Take a look at the picture above. This has to be my favourite of all my coloured vinyl records. I went to see the tubes in 1979, but you’ll know that if you were reading yesterday. The Tubes were a great theatrical band and they were promoting Remote Control, a concept album about a TV obsessed person who, after being rejected by the real world, commits telecide (or something). From memory they performed the whole album and then did all the old favourites like the Quay Lewd segment, Smoke and Don’t Touch Me There etc.
The concert coincided with the European Cup final between Nottingham Forest and Malmo (from Sweden). There was one part of the show where a working TV was rolled onto the stage and we could see the match was on. While Fee Waybill was trying to perform this part of the show (fortunately not a singing part) he became aware of shouting in the audience. “What’s the score!!?” Fee handled it like a pro “I don’t know. I’ll find out for you” (in those days they didn’t display the current score in the top left corner) “uh, it’s one zero to Nottingham!” Cue cheers from the audience.
But I digress. You older readers will remember that the Tubes were a big live draw in the late 70s but their records were sometimes disappointing and sold poorly. Remote Control is the album where they got everything right. Good songs, a concept that leant itself to theatrical presentation and brilliant Todd Rundgren production that improved the harmonies and made the synthesisers more prominent. Prime Time reached #34 on the UK chart in 1979. As a bonus I’ve also included the Phil Spector-ish studio version of Don’t Touch Me There from 1976.
mp3: The Tubes - Prime Time
mp3: The Tubes - Don't Touch Me There
Buy The Tubes here and here