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Clown AKA "The Clown", was a character embodied by Robert "Bob 1" Mothersbaugh

In the "hardcore" era DEVO wore blue/gray short-sleeved worksuits. Booji wore his latex rubber mask and the rest wore their translucent plastic face masks. This outfit can be seen in the film In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution and in the concert documentary Hardcore DEVO Live!.
Clown appeared with three other DEVO personas in at least three confirmed shows in 1975.
Young Bob had a propensity for destruction.[4] He was nicknamed the Clown[5]

Other Clowns
The members of DEVO don’t take themselves very seriously and often present themselves with a self-deprecating, “clowning”, Three Stooges style humor.

A subset of the mask aesthetic DEVO employs, the clown motif reoccurs in DEVO multimedia art - beyond Bob 1’s former nickname and early stage persona / performance art character.

DEVO-Adjacent:
DEVO played multiple sets at CBGB in May 1977, where the larger-than-life photo mural series showcasing vaudeville performers concluded stage left with Emmett Kelly as the clown "Weary Willie".

IRL DEVO opened twice for the rock band “Clown” in July 1977, playing an A&M records showcase at the Starwood. [6]

In the “KROQ÷FM DEVOTEES ALBUM”, The Firemen perform "Jocko Bozo" with lyrics "...Are We Not Clowns We Are Bozo". [7]

An open-mouthed clown bust is featured on the cover art of Dom Giorgi and Adrian Faure’s 2021 environmental documentary Devolution: A Devo Theory. [8]

Concept DEVO:
Mark’s circus clown illustrations - drawn on several open reel tape boxes - are seen in the fold-out poster included in the Recombo DNA demo compilation CD set (2000). [Clowns appear in Mark's solo art, including an art print where he wears a clown nose and makeup.]

During Halloween 1978, Jerry photographed his sister and father wearing his clown-like half face masks, for the cover of “The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprize” single.[DEVO: The Brand, page 68.]

A small clown head decorates the center of a square tray on Daddy-Know-It-All’s office desk at Big Media in the “Roll Out the Barrel” segment of The Men Who Make the Music.

In We’re All DEVO* a framed poster of “Numero Uno” hangs on a wall in the Rooter residence with the colored logo of the “Evil Clowns” over a black and white composite photo depicting that “mega metal” group’s lead singer. *[1][2][3]

Mark wears a red clown nose on the front and back covers of the “Peek·A·Boo!” singles.
Bob 2 wears a red clown nose in the “Time Out For Fun” music video and backing concert video.

Spazz Attack appears as a punk clown in the “Peek-A-Boo” music video and in the extra footage featured in the concert backing video. He appears in person on “Solid Gold” as DEVO performs “Peek·A·Boo!” to audio playback.
Spazz applies the clown makeup in a 1982 photo by Lisa Casale.[DEVO: Unmasked, page 130.]

The conceptual theme for oh, no! it’s DEVO is “fascist clowns” - Rolling Stone magazine’s epithet for DEVO. [9][10]

It may be that, to DEVO, an evil clown mask connotes a negative “low Devo” masked shadow persona that is a contrary [and not an opposite] of every person's positive “high Devo” ideal personality.[11][12][13][14]

References[]

  1. "DEVO (The De-evolution Band) 'How LOW can you go!' featuring Boogie Boy, China Man, Jungle Jim, & The Clown"] Page 9 Advertisements. Daily Kent Stater. (1975, April 4). KSU library online archive. http://dks.library.kent.edu/cgi-bin/kentstate?a=d&d=dks19750404-01.2.37.1&srpos=1&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN-%22Boogie+Boy%2c+China+Man%2c+Jungle+Jim%2c+%26+The+Clown%22------ (From archive.org).
  2. George Gimarc. Punk Diary, 1970-1979: The Ultimate Complete Day-By-Day Reference Guide to Punk. St. Martin's Press. (1994). They come out in their costumes as Booji Boy, The Clown, Jungle Jim and The Chinaman. In the liner notes to the 1992 Ryko CD release "The Mongoloid Years," Mark remembers, "using homemade electronic drums, and a mini-moog, a clavinet, a customized lobotomized Hagstrom guitar, and bass, we proceed to torture stoned urban hippies with 'performance art' way before that label even existed..."
  3. Devo Live Guide 1973 to 1977. huboon.com/1973_77.html (From archive.org).
  4. "DEVO - The Men Who Make The Music (Pre-WB Version)" (1977). uploaded to YouTube by RevAndroid.

    "Well, as early as six years ago I was smashing T.V.'s, throwing furniture out the windows - parties, uh, you know - crazy stuff, you would just get in trouble. Since joining Devo I found discipline. With discipline you can get away with as much, if not more." - Robert "Bob 1" Mothersbaugh

  5. Tim Baker. "Our Interview with Gerald Casale of DEVO - The Thinking Man's KISS". Syffal. (2011, March 23). http://www.syffal.com/interviews/gerald-casale-devo (From archive.org).

    "Bob #1, that's Bob Mothersbaugh, the lead guitarist who used to be known as Clown in high school, but not a funny clown, a clown that they are all afraid of. They used to say, 'Jesus we are having a party... Don't. Tell. Clown '." - Gerald V. Casale.

  6. huboon.com/images/1977-07-00_05.jpg (From archive.org).
  7. https://www.discogs.com/release/1570542-Various-KROQ-FM-Devotees-Album (From archive.org).
  8. https://www.escapademedia.com.au/titles/devolution-a-devo-theory/ (From archive.org).
  9. Ampersand: New Contributors. The Spectrum. (1979, September 7). https://nyshistoricnewspapers.org/?a=d&d=spec19791207-01.1.24&e=-------en-20--1--txt-txIN---------- (From archive.org)."Chris Morris (On Disc) is equally generous with his opinions... he recently attended a party with all five members of Devo present, right after he reviewed their most recent L.A. concert as 'undemanding entertainment' that 'bore all the orgiastic earmarks of a Nuremberg rally...' "
  10. Michael Goldberg. "Devo: Sixties Idealists or Nazis and Clowns? - 'Use information instead of emotions to make decisions' ". Music. Rolling Stone. (1981, December 10). rollingstone.com/music/music-news/devo-sixties-idealists-or-nazis-and-clowns-119053/ (From archive.org).
  11. Danny Turner. " A Few Minutes with Gerald V. Casale of Devo - Devo's cult status remains indelible. Co-founder Gerald V. Casale reminisces about the band and its longstanding association with Roland." People/Stories. Roland. (2023). https://articles.roland.com/a-few-minutes-with-gerald-v-casale-of-devo/ (From archive.org).

    "During my college days, I had an incredible philosophy professor who got us all going on Carl Jung and the duality of human nature. We embody the best and the worst. Everybody has their shadow or dark side and is capable of being evil. That was the impetus for 'Peek-A-Boo,' with the lyrics exposing the person trying to hide behind the mask."

  12. Gerald V. Casale. "We Are Drowning in a Devolved World: An Open Letter from Devo Following the band's Rock Hall nomination, founder Gerald Casale reflects on its dystopian legacy in the age of Trump." Noisey – Music by Vice. (2018, December 6). https://www.vice.com/en/article/qvqek5/devo-open-letter-devolution-rock-hall-trump-2018 (From archive.org).

    "As I started working with my Kent State poet friend, Bob Lewis, a philosophy emerged, fueled by the revelations that linear progress in a consumer society was a lie. Things were not getting better. There were no flying cars and domed cities, as promised in 'Popular Science'; rather, there was a dumbing down of the population engineered by right-wing politicians, televangelists, and Madison Avenue.
    I called what we saw 'De-evolution,' based upon the tendency toward entropy across all human endeavors. Borrowing the tactics of the Mad Men-era of our childhood, we shortened the name of the idea to the marketing-friendly 'Devo.'
    We were not left-wing politicos. We were more informed by Jungian principles of duality in human nature, and we realized human flaws spread out across the political spectrum. Hence: 'We’re All Devo,' an idea from which we did not exempt ourselves."

  13. Gabriel Szatan. ' “ 'We’re Just a House Band on the Titanic': A Conversation With Devo’s Gerald Casale - The cofounder of rock’s most original band talks devolution in the era of Trumpism." Tidal. (2020, October 27). https://tidal.com/magazine/article/devo-gerald-casale/1-75145 (From archive.org).

    I’m a great believer in Jungian Analysis. Carl Jung said that we have two selves, essentially. There is the self that exists in the physical realm, which is the self that can actualize positive behavior in a tangible way. It’s the you you wanna be. And then there is the opposition, which is the shadow self. You never want to be betting against the shadow self. To me, that craven, mendacious, cruel evil will always rise up and poison the hearts of man.

  14. "De-evolution is Real feat. Jerry Casale". UNLOCKED 637. Chapo Trap House. (Posted 2022, June 17). [Will and Chris interview Jerry Casale (on 2022, June 16). Quoted at 00:44:40. Available at multiple internet sites.] https://archive.org/details/bpzjbhswxwivufpnuokumn5h8ruhhz3wecuirkaa

    "That is the flaw, the duality of human nature. It's what all the greatest minds kept telling everybody for centuries in literature and any other kind of art form. I mean, look at Jung talking about, you know, the shadow reality of humanity in the dark side, the duality of humanity. It's everything we like, every science fiction movie, every horror film deals with the same basic treatise."


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DEVO
Mark Mothersbaugh | Gerry Casale | Bob Mothersbaugh
Bob Lewis | Bob Casale | Jim Mothersbaugh | Alan Myers
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Record Labels / Publishers
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Official Studio Albums
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) | Duty Now For The Future (1979) | Freedom of Choice (1980) | New Traditionalists (1981) | oh, no! it's Devo (1982) | Shout (1984) | Total Devo (1988) | SmoothNoodleMaps (1990) | Something for Everybody   (2010)
Other Albums
Be Stiff EP (1978) | E-Z Listening Disc (1987) | Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace (1989) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1 74-77 (1990) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 2 1974-1977 (1991) | DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years (1992) | DEV-O Live (1999) | Recombo DNA (2000) | Live In Central Park (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle (2012) | Something ELSE for Everybody  (2013) | Miracle Witness Hour  (2014) | Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977  (2014) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015) | Art Devo 1973-1977  (2023)
Filmography
In The Beginning Was The End: The Truth About De-Evolution (1976) | The Men Who Make The Music (1981) | Human Highway (1982) | We're All DEVO (1984) | The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (1993) | DEVO Live (2004) | DEVO Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
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History | Bootlegs | Booji Boy | Devolution | Influence | The Wipeouters | Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers | Devo 2.0 | Akron, Ohio | Kent, Ohio | Music Videos | Cover Versions | Outfits

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