It was 1981. Three of my junior-high school friends and I were obsessed with new wave music, specifically, The Police, David Bowie, Blondie, and Devo. I forget exactly how these friends and I found each other in junior high, but I recall that a little girl-scout-type non-friend from my bus stop told me that if I stayed friends with them I'd get a "bad reputation." I think I had to look that up, as I had no idea what she was talking about. It was easy enough to ignore her. My friends, sisters Mary & Judi Huff and Linda Smith, did have a bit of roughness about them, living on the poorer side of town and all coming from broken homes (Mary & Judi talked about wanting their step-father dead, regularly), but they'd befriended me, unlike the girl-scout-types, and I was drawn to their edginess and anti-mainstream attitudes.
We were all crazy about Devo, reading all the liner notes, memorizing their personal info, singing their songs and memorizing the lyrics. We were from the Midwest, they were from the Midwest; there were four of us and there were four (or five, math is hard) of them; it was kismet. We each "married" a Devo member, became "spudgirls" and made ourselves the red dome hats out of cardboard. Judi was the oldest and "married" Mark Mothersbaugh, Mary got hitched to Jerry Casale, Linda wed Bob Casale, and I pled my troth to Bob Mothersbaugh. I got Bob 1, mostly because he was deemed least attractive with his long face and large nose and the other girls were all bigger than me—not much room to argue. We sang and danced around to their albums, banging into each other, and being totally goofy whenever we met up, for months. Good times.
It's 2009 and I just saw Devo on tour with some very favorite friends at the 9:30 club in DC on Sunday night. It was amazing!! Devo played fast, hard, and loud, kept the energy high and ROCKED. It was one of the best shows I've seen in a long time. The guys, all in their late-50s, performed famously, keeping the bizarre theatrics they're known for, and stunning us all with the joy they seemed to have, out on tour singing tunes from their 30-year-old album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! It was glorious.
I'd told Kelly about the whole Devo marriage thing, and she jokingly told me during the show, "Your husband's held up well!" Hilariously, after Booji Boy tossed out bouncy balls during the encore song, Beautiful World, and I caught one (well, fished it off the floor), the guy standing behind me asked a non-sequitor, "Was that your wedding ring?"
Maybe it was. Maybe it was...
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