Ridgefield Goes Tubular!

text & photos by John A. Wilcox

Back in 1972, the members of the fictional band Jesus Bongo And The Millionaires had no clue that most of them would still be playing together around the world in 2014. Jesus Bongo And The Millionaires were in fact the Tubes in disguise. Albums like Young And Rich, Remote Control, and The Completion Backward Principle and songs like She's A Beauty, White Punks On Dope, and Talk To Ya Later found their way into hearts and minds the world over.

4 founding Tubes: vocalist Fee Waybill; guitarist Roger Steen; bassist Rick Anderson; drummer Prairie Prince - have been joined by keyboardist David Medd since 1996. Prince has drummed with everyone from Todd Rundgren to XTC to Chuck Prophet and back. His current side project is called Whograss - an ensemble playing classic Who songs in the bluegrass style. Recent years have seen the expanded remasters of 3 classic Tubes albums: Remote Control, The Completion Backward Principle, and Outside Inside All 3 are packed with bonus material. Remote Control includes tracks from The Black Album (also known to diehard fans as Suffer For Sound. The album was recorded in 1980 and rejected by their label at the time - A&M records. 1 track: Drivin' All Night - was included on the compilation album T.R.A.S.H. (Tubes Rarities And Smash Hits). No other tracks have surfaced officially until the new Remote Control remaster. The Ridgefield crowd gets a true bonus, as Prairie Prince told Progsheet: We are doing a track from The Black Album on this tour called Rat Race. (Former Tubes keyboardist) Mike Cotten did the music to it. Rat Race, in fact, still remains unreleased to this very day!

Speaking of Mike Cotten, he continues to work on The Tubes Project - a DVD/blu-ray bio of the band to be called White Punks On Dope with full participation of band members past and present. It promises to be packed with live performances dating back to the earliest days of the band. One of the more infamous aspects of the Tubes is most assuredly their live show. Wild sets, props, and a stable of unforgettable Fee Waybill characters from Russell Chaps to Fee B Brown to Quay Lewd bring the songs to life! Asked about the theme for this tour, Prince elaborated: It's a sort of "noir" theme. Crime stuff. Fee's doing some characters like Sam Spade meets Peter Lorre - a Maltese Falcon kind of thing. American noir. The dark side of the Tubes! A whip-tight quintet, the Tubes always deliver a high energy genre defying set. The show in Ridgefield will be no exception. Thrills, danger, and most likely a baby's arm holding an apple. What more do you want from life?!?

Join in the madness!
The Tubes
Sunday, July 13, 8 PM
The Ridgefield Playhouse
80 East Ridge
Ridgefield, CT 06877


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