Yeah yeah yeah... just like all of the LA punk rockers back in the day... I did see Devo on Halloween at the Starwood. It was THE show to see that night. Word of mouth about Devo after their previous Starwood stand that year (July 25 and 26, 1977) brought the art schoolers from Ohio bigger crowds with each gig. And Halloween is always a punk rocker's dream night to play! So, yeah, I was there. I even took a bunch of photos that night, but 100% of them were of the band that opened: Mumps.
Lance Loud of Mumps, if you look closely, his shirt's got a jack-o-lantern design!
If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know just how much I loved and continue to love Mumps music.. the punk the pop the glam the cleverness factor...
All those factors were, whether or I knew it or not, the criteria I had for any band in any genre. One could argue that Devo had that criteria in spades but I didn't back then and still don't get it. Intellectually I do, but they never ever appealed to me. Good for a passing laugh. Too obvious for me, perhaps.
So where was I that mid-July Summer of '77 when Devo debuted? I was trying to understand The Dictators. It took me a long, long time to understand them.
Andy Shernoff is as clever and as rock n roll as they get. But in the 70s, I was a 20-something young woman and the whole dude-ness of their identity didn't resonate with my identity. But all my guy friends really dug the Dics and I kept going back to see what it was all about.
Dicators Top Ten/Scott Kempner and Ross the Boss
The twin guitar thing is something I really love. And in punk rock, most of the bands I was into had but one guitar player -- Ramones, Sex Pistols, Jam, Avengers, Dils, Damned ... the list goes on. Punk rock was just the basic elements, after all - nothing more and nothing less than you needed to make that noise. An additional guitar was ok though - all that much more noise to make - and a keyboard... all the more cool, crazy and creepy noises you could make... like Mumps did...
So - in the end...30+ years later - I still love Mumps, I still am indifferent leaning towards dismissive of Devo and I finally understand this comic book dude thing that is The Dictators. After all, Handsome Dick Manitoba is the King of All Men!