On this episode of The Fred Minnick Show, musician, actor and producer Fee Waybill joins in. Waybill was front man for 1970s-1980s hitmakers The Tubes and also worked with artists such as Toto, Richard Marx and Bryan Adams. He also has appeared on television and film, including a cameo in “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.” He sits down with Fred to talk about his diverse career, getting back to touring, the band’s reputation for being over the top and, of course, he tastes some bourbon.
- Chapin and Gore Vintage (06:10)
- 291 Colorado Whiskey (19:33)
- Barrell Bourbon 15 Year Old (53:14)
- Diplomatico Rum (1:06:00)
Fred and Fee talk about a wide variety of things, such as:
- They start with the Chapin and Gore whiskey from the 1970s, which is around the time when The Tubes were just bursting onto the music landscape.
- Fred gives Fee a quick education on what bourbon is versus whiskey.
- Fee talks about performing in the early days, telling the story of his stage manager Chopper always having a joint rolled and ready for him when he walked off stage. When he started drinking, it began with Jack Daniel’s. These days, it’s single malt Scotch whisky.
- Fred asks about Fee’s on-camera chemistry with David Letterman. Turns out Fee knew Letterman’s girlfriend, who was a huge fan of The Tubes.
- They move to the 291 Colorado Whiskey, and Fee immediately exclaims, “Oh, it’s hot!” But his taste buds quickly acclimate.
- Talk turns to the inability for artists to make money from streaming. “The only way we can make money these days is by live performance and selling merchandise,” Fee says. Of course, the pandemic wiped out most of that income.
- Fee talks about the timeline of The Tubes, which broke up in the 1980s, but got back together in 1994. They’re still together, although they haven’t played a live show since January 2020, thanks to covid. Plans are in the works for live shows later this summer.
- Fee recalls when the band “ruled” San Francisco, back in the days when they would put topless girls onstage to dance during shows. In Kansas City, they had to play under a $10,000 “obscenity bond.” But fee insists there was no truth to the rumors of live sex onstage.
- He talks about meeting Richard Marx and about recording the Tubes’ hit “She’s a Beauty.” The two became good friends, and Fee has written many songs with him. Much of their work culminated in a Fee Waybill solo album.
- The Barrell Bourbon is broken out, but Fee admits he’s “Pretty much done already.” The high-proof Colorado Whiskey tends to do that.
- Then Fee starts talking about Pavarotti and a duet he did with James Brown. Pavarotti sang his part in Italian, and the Tubes ended up performing a parody of it.
- Fred goes to the subject of Fee’s acting career, and Fee says he is “obsessed” with making it to Broadway. Specifically, he wants to play the part of the King in “Hamilton.” He then tells the story of being cast as Frankfurter in a production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
- Fee’s dog Daisy makes a brief appearance.
- They go to the final pour, Diplomatico rum.
- Fee picks the Barrell Bourbon as his favorite of the session.