Led by singer Fee Waybill –known for his classic characters, including the glam-rocking, stack-heeled Quay Lewd, the dangerous Mr. Hate or the gnarly punk parody Johnny Bugger –The Tubes released five albums on A&M Records, starting with the Al Kooper-produced self-titled debut in1975, which included “White Punks on Dope,” dubbed an absurd anthem of wretched excess” later covered by Motley Crue,German chanteuse Nina Hagen and most recently the Joe Elliot led Down-n-Outs, as well as set staple, “Mondo Bondage.”“What Do You Want from Life?”was yet another signature song for the band, a prescient satire of consumerism and celebrity culture that calls out Bob Dylan and Randy Mantooth along with “a herd of Winnebagos, we’re givin’em away”.
With the help of Kenny Ortega, they mounted the stage show for which they’re still known, using videos as part of the presentation long before MTV was born. After Young & Rich(1976), produced by Ken Scott (of Beatles fame) highlighted by the salacious “Don’t Touch Me There,” The Tubes released Now(1977), the live What Do You Want From Live(1978) and the concept album Remote Control(1979)their final album forA&M before leaving forCapitol Records. Their new label teamed them up with producer David Foster for the group’s most commercially successful (and radio-friendly) release to that point, with two hit singles in the power ballad, “Don’t Want to Wait Anymore” (their first to land in the Top 40 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart) and the now classicTop 10 Rock radio anthem, “Talk to Ya Later,”a collaboration between Fee, Foster and Toto guitarist Steve Lukather that was #1 in 17 countries.