mystery. We sit down rehearse what kind of thing we want to do, try it out. The Monkey Time has never been played live before except as a duo, this time I am doing both parts. We open with lots of dance numbers to get the crowds going including a James Brown medley. Changing the show for each tour is why people keep coming back giving us longevity?
BD: If you were putting together the perfect band with members from across the years (dead or alive) who would you have playing
Without a moment hesitation Fee knew as he said I have the band. Yes easy to say love to have Jimi Hendrix, but he was a drug addict or Keith Moon on drums, he was an alcoholic and Prairie is a better drummer. How can you trade-in forty years of playing together.
Check out the dates and venues – many are SOLD OUT so get your tickets soon.
The Mondo Pulp tour is a fantastic tribute to the Pulp Art era. The material will be different but the band promise to perform all the hits and fan favourites – What Do You Want From Life?, Mondo Bondage, Amnesia, Sushi Girl, Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore, Talk To Ya Later, She’s A Beauty and White Punks On Dope.
THE TUBES – MONDO PULP 2016 The Mondo Pulp tour is a fantastic tribute to the Pulp Art era. The material will be different but the band promise to perform all the hits and fan favourites – What Do You Want From Life?, Mondo Bondage, Amnesia, Sushi Girl, Don’t Wanna Wait Anymore, Talk To Ya Later, She’s A Beauty and White Punks On Dope.
MONDO PULP 2016 UK TOUR
WEDNESDAY 12 OCTOBER: PLYMOUTH THE HUB
TICKETS: £27.50 (INC. BOOKING FEE)
BOOK ONLINE: ENTS24 / BOX OFFICE: 0844 412 4642
VENUE: 07538 797 648