They're not dog bowls or flower pots, though DEVO's iconic red plastic vacuum-formed helmets, their "Energy Domes," have been mistaken for such things.
On the fan-site DEVO-OBSESSO, DEVO's co-founder and bass player Gerald ("Jerry") Casale explains their original intent (outside links mine):
It was designed according to ancient ziggurat mound proportions used in votive worship. Like the mounds it collects energy and recirculates it. In this case the Dome collects the Orgone energy that escapes from the crown of the human head and pushes it back into the Medulla Oblongata for increased mental energy. It's very important that you use the foam insert (which is included with every Dome when purchased from ClubDevo.com), or better yet, get a plastic hardhat liner, adjust it to your head size and affix it with duct tape or Super Glue to the inside of the Dome. This allows the Dome to "float" just above the cranium and thus do its job. Unfortunately, sans foam insert or hardhat liner, the recirculation of energy WILL NOT occur.
Mark Mothersbaugh, the band's co-founder, lead singer and keyboardist, shared with Fecal Face in 2008:
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We did the red energy dome, which was useful besides being an icon it was a useful icon. You probably know this very well, but your orgone energy goes out the top of your head...and it dissipates out the top, but if you wear an energy dome it recycles that energy. It comes back down and showers back down on you and, among other things, you remain manly, shall we say, for maybe another 150 years of your life, probably.
DEVO headlined Burger Boogaloo this past weekend in Oakland. John Waters introduced them to the stage in an epic nearly four-minute-long speech that attacked Trump and celebrated the band:
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...Originally from Ohio, why-oh-why-oh-Ohio, they started their careers like I did: pissed off. And they had a real reason to be nuts, their fellow friends were killed at Kent State University by the police. So they started a De-Evolution that we're still feeling. They challenged illegitimate authority, they said, and so should YOU. It's worse now than it ever was. Trump is a feckless prick. A shithole of a president. An orange anus, as Rosie McDonnell called him. Who kidnaps children. Tosses paper towels to hurricane victims. It's so dumb he stares at the eclipse with that stupid wife who's a clueless dresser who no drag queen would ever imitate. What better band to protest his stupidity and first-degree asshole-ism than our boys tonight from outer space. But our political situation is not science fiction, it's real. Before New Wave, ahead of Industrial, "alternative" way before the word was coined, this band was no media invention, it was a grassroots movement that everyone here has embraced. David Bowie loved them, Iggy loved them. I loved them. One of the bandmates even told me once that I was in a titty bar with them doing coke. I thought, "What was *I* doing in a titty bar?" I was under DEVO's spell, that's it. And tonight even more so, with my friend Freddy Armisen playing the drums.
Enjoy the psychotronic grandeur of the first DEVO short film, "In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution," from 1976. Directed by Chuck Statler, the video took the first prize at the 1977 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Two key bits of background, via Wikipedia:
• Devo has claimed, occasionally, that the film contains subliminal messages, which allowed it to win at Ann Arbor.
• The ping-pong paddles shown in the Secret Agent Man segment have images of Richard Nixon and Chairman Mao Zedong on them.
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Alan Myers, longtime drummer for DEVO, died last week of stomach cancer. He was 58. Myers played on DEVO's seminal albums Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Duty Now for the Future, and Freedom of Choice, among others. "He was like a robot playing drums," DEVO's Jerry Casale told Rolling Stone. "A human metronome." Read the rest
UPDATE: Sadly, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Shakey Pictures."
This is Devo and Neil Young performing Young's "Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)." Seriously! It's from the 1982 comedy Human Highway, starring and co-directed by Bernard Shakey aka Neil Young. (Thanks, Gabe Adiv!) Read the rest