Reprised fun and frolics from Fee, Prairie and the girls

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The Tubes – Now

San Franciscan rock satirists The Tubes actually pulled in some heavyweight support as they camped out in ’70s America. Drawing a fan club that included Captain Beefheart, Larry Graham, Stanley “Acid Lab Rat” Owsley III, and Frank Zappa, this theatrical circus version of Steely Dan didn’t equal the successes of their “White Punks On Dope” again. But the core musicianship of Roger Steen, Bill Spooner and eventual Dead pianist Vince Welnick ensured that “Hit Parade” and “I’m Just A Mess” maintained a glossy, slick momentum, despite the best excesses of Fee Waybill and sexy Re Styles. With songs pitched in by Ron Nagle, Scott Matthews and Lee Hazlewood, Now(originally released in 1977) still sounds surprisingly classy.