by Ross CAT

by Ross CAT

Fee Waybill and The TUBES
CLUB PARADISE: Thursday April 12th

  GENIUS OF AMERICA….While the earth may rotate on it’s axis, it’s the spin of the multi-media that makes it go round. Satirist like Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert devilishly dish out the daily data as the duo oscillate the headlines to the craving masses.
    Although technological advancements have taken parody to a new level this concept has been appearing at a Rock and Roll venue near you for decades. The stage has always been a platform for artists to convey their message through site and sound. Long before the plight of PINK FLOYD would be determined; pigs would fly in protest over stadiums worldwide. The early eighties would see the dawn of MTV, one of the bands that would thrive on stage and in that medium would be THE TUBES.
    Led by avant-garde front man FEE WAYBILL the TUBES live performances are that of legend, including a visit to the Century Theater here in Buffalo way back when. The TUBES entourage of performers and props would give a summer carnival caravan a run for its money.
  WAYBILL who studied theater would sink his acting chops into the characters that would be created from within the bands music. Born would be personas like, Quay Lewd the second coming of BOWIE’SZiggy Stardust; the crafty vocalist would transform himself into the role of the excessive rocker wrapped around the TUBES 1977 hit “White Punks on Dope”. Other memorable charters who channeled through the zany antics of WAYBILL are Dr. Strangekiss and Hugh Heifer to name just a few more. Check out the bands website @ for an interesting detailed history of the mad-cap mayhem of THE TUBES.
    Although the band gained their notoriety early on with their fanciful live performances; it would be their work as well respected session’s players that would catapult them into the billboard charts in the early eighties with the classic tracks “Talk to ya Later”, and the 1983 smash hit “She’s a Beauty”.
    Masterfully supporting enigmatic singer WAYBILL would be guitarists Roger Steen and Bill Spooner, bassist Rick Anderson, original keyboardist Michael Cotton followed by the late Vince Welnick who would go on to tour with the THE GRATEFUL DEAD,  last and most certainly not least drummer extraordinaire Prairie Prince who has most recently spent time steering the NEW CARS.
    The classic rock showman are on the road again this summer on their “What Do You Want From Live” tour which comes to Blasdell this Thursday April 12, at CLUB PARADISE. The ROCK REPORT didn’t have to wait until later to talk to astute vocalist FEE WAYBILL as he and the band where putting the final touches on the tour preparations.
  R.CAT- Thanks for taking time out for us here in Buffalo. I have to admit until researching for this interview I was one of those generic TUBES fans; looking back do you think the stage shows may have overshadowed the music and the bands stellar musicianship?
  FEE- Not a problem we are looking forward to getting back out on the road for some shows this summer.         Yeah, I’d have to say that was the case in the beginning the music was secondary. We really went balls to the wall with the stage show back in the day, lugging around sets, lights, dancing girls, at one time we had thirty-five people on the road with us. The current line-up we take out on the road today is truly a Rock and Roll band; quite honestly I think we are playing the best that we ever have as a group.
  R.CAT- You began as an aspiring actor and then roadie for the band before stepping up to take lead vocals.  Was it your intention to bring a theatrical element to THE TUBES when you took over on mic?
  FEE- That element was kind of already in place in Roger’s band.  Basically THE TUBES were formed when Roger Steen and Bill Spooner merged their groups together in Arizona back in 1969 before heading to San Francisco. I started with Roger and Prairie as the roadie guy when we joined up with Sputnik. In the beginning the three of us didn’t really know any of the material; so the first time out during a fifteen minute medley we came out on stage dressed as the “Radar Men from Uranus” , the crowd loved it.
  Really I started out as a backup singer but the response was tremendous so from that point on we started to embellish upon that. Slowly we started to take the theatrics to another level developing characters like “Paso” the cowboy, “Carmen Miranda” with fresh fruit on my head which I would eventually eat on stage. Another fan favorite we did was “Brazil”; I would sing in Portuguese, the stage shows really where taking off
  R.CAT.- When you took over the lead vocals how did you begin the songwriting process?  Did the band create the songs around the characters or vise versa?
  FEE- We could see these characters where crowd pleasers during those early performances so we started writing songs based on characters that I would develop. We came up with the “Wonder Bread Boy” as a play on how obese this country had become, we did the “bondage guy”, “the homeless bum guy", and one of my favorite personas “Quay Lewd” the addict rock and roller with the big platform shoes.
  It all kind of evolved slowly over the first two or three years, once we decided to go out and get a record deal we would use video tape from our live shows instead of audio tape to entice the labels. We signed on with A&M Records and it really took off from their, every tour became more and more elaborate for about twelve years.  With a label behind us we had the great fortune to work with premier producers like Al Kooper and Todd Rundgren who really helped hone our studio skills as a group.
  R.CAT-  It sounds like being a part of THE TUBES was certainly an amazing ride, what does the band have in store in the future besides the legendary live shows?
  FEE- Roger and I do have some songs floating around so we’ll see where that takes us time permitting, most of the guys in the band have families and other business endeavors. I’ve continued writing material over the years for other artists; I’ve had great success collaborating with gifted singer RICHARD MARX as well as guitar guru STEVE LUKATHER (TOTO).
    Another undertaking we are involved in is the THE TUBES project. Original keyboardist Mike Cotton has been compiling archieved concert footage putting together interviews with band members, managers, and dancers both past and present for a possible DVD release. It’s in production and we hope to have that out sometime in the future.
    The ROCK REPORT would like to thank FEE WAYBILL for his valuable time. We would like to remind fans you can hear an on-air interview with FEE on 107.7 The Lake at 3pm this Thursday April 12th the day of the show.  Following the interview FEE will also be meeting fans and signing autographs at RECORD THEATRE on South Park Avenue in Hamburg from 4pm to 5pm. You can also pick up tickets for the show at that location.  Hope to see you there.

***************PEACE and Harmonies***************** 

GATOR COUNTRY (Original-Era Members of Molly Hatchet)
Saturday April 21st

   BEATIN’ THE ODDS is the title of the third MOLLY HATCHET album released in 1980 and the first with fervent front man JIMMY FARRAR on lead vocals. The late seventies and early eighties would see the Southern Rockers storm the music front with their first two releases including their chart busting “Flirtin’ with Disaster” record.  Shortly after that success the kinks in the armor became evident as singer DANNY JOE BROWN would leave to start his own band.
    Like all great southern Rock and Roll outfits the troops rallied and kept the ride rolling along enlisting the powerful pipes of vocalist JIMMY FARRAR. The blues belting big man proved immediately that he was no “Double Talker”, he not only talked the talked he walked the walked. FARRAR copiously conquered the daunting task of replacing vocalist DANNY JOE BROWN leading the charge with MOLLY HATCHET through two albums and two world tours.
    Although the bulk of the MOLLY HATCHET catalog was recorded from 1978-1984 the band has been a force on the road ever since, particularly this current GATOR COUNTRY line-up. The southern rockers have persevered through triumph and tragedy most notably the recent deaths of guitar great DUANE ROLAND and late vocalist DANNY JOE BROWN. Through it all the band has been committed to the music and the MOLLY HATCHET masses.
    While the issue of the MOLLY HATCHET moniker may have ruffled the feathers of some of the bands past brotherhood; it’s only toughened the skin of original era HATCHET members vocalist JIMMY FARRAR, drummer BRUCE CRUMP, guitarist STEVE HOLLAND, and bassist RIFF WEST as they’ve formed GATOR COUNTRY (; these boys are the “Real Deal”.  Rounding out the line-up are former UFO guitarist PAUL CHAPMAN, and seasoned touring axman LINNI DISSE, giving GATOR COUNTRY the patented HATCHET three prong guitar attack.
    Named after the song title from the bands debut album; GATOR COUNTRY formed in 2005 following a benefit show for then ailing vocalist DANNY JOE BROWN. Original HATCHET member DUANE ROLAND would be a catalyst in putting the band together; his untimely death in June of 2006 would deal a blow to this proud fraternity. After careful consideration quitting was not an option for the surviving brotherhood; with the blessings of the ROLAND family GATOR COUNTRY is ready to ramble on down the road.
    The ROCK REPORT had the chance to spend a little time in the swamp with impassioned frontman JIMMY FARRAR as the band is set to take a bite out of the road this summer, beginning with a rare club appearance at PARADISE in Blasdell this Saturday the 21st. Opening the show will be REVIVAL (, Western New York’s best tribute to THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND.
  R.CAT- Thanks JIMMY for your time, it’s been a long winter here in Buffalo I can’t think of a better way to kick off spring then with a Southern fried Saturday nite with GATOR COUNTRY.
  JIMMY-It’s my pleasure. We are really looking forward to our visit to Buffalo the band is really stoked for the tour season.
  R.CAT –Lets talk a bit about your history both with MOLLY HATCHET and other subsequent bands you’ve been in, I see your passion has always been the blues.
  JIMMY- Oh yeah! I was exposed to the blues at a young age and it was something that stuck with me and subsequently become part of who I am. I consider myself a lucky man being able to be part of the MOLLY HATCHET legacy. I’m equally excited about what lies ahead for GATOR COUNTRY.
  I also really enjoyed my time with the SOUTHERN ROCK ALL-STARS ( That band included another one of our recently fallen brothers BLACKFOOT drummer JAXSON “Thurderfoot” SPIRES, guitarist JAY JOHNSON who played with SKYNYRD and BLACKFOOT and bassist CHARLIE HART whose a well respected touring player and engineer. That experience really helped me cut my chops; these boys were gracious enough to bring me along for the ride. All I can say is that I wouldn’t trade that time and especially those friendships for anything in the world.
  That band holds a special place because that’s where we convinced DUANE ROLAND to get back out on the road with us for a short while until he met his now deceased wife.
  R.CAT-I know that DUANE and yourself where very close his passing in 2006 must have been extremely difficult on both GATOR COUNTRY and more importantly yourself.
  JIMMY- It was a blow to the music world but it was especially hard for me. Of all the people that I was in the MOLLY HATCHET band with he and I were probably the closest. His death was not a good time in my life, it still has an impact on all of us who’ve ever known and played with him both on and off the stage.
  Almost every Southern Rock band has suffered its share of loss, no matter what else is going on we all come together like a family. Don’t get me wrong there is a fierce competition when it comes to the music; it’s the respect for the fans and maintaining a musical integrity that makes this a special brotherhood.
  R.CAT- GATOR COUNTRY has a significant section in the show when they pay homage to fallen brothers DUANE ROLAND and DANNY JOE BROWN, tell us about those salient moments in the set.
  JIMMY-It’s hard to describe because it’s not a rehearsed thing it’s just a feeling we all get when we share the music with the crowd. We all seem to know when the time is right during the set, there is a presence that can be felt and that’s when it happens.
  When I grab that mic I just lay it out from the heart it’s very organic and the feelings and words just overtake me. What I might say of my brothers in Buffalo one night will be different in Florida the next. The respect for these boys and their contributions to us as people and their musical legacy is something we hold sacred.  We have no doubt that they are with us in spirit on that stage each and every night we take this show out on the road. That “Flying V” that sits on the stand with us on stage represents the pure power and passion that DUANE brought each and every time he took the stage. We owe that to them and we owe that to the fans.
  R. CAT- Lastly JIMMY tell us about the single that GATOR COUNTRY has released a real rousing rocker called Oh Atlanta. Was that DUANE’S last official recording before he passed?
  JIMMY- That was really DUANE’S idea; it is special because it was his last recording with the band before we lost him. He and our manager Keith Johnson heard that song and DUANE thought that GATOR COUNTRY could really do something extraordinary with that particular song, I think we nailed it.
    The ROCK REPORT would like to thank JIMMY FARRAR for his valuable time; we would also like to thank Ron Schanne from Paradise Management for putting this together for us.

Saturday April 21st

   ANYWHERE, EVERYWHERE…..That is the title of the 2004 JEREMY HOYLE BAND EP, and those words best describe where you might find the multi-award winning artist and his bevy of bands.
    The Canadian born songwriter/performer has been entertaining Western New Yorkers since 1993 with an on the mark testimonial to Canadian Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the TRAGICALLY HIP.
  HOYLE and his band mates are by no means just a cover band the talented musicians which includes Buffalo Music Award winning guitarist JUSTIN KUBIAK allow them to surf the musical spectrum from U2 to JOHNNY CASH with dynamism and grace.
    It’s been the diverse dexterity of HOYLE that has allowed him to don several different hats on stage.  The latest act he has added to the already impressive arsenal is TOBY LIVE and it’s been sweeping the nation.  HOYLE and company have been kicking ass across the U.S.A. with the TOBY KEITH tribute. While this show may have been born at the Buckin Buffalo Saloon it’s been packing clubs in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Wisconsin and North Carolina the past few years and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
    Like all good country boys HOYLE still loves that good ole home cookin’ and not just in the kitchen.  For the first time in three months the band will trade in their cowboy hats for their touques; if your “Looking for a Place to Happen” this Saturday Night, GRIFFIN’S IRISH PUB in South Buffalo is the place to be for the long awaited return of THE STRICTLY HIP.
    We caught up with JEREMY by phone as he was getting set to entertain SABRE nation at the Party in the Plaza festivities for the playoff home opener. “We are really looking forward to playing South Buffalo again, I think RORY O’SHEA’S (Griffins since 2003) may have been one our first few gigs here in the States, so when I say “I Love this Bar” I truly mean that.  We’ve been on the road for a few years now and look forward to getting together with our longtime faithful friends who’ve supported us along the way".
    When asked what 2007 holds has in store for the band he replied; “We’ve been loving the road meeting new people,  touring also gives us plenty of time to work on new material. The lyrics have been flowing its time to focus on what direction to take the music.”
    The JEREMY HOYLE will be on the road most of the summer; here a few of the local dates you won’t want to miss.  You can also check out the webpage @
April 19th----Bucking Buffalo Saloon
April 21st---Griffins Irish Pub
May 11th---LaFayette Tap Room
June 1st---J.T. Wheatfields
June 14th---Buckin Buffalo
June 21st---Last Chance Saloon---Newfane, NY

*****************PEACE and HARMONIES**************** 

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