The Tubes “White Punks on Dope”

“White Punks on Dope”

We happen to live down the street from a old run down shopping center that is mostly empty like lots of shopping centers in America. The owner of the shopping center wants to tear down the center and build apartments and to make a long story short he does nothing to fix, upgrade or stop the kids from doing what they want there. For sake of argument we will call the kids “Square Rats”. The Square Rats pretty much do what ever they want over there, deal drugs, do drugs, burn outs and lighting big loud firecrackers without much worry about the police. A few days ago my daughter comes home and tells me that I got to see something. She found a picture on some social media site were three of the “square rats” (who all happened to be white) had matching tattoos of the square sign on there legs. WTF, now if that isn’t White Punks on Dope because only a dope would do something like that.
Now White Punks on Dope isn’t my favorite Tubes tune and they are the type band were you love them or hate them but lets face it back in the 70’s they put on one hell of a live show playing this song and other hits like “What Do You Want From Life” and “Don’t Touch Me There”.
White Punks on Dope was written by the two guitar players Bill Spooner, Roger Steen and Michael Evans.
I love Michael Cotten’s synthesizer in the beginning 30 seconds. Not to much, just a few well times sounds here and there to help set the tone of the song. Then we get that distinct Fee Waybill sound:
“Teenage had a race for the night time
Spent my cash on every high I could find
Wasted time in every school in L.A.
Getting loose, I didn’t care what the kids say”
The rhythm section begins with drummer Prairie Prince and bass guitar player Rick Anderson who both happen to still be in the group today along with Steen and Waybill. Then on keyboards we had the late Vince Welnick who also had a run with The Grateful Dead in the 90’s and last doing all the string and horn arrangements was American composer, arranger, and jazz accordionist Dominic Frontiere. So I give you…
“We’re white punks on dope
Mom & Dad live in Hollywood
Hang myself when I get enough rope
Can’t clean up, though I know I should
White punks on dope
White punks on dope”


16 thoughts on “The Tubes “White Punks on Dope”

  1. Back in the early ’80’s saw the Tubes at the Santa Monica Civic. They did a great show and of course finished off with “What do you want …” & WPOD. But the first run of WPOD was a R& B version that was just awesome. Would have been totally satisfied if that was it but just a Fee finished off the soulful final lines (stage dark, spot on piano) the power chord hit. The brightest lights known to mankind smaked the audience in the face and the place came unglued. Truly on of the finest concerts I have ever seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Saw The Tubes in their prime up on the Strip and at the Santa Monica Civic AND they still perform regularily at the local Canyon Club. A very energetic entertaining rockin’ group with an all-around great fun debut album and WPOD – a great anthem to rep 1975.

    Liked by 1 person

    • 00 your right about this being a anthem tune back in the days. About still doing shows I was surprised to see that when I was on there web site. There even playing up here in Sausalito in a couple weeks but not on a day that I can go. Seeing them in there prime must have a great time.


  3. I kept thinking, “Or, a baby’s arm holding an apple.” But that’s some other song of theirs. I remember once a long time ago, comedian Sandra Bernhardt was a guest on the old Letterman show. As she entered, the band played “Don’t Touch Me There.” She loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim what little I know about Sandra it doesn’t surprise me that she loved it. And by the way thanks for the write up you did on the PROG ROCK band Pray For Sound. I’m still enjoying the CD that I bought.


  4. i like this song, album, band. They were on SCTV way back doing the ‘Gil Fisher Show : The Fishin’ Musician’. Funny bit. (That’s a piss off to have that shit happen in your neighborhood. Pipe in some soft rock from the 70’s that might get rid of them).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Classic song (and great album) that doesn’t get a lot of attention. Glad you mentioned Dominic Frontiere, who did the great scores for the cult sci-fi/horror show “The Outer Limits,” one of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    • When doing the post and looking up Dominic Frontiere it blew me away how many scores that he has done. Glad you mention that he did “The Outer Limits” because that was a great show.


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