Randall Roberts wrote a long profile of Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh for the December 5, 2007 edition of LA Weekly. The article has links to a lot of good video clips.
From the start, continues Mothersbaugh, he and Casale were drawn to the Pop-art movement, inspired by Warhol, Rauschenberg and others who blurred the lines between commercialism and fine art – and by ad men who did the reverse. Specifically, one TV campaign struck him. He hums the melody to Pachelbel’s Canon in D, then sings the words to a Burger King commercial: “‘Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don’t upset us.’ I loved that. Now that’s subversive. I thought, that’s amazing – to take such a beautiful piece of music and turn it into an ad for hamburgers. And then it got more interesting, because they then interpreted a country & western version, and a blues version, and a Dixieland version, and they totally went crazy on it.” That tuned his attention to television and radio commercials. “That was way more interesting to me than hippies or punks screaming for anarchy or revolution. I watched the hippies become commodified and turned into hip capitalists – and the punks, you just watched them kind of dwindle away.” Devo’s mission, decided Casale and Mothersbaugh, would be more subversive.
Link (Thanks, Michael!)
Previously on Boing Boing:
• Mark Mothersbaugh's Beautiful Mutants book
• Mark Mothersbaugh on Weird America
• Video of Devo on SNL in 1978
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