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Rehearsal at S.I.R. Studios in Hollywood - 7/21/03 and ORANGE COUNTY FAIR - 7/22/03----------
(click images for larger view & info)------------------

Another dream come true! Nearly 30 years after their first gigs in Ohio,
DEVO performs in Southern California in 2003
We'll start with the
July 21st, 2003 - Rehearsal at SIR Studios in Hollywood
(photos to the left)

Scott Stanton and I were recruited at the last minute by Jerry Casale to document
the rehearsal on video and audio. We jumped at the chance, and rushed to SIR
just in time to set up all the cameras and help with a few pre-practice tasks.

During the set-up/soundcheck process, I was helping Jerry with some laptop and
email tasks, and was walking around SIR looking for an internet connection.
As I wandered around, a petite blonde walked out of Studio 1 (DEVO in Studio 2)
directly towards me and said "Hi, how's it going?", and continued into the
women's restroom. I thought I recognized her, but then I doubted myself and
returned to Studio 2 to shoot DEVO's rehearsal.

I mentioned what just happened to a friend of mine who was in Studio 2.
"I think I just saw Terri Nunn of BERLIN walking into the restroom next door
...but I'm not completely sure", I said.

My friend replied, "Well, why don't you go ask her?"

Well, I couldn't do *that*! I mean, SIR Studios is a very professional studio,
and I didn't want to approach anyone as a fan in a working environment.

"Hell, I'll go ask her!" said my friend, and she wkisked out of the door.
Before I could stop her (and I'm glad I didn't!), she disappeared into the
women's restroom, and emerged with Terri Nunn!

"You mean the *real* DEVO is next door?! I thought it was a cover band!
This is too cool. Can I go in to see them? Is Jerry Casale there?" asked Terri.

One thing led to another, and Terri invited a VH1/MTV camera crew
into DEVO's rehearsal. They were recording a special BERLIN segment
for an upcoming MTV show and were convinced that DEVO would be a
great addition to the show. After folks with boom-mics and cameras flocked
to DEVO's performance, Terri took the stage and sang "Whip It!" while
spanking Mark's ass. Truly Devolved...and a rock n' roll dream come true.

Ever wonder how busy Mark Mothersbaugh is? Well, let me tell you - that spud
is constantly busting his hump! After the 2+ hour rehearsal session at SIR studios,
Mark was off to finish scoring the new Ben Stiller/Jack Black movie, ENVY.
Mind you...this is around 10pm, the night before DEVO performs in Orange County,
and after Mark just completed a full day of work at Mutato, plus the rehearsal.
This spud is super human voodoo man!
(click top photo in right column for more tidbits)

(photos to right)

Mark and I showed up at the Pacific Amphitheater at noon, just in time for soundcheck. Jerry immediately recruits me and my laptop to help him type up cue sheets for the lighting technician at the venue. We type up lyrics to Gut Feeling, Slap
Your Mammy
, and Gates of Steel, adding lighting cues as we go. Pinch myself.
I sure was glad that I bought a laptop just before my trip to LA.

After soundcheck, most of the DEVOs wandered around the fair for a few hours.
Mark purchased some custom spudwear - a "Potato Luv" hat, and "DEVO" ring.
The fair itself reminded me a lot of the fairs I'd seen in North Carolina, except that
it was at least 10 times bigger. Everything else was exactly the same.

Many of DEVO's friends & family joined them backstage, but there was one
visitor who was a pleasant surprise - Rod Rooter, of Big Entertainment, Inc.,
a character who played a major role in DEVO's "We're All Devo" video compilation.
He was uber-nice, and brought his son along for the show. (see photo to right)

The show was great, especially since I was sitting directly in front of the stage,
just in front of the first row of seats. I was happy to see a packed venue
as I looked behind me across the sea of heads.

As they have in recent shows, DEVO focused on mostly early guitar-heavy
material, with one or two exceptions from later releases. Drummer David Kendrick,
who performed with DEVO back in the late 80's/early 90's, was back again for
this show, and did a great job snapping into being DEVO again.

I was able to get a photo pass for the DEVO show, but only for the first three songs.
However, video-fiend Scott Stanton was there to capture the whole thing on video.
He is also documenting DEVO's Japan shows in August. We'll keep you posted
if/when this footage becomes available for the common spud.

OK...back to work on the Mark Mothersbaugh HOMEFRONT INVASION! Tour...

-Michael Pilmer
July 31st, 2003