Sunday, July 25, 2004

IS HE NOT A MAN? HE IS DEVO!

Devo - Beulah / Jocko Homo / I Need A Chick (Live in Cleveland, Halloween 1975)- This, like the version of Satisfaction I posted on Friday, is pulled from Devo Live: The Mongoloid Years. This is from Devo's first ever show, a WHK Radio Halloween concert, opening for Sun Ra. They were hired as a joke. The audience of sotned hippies expected a cover band. They were introduced by Murray the K (Murray Saul, of the famous "FRIDAY!" bit posted to Flux some months ago). They proceeded to rock the fuck out. This three song medley marks the finale of their set, opening with a deranged, and deliberately terrible cover of Beulah, before moving into their Devolutionary mission statement, Jocko Homo. And this is where things get fun. The audience has had enough. The band is becoming increasingly weird and confrontational, and the audience begins to respond in kind. You can hear the angry audience members climb to the stage, grab microphones, and threaten to beat the shit out of the band. By the time Jocko Homo is finished and the band launches into the vicious, and vulgar "I Need a Chick" - well, it's clear there aren't many people left, and the few who are seem very intent to try to cut the band off. An example of Devo's unique performance art in it's early formative years, and most certainly at it's finest, this performance shows Devo as nothing so much as band that sprung, as a god fully formed from the womb, completely cognizant of their direction from day one, their most crucial songs and basic plan laid out very clearly and bared to the world. It would take 4 years for their Devolutionary program to find fans, another 3 after that for it to find commercial success, and another decade or two for them to be properly recognized as legends. But damn if it wasn't worth it.

[Buy Devo Live: The Mongoloid Years from Amazon]

Tomorrow: Why Devo has the deepest catalog of any "one hit wonder" ever - and perhaps a song from a car commercial.

14 Comments:

At 7/27/2004 03:26:00 PM, Blogger Matthew Montgomery said...

Great stuff, thanks!

 
At 7/27/2004 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Spoilt Victorian Child said...

Loving a bit of Devo....
Thanks for reminding me how good some of their stuff is.

Simon
x

 
At 7/28/2004 11:54:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great vintage Devo - it makes me recall the killer version of Girl U Want from their Devo Live EP.

Bill Lamb
And We Danced - Classic Dance MusicAnd We Danced Daily - the blog

 
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The Palladium 1979. Great seats. The lights come down. There's no opening band. Instead General Boy comes on the video screen. Then Booji Boy. Laughed my drunken ass off. Changed my life.

 
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