The Tubes are a San Francisco-based rock band. Their eponymous 1975 debut album included the single "White Punks on Dope," while their 1983 single "She's a Beauty" was a top-10 U.S. hit and its music video was frequently played in the early days of MTV.
The Tubes formed on March 22, 1972, in San Francisco, California, featuring members from two Phoenix, Arizona, bands who had relocated to San Francisco in 1969. One, The Beans, included Bill Spooner, Rick Anderson, Vince Welnick and Bob McIntosh. The other, the Red White and Blues Band, featured Prairie Prince, Roger Steen, and David Killingsworth. After performing at Expo '70 in Japan, Killingsworth left the Red, White and Blues Band, leaving Steen and Prince to audition new bass players, albeit unsuccessfully. Before moving to San Francisco the Beans had been a local favorite in Phoenix, selling out shows with a tongue-in-cheek concept rock show called "The Mother of Ascension" featuring costumes and props. After moving, Bill Spooner worked at the Fillmore West concert hall sweeping floors in between Beans shows at the Longshoremen's Hall and other minor venues. The band's loud, heavy jamming style did not attract much attention, and the band needed to go back home to Phoenix.
In 1974, Bag O' Bucks filmed a Tubes show at the California Hall and shopped the "video demo" around Los Angeles. George Daly, Columbia Records head of A&R in San Francisco, made some Tubes demos, but CBS' corporate headquarters in New York City would not agree to signing the Tubes to Columbia due to the radical nature of their art. After 18 months, with no success at his own label, Daly, at the suggestion of Rick Wakeman, finally pitched the group to competitor A&M Records, where his former Columbia East Coast A&R colleague and friend, Kip Cohen, had recently headed the A&R division. Daly personally flew managers Moriarity and Petersen down to LA, and Cohen signed the Tubes to A&M, a rare example of cross-company support by major label executives. Working with lawyer Greg Fischbach, the band signed with A&M Records.