The Tubes: “Don’t Touch Me There” (1976)

Girls rule on the single from The Tubes’ second album.

Kronomyth 2.1: Leila and another sordid love song.

Re Styles (born Shirley Macleod) was a peripheral member of The Tubes (dancer, costume designer, hand model on the first two albums) who scored a moment in the spotlight on the duet, Don’t Touch Me There. It may be her finest moment, as she upstages Fee Waybill (no small task) with her voluptuous voice. Written by Ron Nagle and Jane Dornacker (later of Leila and the Snakes), “Don’t Touch Me There” is a clever send-up of the early rock & roll songs like the Shangri-Las “Leader of the Pack.” It’s a shame Dornacker and Styles didn’t do more together.

The B side is Proud To Be An American, a boogie-woogie bicentennial bit that takes a pretty dark turn at the end. Although “subtle” is hardly a word that comes to mind when you think of The Tubes, Spooner’s satire was often subtle. For every over-the-top “White Punks on Dope” was a “Young and Rich” that could be sarcastic yet strangely sympathetic at the same time. On “Proud To Be An American,” the song seems like a celebration of American freedom until you get to the third verse. Before the song is over, the heavy thought of “it’s impossible to give quality and justice to inferior foreigners too jealous to trust us” lets you know where Spooner really stands.

Original 7-inch single version

A1. Don’t Touch Me There (Ron Nagle/Jane Dornacker*) (3:20)
B1. Proud To Be An American (Bill Spooner) (2:57)

*This was spelled “Dorknocker” on the US release (ouch) and “Doornacker” on the UK release. Nothing like writing your first big hit and no one can spell your name correctly.

Back-to-back hits 7-inch single version
A1. Don’t Touch Me There
B1. Prime Time

The Plastic

Released on 7-inch single on June 25, 1976 in the US (A&M, 1826-S) and the UK (A&M, AMS-7239). Reached #61 on the US charts (charted on July 4, 1976 for 7 weeks). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1976 in the US (A&M, 1826) feat. A stereo & mono versions.

  1. Re-packaged with “Prime Time” on back-to-back hits 7-inch single in 1990 in Australia (A&M, 390 555-7) with picture sleeve.
1990 B2B hits 45 rpm sleeve
A&M 390 555-7 picture sleeve (released in 1990)

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