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We Are Devo! Paperback – October 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The book presents a very Akron-centered narrative, from the events discussed to the people interviewed. It's as much a story of those individuals left behind by Devo when they got in bed with big business as it is a story of the band itself. Bob Lewis, according to this account, shares equal footing with Mark Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale in the development of Devo-- you'll read a lot more about him than you'll read about Bob Casale or Alan Myers. Bob Lewis has always been the intriguing "missing link" in Devo history and, whether you believe him or not (I tend to take his account with a particularly large grain of salt), it's fascinating to finally hear a fleshed-out version of his story. Fortunately, the authors make it clear that this is just one account of Devo--an account that is permeated at all times by the conflict between Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis.
Overall, it's a fairly well written book that presents one version of the Truth About De-Evolution. I'm hoping that this book will inspire one of the spudboys themselves to declare, "Now it can be told...", and write their own book.
It wasn't until today when I read on the official DEVO site ([...]) that in Jerry Casale's very own words that it was IN FACT, an unauthorized biography. Here is what Jerry had to say:
"...the book was done without our approval or co-operation (most of the quotes were extracted from pre-existing sources and the short "interview" with me was done under a different pretext) .The book is loaded with mis-information, delusional distortions and outright lies perpetrated by people with axes to grind. The result is that the significance of the creative process that spawned the almost 100 songs that Mark and I wrote and the excitement of the concepts and aesthetic influences behind our stage shows, costumes and videos gets trivialized and even buried by petty and spiteful politics. These politics are perpetrated by people who often times weren't even involved in the events they spin so far afield but their spin is never-the-less swallowed by the book's writers hook line and sinker. Some day soon we will release another book that sets the record straight on what it meant to be DEVO. -- Gerald Casale."
Aside from all of this, even when I thought it was an authorized release, I found the author repeating information in a very unnecessary way. At least three times does he mention that Mark had an obsession with the Beatles. And he doesn't just mention it, he goes into depth about it. This was another thing that made me wonder if they were just short on material.
The cover I found a little boring, and not well-designed. Another warning that I did not heed.
I'm very disappointed that I actually paid money for this book, not to mention spending hours pouring over it. I would highly recommend passing this one by, as it would be a terrible waste to support the fools who wrote it.
Some might not be too keen on peeking behind the curtain of the Devo myth, but for any real spud, this book is a revelation of fascinating stories which explains so much - particularly to us UK fans who got so little information at the time and not much more since. For the more casual reader, it's a slice of social/music history which looks at the 1970s from a fresh perspective, a refreshing change from the punk myth that's been told and re-told so often now. The book accelerates through the band's latter years, which is perhaps a little disappointing for the hardcore fan, but given that that Devo devolved and decayed pretty rapidly as the 1980s wore on, it feels appropriate. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While this book does give us a peek into the evolution of our favorite spudboys into the band we all love, it...Read more