Fee Waybill just turned 71, but he still wears the same 18-inch stiletto heels he’s been wearing on stage for over 40 years.
They’re right now at the shoe repair shop buying new zippers and soles in preparation for his band’s upcoming concerts, where he’ll don them before performing as a drunken, coked glam-rocker at the Canyon Club. of Agoura. Hills and Montclair in early October.
“Oh yeah, these are the same boots I’ve had since 1980, had them fixed a few times,” said Waybill, the frontman of pioneering glam rock and theatrical rock group The Tubes.
Formed in San Francisco in 1973, The Tubes mixed their parody-focused rock songs with outrageous live art shows typically comprised of a dozen people on stage, including barely dressed dancers and costumed roadies. who often featured unspeakable body parts alongside Waybill’s many personalities on stage, like the punk parody Johnny Bugger and a country singer named Hugh Heifer.
But the star of the show was Quay Lewd, a drugged British pop star who wore stiletto heels and often stumbled and fell onto the stage in those high heels as part of the show.
“It was parodies, it was sarcasm, it was satire,” Waybill said of his various characters on stage.
“It’s more than just a band, it’s performance art. We just loved the theatrical part of it. It was just fun, ”Waybill said. “We had dancers, we had sets, he had a choreographer. It was like every song was a thumbnail. Each song had costumes and props and a whole story that we were trying to portray through the music and the visual, ”he said.
While the band garnered a lot of attention for their theater, the music was also memorable as the band produced hits like “She’s A Beauty”, “White Punks on Dope”, “Talk To Ya Later” and “Don ‘ t Want to Wait Plus. “
The Tubes have toured the world, performing alongside bands such as the New York Dolls, Iggy Pop and Led Zeppelin.
But it wasn’t easy to keep that kind of theatrical momentum going year after year, so feeling a bit exhausted, the group broke up in 1988, Waybill said.
“And then about six years later, we got back together without such a massive production and I think the music got a lot more important and we did a couple more albums,” he said.
But that doesn’t mean the theater is gone for good.
“I think now it’s a kind of performance art that’s also split between the theatrical and the musical side,” Waybill said.
Waybill also recently released a solo album titled “Fee Waybill Rides Again”, which was produced by longtime collaborator and his best friend Richard Marx.
“It’s a classic 80s rock album, very guitar-oriented. It’s an uptempo rock album, pretty straightforward, ”Waybill said.
The Tubes’ current lineup includes some of the original four, including Waybill, drummer Prairie Prince, guitarist Roger Steen and bassist Rick Anderson as well as longtime keyboardist David Medd.
For future concerts, the band will perform their 1981 album “The Completion Backward Principle” in its entirety.
“The Canyon Club at Agoura Hills is sort of our original club. We have played it several times, so it will be very special for us, ”he said.
The album is a parody of corporate rock, so for the first part of the show, the band will play the role of respectable corporate Americans dressed in gray suits.
But they’ll be playing their other hits as well and while it’s not as wild as it was in their prime, Waybill will still be making several costume changes during the show and yes, he’ll stumble on stage as Quay Lewd in his stiletto heels recently. renovated.
Don’t expect scantily clad dancers or dramatic drops on stage from Waybill.
“I used to fall on purpose because Quay Lewd was just too drunk to stand, but I don’t fall on purpose much anymore, not at 71,” he said.
Agoura Hills: October 1 at 8:00 p.m., The Canyon Club, 28912 Roadside Drive. $ 28- $ 68 for general admission. 888-645-5006 or wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com
Montclair: 8 p.m. October 2 Le Canyon Club, 5060 EN Montclair Plaza Lane. $ 28- $ 58 for general admission. 888-645-5006 or wheremusicmeetsthesoul.com.