Are We Not Men?

To me, there’s nothing that says Thanksgiving quite like Devo. Or, as my grandfather was fond of quoting, “Are we not men?”

I’ve noticed, from reading other blogs, that long band histories are boring to read. I usually skim through them, looking for the music. If I want to know more about a band, I’ll go to their Website or Google them myself. That said, I’m going to try to rein in my band histories to a couple of sentences. I figure if I find them boring to read, others probably do too. I will reserve the right to carry on if I find something I think is interesting, though.

The Wiki entry on Devo traces the evolution of devolution -so to speak- back to the late 1960s at Kent State. Gerald Casale and Bob Lewis met Mark Mothersbaugh while they were all attending school there. Mothersbaugh was the one who introduced the others to a pamphlet titled “Jocko Homo Heavenbound,” which would later prove to be inspirational. Interestingly, Casale knew two of the students who were shot by the National Guard in the infamous shootings in May 1970, and actually saw the wounds suffered by one of the women.

I’ve got a handful of songs today from Devo’s first two albums, “Q: Are We Not Men?” and “Duty Now For the Future.” My personal introduction to Devo came with their late-1970s appearance on Saturday Night Live. I forget the first song they did (possibly “Jocko Homo”) but I definitely remember their version of “Satisfaction.” That song was the talk around the water cooler at school the next day. Everyone was like, “What the hell was that about?” Something about their quirkiness appealed to me, and I became a Spudboy. But by the time “Whip It” and the flower pot hats came along, I had moved on. It’s still fun, though, to go back and listen to the early records, particularly the first one.

Uncontrollable Urge.mp3
Jocko Homo.mp3
Smart Patrol/Mr. DNA.mp3

If you do want more information, check out the Wikipedia link above, or go to Club Devo or Freedom of Choice, both excellent sites.


At 10:16 AM , Blogger jon manyjars said...

Apparently Devo recorded a version of Neil Young's "Ohio" at some point, but I haven't heard it.


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