Green’s Dictionary of Slang

tubs n.

1. a butter seller [the butter tubs].

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

2. (orig. US) drums [the shape].

[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 61: Ray Eisel, the drummer, was a thin and wiry fly cat who really beat his tubs.
[US]Kerouac On the Road (The Orig. Scroll) (2007) 295: A big brutal Negro [...] punishing his busted tubs, crash, rattle-ti-boom, crash.
[US]R. Russell Sound 99: Yes, it’s time that your boy Hass packed his tubs and moved on.

3. (US gay) a gay bathhouse [SE tub, a bath].

[US]Lavender Lex. n.p.: the tubs:– The turkish baths.
[US]L. Kramer Faggots 28: Dates leading to orgasm: 87 (not counting street tricks, the tubs).
[US]A. Maupin More Tales of the City (1984) 7: I will stop expecting to meet Jan-Michael Vincent at the tubs.
[US]Alt. Eng. Dict. 🌐 tubs, the (noun, plural) gay steam bath.

In compounds

tub beater (n.)

(US Black) a drummer.

[US]Pittsburgh Courier (PA) 10 Feb. 7/1: A skin (drummer) shower who was supposed to be pickin’ up on more lead than any other tub beater in the universe.