This second set of obscurities is pretty awesome but not as good as Hardcore Volume One. I certainly recommend buying at least the first four DEVO albums as they are very much in print and very entertaining.
Because I said all I needed to say on De-evolution here, I thought I would let Scott Myers, a regular Last Days reader, comment on the Akron Spudboys:
The point you made about Devo becoming uncool when you were young and being a band of ridicule for “real” punkers…Around the time Devo came to the wider public’s attention in the States around 1978 (after doing “Jocko Homo” on Saturday Night Live) the squares then adopted the band’s name as a word to describe and put-down anybody that who looked punkish or just vaguely different. “Hey, Devo!…” etc. The first punks took a lot of shit from the jocks for Devo whether they liked them or not. 2 years later it was these same jocks that were buying “whip it” and clapping their hands w/their girlfriends on their shoulders at a Devo show.
Sure, most discerning music fans (read:snobs) acknowledged that by 82/83 Devo (along w/The Clash & Talking Heads, amongst others) “had jumped the shark”, but, at the same time, I don’t think the nascent college rock or “earnest” scene ever forgot Devo once ruled the earth and spoke to them in terms of anything but pure subversion. No punk/indie fan I ever met as a kid gave me shit for writing “duty now for the future” on my skateboard…
One more thing- Ryko released those cd’s for a calculated reason, it was no coincidence. Kurt Cobain (Christ-figure of the earnest crowd) covered Devo and was vocal in his admiration for them (Remember he was also into a lot of eccentric, offbeat stuff like the Raincoats, Vaselines, Flipper…) Devo’s cache had grown in the indie world as many early younger fans such as ourselves were realising that Devo’s ideas on popular culture were being proved right (just as we’d always known) and many other artists came forward to give respect. So Ryko were shrewd to drop those comps when they did…
There was also an excellent live collection released by Ryko at that time which had some wild early recordings (opening for Sun Ra in ’75!, heckling Stiv Bators in ’77)
To which I responded:
I remember walking down the street in a Germs ‘Circle O’ shirt in 83 and some jocko homo yelling ‘Hey Devo’ and throwing a Pepsi bottle at me.
To which Scott responded:
I guess in Australia it was a slightly different scene. Many new wave bands toured here in that 79-82 period that were more marginal back in the U.K. or the States were comparatively more successful, so the divisions weren’t as clearly drawn.. I mean Blondie, B-52′s & Devo had all had top 5 singles in Oz by around 1980. There was only 1 nationally broadcast music show called Countdown that nearly the whole country watched every Sunday night. This was the conduit that broke those bands here.
We took what we could get, I guess, and many struggling new wave bands from o/s that had been left to the dogs by the Majors found a receptive audience here. . It’s hard to believe now but the Fall played live on National TV here (2 drummers ‘n all) on their Hex Enduction tour of 82!
That said, we were also quick to jump on fads.. Australia was an ABBA stronghold and one of their first tours outside Europe was down here to appease the morons.
So, what have we learned? I for one have learned that it was obviously a hell of a lot better to live anywhere in Australia in 82 than friggin’ Missouri!