Saturday, December 14, 2013


Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo
11' x 14", oil on canvas board, 2013
In 1984 the song Wiggly World by Devo made an appearance in the top 100 for that year. It came from the only LP that I owned of them back then, it was their second, the 1979 release Duty Now for the Future. Even though I acquired two more records in the following 29 years, Devo did not return to the list until this year when I met and befriended Jade Dellinger, (co)author of the book We Are DEVO! I read it and became hooked (again) to their story, their videos, and the music. The book is a "culturally essential" read, and I strongly recommend it to anyone interested in that era of (rock) history (the punk and new wave era that is). What I would recommend too is to watch (on YouTube) their video for Jocko Homo, a sort of Devo anthem. The video from 1976 is part of the short film (an art film) The Truth About De-Evolution. Jocko Homo was rerecorded in 1978 to feature on Devo's first album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
I'm particularly interested in the concept of de-evolution (hence the name Devo), in which human kind, in stead of evolving is regressing backwards. It fits right in with the topic of paleolithic cave paintings that has kept my brain occupied for a while now. I have this vague notion that a concept (be it art, be it evolution) is at its strongest at the moment it appears. It is then when the circumstances are ideal for something to exist. Or as Devo would have it "the beginning is the end".

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