Doris visited San Francisco for the first time in March 1975, and returned for an extended stay in the summer of 1976. That year she entered a talent competition to join the proto-punk rock band The Tubes which was looking for oddball acts to compliment their bizarre shows. Doris auditioned in trashy glamour drag, expertly passing off the dialogue from the lead-in to the Three Degrees song “Maybe” as an improvised comedy routine.
“By now he had discovered, or constructed, his comic persona. The contrast of his trampy look with his modest, trying-to-be-ladylike delivery is very funny. “It’s a complex level of things,” he said much later, trying to explain the mechanism as much to himself as to me. “This Doris Fish character thinks she’s a real woman, or she thinks she’s fooling everybody. That’s an underlying gag that I have with myself onstage, even though intellectually I know that I’m not fooling anybody. And the audience laughs at the delusions of the character.” But these delusions have no pathos; Doris the Romantic Cruelist abhorred pathos. They’re just funny—as the Tubes recognized when they invited Doris to perform with them at Bimbo’s.”
Who Does That Bitch Think She Is?
She won the audition along with young newcomer Pearl E. Gates and the two became friends as they performed with the Tubes for the next three weeks. Doris assisted Pearl with her makeup and was soon helping other members of the band with theirs. She also became acquainted with performer Jane Dornacker (who would later join the cast of Blonde Sin.). Jane and Pearl went on to form the band Leila and the Snakes, for which Doris occasionally danced and created posters.
Thus far we don’t have video of Doris performing with the Tubes, though it appears there is video of her audition as described by Craig Seligman. Below is their classic “White Punks On Dope” which included up to 25 people onstage in a raucous finale.