Sunday, May 8, 2016

Watch DEVO’s first-ever live performance at Kent State University, 1973

from Dangerous Minds:


This clip of DEVO’s very first performance—so early in their career it predates the demo recordings that make up the Hardcore DEVO collections—surfaced on the laserdisc of The Complete Truth about De-Evolution 23 years ago. I assume it’s on the DVD, too, but I’ve only seen the laserdisc.



While the sleeve of The Complete Truth says this show happened in 1972, I’m convinced by the detailed notes at DEVO Live Guide, which date it to the Kent State University Creative Arts Festival on April 18, 1973. Billed as “Sextet DEVO,” founders Mark Mothersbaugh, Gerald Casale, Bob Casale (RIP) and Bob Lewis were joined by short-term spuds Rod Reisman and Chas. Frederick Weber III. Jerry says the group performed at the invitation of poet Robert Bertholf:

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 lineup, and then he demanded that Fred [Weber] sing because Fred was a beautiful singer and none of us could sing right.

Without further ado, here’s D-E-V-O from O-H-I-O playing “Private Secretary.”


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