DEVO Live Guide - 1973 to 1976
1973 to 1976


04/18/73 - Recital Hall, Kent State University (Creative Arts Festival), Kent, OH
Set
    Here Comes Peter Cottontail Mr. Jingeling Private Secretary Wiggle Worm Beehive Flash What Comes Around Goes Around Subhuman Woman River Run Sun Come Up Moon Go Down

Notes
  • Named "Sextet DEVO: six on six" this was the bands first public performance. The show took place at 7PM and featured Gerald Casale, Bob Casale, Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Lewis, Rod Reisman and Chas. Frederick Weber III. Billed as "polyrhythmic tone exercises in de-evolution."

    Gerald Casale was quoted in New Vinyl Times (v.1 #11, 1980): "We played at a Kent State Arts Festival. I think the people at the festival would have been a lot happier if we had been a Baroque string trio or a Heavy Metal band. They didn't know what to make of us... Our sound then was like Chinese Computer Music..."

    According to Gerald Casale in a tape-recorded telephone interview from Los Angeles with Jade Dellinger on June, 11, 2001 for the book Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!: "It was not really a band. We just called it Sextet Devo because I had been doing de-evolutionary art... Bob Lewis' connection to Bertholf sealed our position in the line up, and then he demanded that Fred [Weber] sing because Fred was a beautiful singer and none of us could sing right."

Circulating Recordings
  • AMT #1 - amateur video
    • Lowest Generation: Official DVD [The Complete Truth About De-Evolution]
    • Length / Sound Quality: 3 min / 6.5
    • Footage is black and white.
    • The DVD is incomplete and only contains about 3 minutes of the show.


04/23/74 - Governance Chambers, Kent State University (Creative Arts Festival), Kent, OH
Notes
  • The Daily Kent Stater reports (4/23/74): "Devo makes a triumphant return to the site of last year's spectacle... This is your chance. This year's performance will degenerate in the Governance Chambers (as is altogether fitting). Seats will be at a premium, so get there early... Don't miss 'Private Secretary,' 'I Been Refused,' 'Sub-human Woman,' 'The Rope Song,' 'Pigs Waddle,' 'Be Stiff,' 'Androgyny,' 'O No' and 'All of Us' as performed by Gerald and Robert Casale, Robert Lewis and James and Mark Mothersbaugh... the incredible Devo..."

    According to an early band-authored press release titled the "DEVO RAP SHEET": "By the following year the music had devolved significantly, and at the KSU Festival of 1974 the band had added Jim Mothersbaugh and his self-developed electronic drums. That Fall, a tape was recorded at Krieger-Field Studio in Akron. Personnel at this time consisted of Jerry & Bob Casale, Bob Lewis, Bob Mothersbaugh, Jim Mothersbaugh, and Mark Mothersbaugh."

    As Bob Lewis revealed to Jade Dellinger in an interview for the book Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!: "During the second Creative Arts Festival, we played the Student Governance Chamber - the same place that the 'Jocko Homo' segment of our movie was shot. It was brand new and looked like a mini United Nations... A real good venue... [The poet] Ed Dorn was around for Creative Arts I -- and then he returned as a featured poet at Creative Arts II, along with Holbrook Teeter, Joanne Kyger, and Robert Creeley."

    According to Gerald Casale in a tape-recorded telephone interview with Mr. Dellinger on June, 11, 2001 for the book Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!: "We played probably a half a dozen times with Jim Mothersbaugh as our drummer... [Jim's first DEVO performance was the 1974 Creative Arts Festival.] The second one. In the Governance Chambers, where we actually had like a forty-minute set."


??/??/74 - Governance Chambers, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Notes
  • Jim Mothersbaugh's second show with DEVO. "We actually had like a forty-minute set" according to Gerald Casale.

10/??/74 - Shelly's Book Bar, Kent, OH

??/??/74 - The Kove, Kent, OH
Other Performers
    Numbers Band

??/??/74 - J.B.'s, Kent, OH
Notes
  • This show was a benefit for Shelly's Book Bar.

??/??/74 - unknown venue, Akron, OH
Set
    Fraulein The Death Of Lt. Casanova Midget

Circulating Recordings
  • SBD #1 - soundboard audio
    • Lowest Generation: unknown
    • Length / Sound Quality: 15 min / 8.5

04/04/75 - University Auditorium, Kent State University, Kent, OH
Set
    Can U Take It Auto Modown Baby Talkin' Bitches Subhuman Woman All of Us I Been Refused Ono Smart Patrol The Girl Can't Help It

Notes
  • According to early DEVO collaborator Gary "General" Jackett in an interview with Jade Dellinger on January 18, 2001: "They knew Dick Myers who was a cinema teacher, and he was showing 'Pink Flamingos'. That was the first time they showed 'Pink Flamingos' at Kent. It was very avant guarde - everybody was kind of like shell shocked from the film, and then they have Devo come out. I know Bob Lewis was in that particular line up, and Jerry and maybe Mark had joined by then. Everybody watched 'Pink Flamingos' and then they played. I remember they weren't too well received."

    As Gerald Casale revealed to Jade Dellinger in a tape-recorded telephone interview from Los Angeles on June 11, 2001 for the book Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!: "'Pink Flamingos' was our favorite film. We just couldn't believe it got made. We thought this was incredible. We just wanted to meet John Waters, you know... We met him many times since. Basically, he and his friends were the Devo of Baltimore. The same kind of transgressive, irreverent - kind of collage like... let's rethink all this folks. People that are kind of blue collar, but smart, and have no respect."


04/??/75 - Kent State University (Creative Arts Festival), Kent, OH

10/31/75 - WHK Auditorium (WMMS-FM Halloween Party), Cleveland, OH
Set
    Subhuman Woman Bamboo Bimbo Baby Talkin' Bitches Chango Beulah Jocko Homo I Need A Chick

Notes
  • According to CLE 3A, "The 'HK (WHK Auditorium, 5000 Euclid Ave.) was built in the thirties as a radio broadcast theater. It seats approx. 1500. It's old, neglected and crumbling. What once was beautiful is now a 'unique atmosphere,' perched on the edge of the 'inner city.' In the late 60's it was the Cleveland Grande for a while. In the mid-70's an early version of Devo played a private party for WMMS, warming' up for Sun Ra."

    In CLE No. 1, Charlotte Pressler had written, "Devo's songs lyrically are almost exclusively concerned with the pursuits of apemen, pinheads, rubber workers, mongoloids, and similar specimens of de-evolved humanity... If they had been beer-can collectors, it would have been a good gig. Probably there were some rare varieties among the ones the audience threw at them [during their WMMS Halloween Concert]"

    According to Gary "General" Jackett in a interview with Jade Dellinger on January 18, 2001 for the book Are We Not Men? We Are DEVO!: "It was October 31st, Halloween night. That was wild, and they were hated. People were throwing full beer cans at them. The people were the radio people. It was the nastiest, most hostile - and it wasn't a big crowd or anything. It was just a party for the radio station. It was basically all radio station people, and they hated Devo. They really did. With all the tension, you could cut the air. They were wearing these dumb little blue Dickies worksuits and that. It was before they got hardcore with the yellow industrial ones... I showed up about the time they went on at the WMMS Halloween Party. I just remember it was a very nasty atmosphere. People throwing beer cans yelling, 'You fucking stink!' And they're doing 'I Need a Chick to Suck my Dick!' At that point Cleveland was just like a bombed out shell. It had had it's renaissance and that. So it's in this old auditorium and it was just ratty - it was nasty. WMMS didn't know what they were getting into. There was some kind of connection as far as getting Devo the gig. I don't know if it was [DEVO's soundman] Eddie Barger. It was obvious it was not a perfect marriage."

    According to Jim Mothersbaugh at 2001 DEVOtional Fan Convention: "Probably one of the most memorable was when we were an opening act for Sun Ra. WMMS, I think, was the radio station that sponsored it, and it was a Halloween party. There was a really famous DJ back then in Cleveland called, I think, Murray Saul, and he would always do this, 'We gotta', gotta' Boogie!' Booji Boy came out and did this parody on him, [in a high-pitched Booji Boy voice] 'Alright everybody, we gotta', gotta Boojiiiii!' And they got mad! The radio personalities and stuff started throwing things at us on stage! We actually had to get whisked out of there..."

    Jerry Casale describes the event in his liner notes for DEVO LIVE-The Mongoloid Years: "Full fledged aliens without a clue. DEVO is hired as a practical joke to open for Sun Ra at WHK FM's annual Halloween bash. The used-to-be famous, now infamous, radio personality, Murray The K displays a thinly veiled contempt as he introduces us to the invitation only crowd. Dressed as witches, gangsters, and hunchbacks, and high on nitrous oxide (provided by the station), hash and liquor, they are eagerly awaiting a slick cover band who can deliver precise, immaculate, renditions of Bad Company hits. Instead, they are subjected to DEVO. Appearing as four theatrical characters (Booji Boy: Mark Mothersbaugh; Clown: Bob Mothersbaugh; Jungle Jim: Jim Mothersbaugh; and Chinaman: Gerald V. Casale) and using homemade electronic drums, a mini-moog, a clavinet, a customised lobotomized Hagstrom guitar, and bass, we proceed to torture stoned urban hippies with "performance art" way before that label even existed. Playing "Jocko Homo" here for the first time, we incite members of the hideously costumed audience to invade the stage. They threaten to 'beat the shit out of you assholes.' We, of course, decide it is our duty to keep going. By the time Sun Ra opens his set with '25 Years To The 21st Century,' DEVO has managed to clear the entire auditorium. Only the band and a half-dozen friends from Akron are there to hear Sun Ra's incredible performance."

    Mark Mothersbaugh tells Joe Garden of The Onion (7/10/97), "(Sun Ra) almost never came out on stage, because there were fist fights between the audience and Devo. They were doing tequila sunrise out of a big 50-gallon vat and taking... What drug were they taking? Oh, the one you inhale. Laughing gas or something. It was Halloween in Cleveland, Ohio, and somebody hired Devo as a joke. We were dressed in janitor outfits, and they were all dressed like hunchbacks and vampires, and permutations of lowest-common-denominator Halloween costumes. LCD horror. They ended up getting really pissed off at us and the music we were playing. At the time, we were a lightning rod for hostility. We would play a song like 'Subhuman Woman' for seven minutes. We'd play 'Jocko Homo' for 30 minutes, and we wouldn't stop until people were actually fighting with us, trying to make us stop playing the song. We'd just keep going, 'Are we not men? We are Devo!' for like 25 minutes, directed at people in an aggressive enough manner that even the most peace-lovin' hippie wanted to throw fists. We were in a negative-energy vortex back in the mid-'70s."

Circulating Recordings
  • SBD #1 - soundboard audio
    • Lowest Generation: Official CD [Live: The Mongoloid Years]
    • Length / Sound Quality: 15 min / 8.5
    • "Baby Talkin' Bitches" & "Chango" are cut.

Other Performers
    Sun Ra

??/??/76 - Bombay Bicycle Club, Akron, OH
Other Performers
    King Cobra

12/10/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH

12/11/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH

12/17/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH
Other Performers
    Pere Ubu


12/18/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH
Other Performers
    Pere Ubu


12/??/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH
Set
    Clockout Timing X Soo Bawls Space Junk Blockhead

Notes
  • This was probably one of the four Crypt shows mentioned above.

Circulating Recordings
  • SBD #1 - soundboard audio
    • Lowest Generation: Official CD [Live: The Mongoloid Years]
    • Length / Sound Quality: 20 min / 9.5

12/31/76 - The Crypt, Akron, OH
Other Performers
    Dead Boys King Cobra


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