I’m prone to proudly tout my first ever concert as being Devo at Radio City Music Hall on Halloween night, 1981 (which was the same night, incidentally, that FEAR wreaked havoc on “SNL” just around the corner at 30 Rock, my old place of employment). It was probably the most prestigious New York City venue Devo would ever play, and remains a truly special, visceral memory for me.
Devo lost another key member of their organization yesterday, as news came down that Robert Mothersbaugh Sr., otherwise known as General Boy, the band’s early spokesman -– and, more significantly, the father of Mark and Bob 1 -- passed away. In searching for video of the great man on YouTube yesterday, I discovered that the someone had uploaded a high quality bootleg of the Radio City show I attended. Here’s the fine print, penned by Ian Weil.
Today I present a very special bootleg - Jerry Casale's favorite Devo show! He says that at the beginning of the show, the crowd could see nothing but an empty stage with the backing track playing. Then, he says, the full Aztec temple w/ treadmill stage rose out of the basement like an aircraft carrier (this explains the long "Nutra Theme" and crowd going nuts). Enjoy this wonderful Nutra show with good quality! Don't you just love Nutra stuff? Pictured are tickets from this show and photos from this show (sorry they have watermarks).
Like I said, I have nothing but fond memories of this show. I attended with my fellow Devo-obsessive classmate, Walt. We were about 14 years old, and in awe of Radio City Music Hall. I ended up buying both a t-shirt (of course) and a gleaming red Energy Dome. The shirt no longer fits and is long gone, but I picked up an anniversary edition of the same design not too long back. I still have the Energy Dome, and will never part with it.
Here it is, while it lasts….Devo at Radio City Music Hall on Halloween, 1981. Picture me grooving as a gormless 14-year-old in yellow-rimmed, punky sunglasses and a black Pink Floyd the Wall t-shirt under a blue blazer.
Incidentally, the photograph in the video screen grab below was taken by the great Allan Tannenbaum. I actually bought a print of a different image from that same show from Allan a number of years back. He's also responsible for the group portrait of theirs that graces the sleeve of Duty Now for the Future. Beyond his Devo pics, though, his work is spectacular. Check it out here.
Duty Now, Spuds. Rest in Peace, General Boy!
Shortly after the show in question. Those are the same sunglasses alluded to above. And yes, I still have the Yellow Suit...