Devo asks, aren’t we supposed to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? – Pasadena Star News
The members of devo thinks being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame would be a good thing after five decades of creating music.
The new wave group, eligible for induction since 2003, is part of the Class of 2022 alongside Duran Duran, Beck, Eminem, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, MC5, New York Dolls, Dolly Parton, Rage Against the Machine , Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest, Dionne Warwick, Pat Benatar and Kate Bush. However, not all will be inducted.
Fans can vote, selecting up to five of the nominees for induction, until Friday, April 29 at vote.rockhall.combut ultimately it’s up to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to decide who gets selected.
“It’s nice to be recognized for what you’ve done,” Devo singer-guitarist Mark Mothersbaugh said on a recent Zoom call. “We know what we’ve done, but it’s nice when other people know what you’ve done too.”
“It feels good to be recognized even by a self-proclaimed official body,” Devo vocalist-bassist Gerald Casale said in a separate Zoom interview. “If you think of an artist, he stands out in front of people, doesn’t he? They risk failure and ridicule and suddenly when what you do turns around and is accepted, it’s just dishonest to say that you are not feeling well.
“But on the other hand, if we don’t come in, I wouldn’t be surprised. We are used to this. It would be nice to enter now instead of entering posthumously,” Casale said.
Devo formed in Akron, Ohio in 1973 – about 40 miles south of where the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is located in Cleveland. A collective of artists, comedians and intellectuals, the band’s lyrical content offered biting social commentary with stern warnings of de-evolution with songs like “Jacko Homo”, “Uncontrollable Urge” and “Whip It”. .
They weren’t taken very seriously. Sure, they donned yellow hazmat suits and energy dome sports helmets on stage, but it was all part of the art of the performance.
Now, five decades later, Mothersbaugh and Casale said that although they have often been misunderstood, they are proud of what they have created. However, they take absolutely no joy in being right about de-evolution.
“We’re like the Rodney Dangerfield of rock and roll,” Casale said with a laugh before repeating the late comedian’s famous line about not getting respect. “If you listen to these songs, like ‘Freedom of Choice,’ we say, ‘Freedom of choice is what you have, freedom of choice is what you want,’ right? We’re talking about duality about human nature and how we always end up back at square one. There’s so many songs about that. “Beautiful World”… “It’s a beautiful world, for you; It’s not for me.’ I mean, come on. It gives us no pleasure that we were right about these things and it’s really sad, the amount of injustice and madness and the retreat of rationality.
Regarding their fellow Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees, Mothersbaugh said selecting a diverse group of artists lends credibility to the organization and that it should be inclusive, though some have suggested to include artists from other genres, like the rapper Eminem or the country star. Dolly Parton, are the wrong fit for the rock and roll category. Parton herself requested that her name be removed from the ballot.
“We love Dolly Parton and if anybody’s worthy, she is,” Casale said, adding that in 1988 they wanted to ask Parton to sing on the Devo song “I’d Cry If You Died.” , but they never reached it. people to set it up. “We would always love to work with Dolly. At this point, the Hall of Fame should just be the Music Hall of Fame and be classified in any genre. With what they choose now, it’s a bit of a misnomer.
Early in their career, Mothersbaugh said artists like Blondie and Iggy Pop wanted to record Devo songs, Burt Bacharach wanted to record with Devo, and Sex Pistols frontman Johnny Rotten “wanted to be in Devo”. However, they declined to do collaborations which, “in retrospect, I wish we had done every single one of them,” he added.
Devo influenced artists from Nirvana to Arcade Fire, and heavy hitters like David Bowie and Neil Young championed the band early on. All of this, Casale said, makes the guys feel pretty good about their overall career.
“If David Bowie hadn’t liked us or Brian Eno hadn’t liked us or Iggy Pop hadn’t liked us, I would have felt really bad because that’s what mattered to us,” he continued. . “A guy who talks about ‘his old lady’ and throws a can of beer at us, you know what, OK okay, you don’t like us? Awesome. So we are doing something good. We’ve had artists tell us they love us, critics love us and we’ve inspired a lot of musicians and when they tell us that, well, it’s very encouraging.
These days, Mothersbaugh and Casale, who are both composers busy creating music for TV shows, feature films and commercials, have different views on the live show. While Casale still enjoys playing for crowds, Mothersbaugh said while he still enjoys stage time, it can feel a bit like Groundhog Day.
“When you’re 25 and you’re writing this stuff and creating all of this stuff, that’s one thing, but when you’re 70 and you’re putting on the outfits you were doing when you were 25,” said said Mothersbaugh. noting that they don’t happen often these days. “I mean, I can go now.”
Although he feels healthier now, Mothersbaugh had a serious bout of COVID-19 in early 2020 that put him in intensive care on a ventilator for nine days. He was 69 at the time and he said he thought he was more like 45. But after COVID worked its way through his system, “I felt like I was 90,” he said. He still has lingering side effects and reports that he “feels about 60 right now, but I’m still trying to get down into the 50s or 40s, but I haven’t gotten there yet.”
However, both men are eager to play at the Cruel World Festival in Brookside at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on May 14 and 15 with many of their 80s peers including Morrissey, Blondie, Bauhaus, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Violent Femmes, The Church, English Beat, Public Image, LTD. and more.
“With all these bands, it’s like a clown car, especially when you throw Devo in there with the yellow suits,” Mothersbaugh said. “I like the idea of other bands and it gives me the opportunity to experience some of them live. The recordings are sometimes very different from the live performance, and in the case of Devo, for example, I prefer our live performance to our recording performance pretty much song for song.
With: Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Psychedelic Furs, Violent Femmes, English Beat, The Damned, Blaqk Audio and more
When: May 14-15
Or: Brookside at the Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena
Tickets: $159 to $179 general admission; VIP at $349; $549 to $799 Clubhouse; Parking $25 to $75. All passes are available at www.cruelworldfest.com