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Fee Waybill

Fee Waybill (nee John Waldo) rose to fame, or at least notoriety, first as roadie then as frontman for San Fran crazies the Tubes. The indomitable Waybill created such outrageous stage personalities as druggy superstar Quay Lude and crippled Nazi Dr. Strangekiss. Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Waybill hooked up with founding Tubes Rick Anderson, Bill Spooner and Vince Welnick as they moved from an Arizona art school to a California cult following in 1972. The Tubes' insane stage act used risque theatrics and burlesque, and their debut, produced by Al Kooper, included the instantly unforgettable "White Punks on Dope." None of this absurdity appeased the label however, and A&M dumped the Tubes after their fifth release, the relatively tame Remote Control, also failed to hit big. Paradoxically, like most visual pioneers of the 70s (Alice Cooper, Kiss), the encroaching video age almost crushed the Tubes. The band dropped the soft-core backdrop and attempted to become a strait rock unit before signing to a new label. Bowing to commercial concessions, the Tubes did an about-face, teaming with uber-pop producer David Foster for The Completion Backward Principle (salesmanship methodology, natch) and Outside Inside. Though these LPs yielded some chart action, 85's Love Bomb fizzled and the Tubes separated. Waybill himself released a pair of solo records, and even turned up in Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure. In addition to rejoining the Tubes in the 90s, Waybill works often with Richard Marx, and supplied songs and production to Vixen, Gorky Park, and others.
© Whitney Z. Gomes /TiVo

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