C86 Show - Indie Pop

The Tubes with Prairie Prince

June 13, 2020

The Tubes with Prairie Prince in conversation with David Eastaugh

The Tubes formed in 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, Frank Martinez, Scott Hornbeck and Bob Macintosh. 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 sweeping floors in between Beans shows at the Longshoremen's Hall and other minor venues. The band's loud, heavy jamming style didn't attract attention, and the band needed to go back home to Phoenix. There they would sell out shows, which provided enough money to pay their rent. The Beans' manager and former Alice Cooper Group drummer, John Speer, suggested they add Prince and Steen along with their roadie John Waybill to one of these shows. Waybill's nickname among the band was "Fee," short for "Fiji," thanks to his copious head of hippie hair.