New wave band Devo has announced they will retire from touring after their farewell tour, Celebrating 50 Years of DE-Evolution. Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale, two of the founding members of the band, talked to The Guardian regarding details of this announcement.
When asked why they are finished touring, Mothersbaugh likened it to being married to four wives who you always work with, "It's tricky being in a band." Currently on tour through December, Devo has yet to announce the final concert, but the last booked show on their website is in Melbourne, Australia, at the Good Things Festival December 1-3.
Formed in Akron, Ohio, in 1973, the original members included the Mothersbaugh brothers, Mark and Bob, and the Casales, Gerald and Bob, with Alan Myers. The band's name comes from their tongue-in-cheek social theory, "de-evolution," which is a concept that man has begun to regress rather than evolve. Believing this was evident in the herd mentality of society.
Devo's Art Devo 1973-1977 Box Set, presented by Futurismo will be released in September but appears to be sold out. This collector's item features rare, unheard, obscure recordings from the band's archives. Consisting of 3 LPs and a 7” of predominantly unreleased material, this collection showcases unfinished montages and rare live audio with rare band images, one of which is Scratch 'N' Sniff! Also included are personal artwork and liner notes penned by Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh.
Devo's best-known hit, "Whip It," reached No. 1 on Billboard Hot 100 in 1980. Released as the second single from their third album, Freedom of Choice, the song consists of nonsensical lyrics instructing the listener to "Whip It" regarding personal problems. Other bands have covered the song, including Pearl Jam, Love and Death, and Does It Offend You, Yeah?
Many believe Devo and the B-52s to be cornerstones of the new wave movement of the '80s. "Whip It" introduced heavily synthesized music to the mainstream. While many journalists add Devo to the one-hit-ones list because this song is their only one to reach the top 40, the band has an avid following who enjoy their songs, which are, as author Brent Mann puts it, "quite simply, too far out and counter-culture for mainstream radio."
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