Monday, October 6, 2008

Devo + Obama = change

Influential Akron band will return to its hometown to rally for change.


In the final month of this historic presidential race, the band DEVO is making an urgent trip to their native Akron, Ohio to rally for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

The four founding members of DEVO (two sets of brothers -- Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh, Gerry Casale and Bob Casale) sprang from Akron in the 1970s at a time when the city was mired in a severe recession and dealing with the after-effects of a failed war. The band channeled that frustration into such groundbreaking hits as “Gates of Steel,” “Whip It,” and “Freedom of Choice.” Their albums blended political lyrics and pop iconography with urgent guitars and groundbreaking electronics, the combination of which earned them a place in music history and continues to influence countless bands today.

And at a time when the country is facing an economic crisis of historic proportions and soldiers are returning from service to bleak job prospects, DEVO is converging on Akron to channel their energies with a concert called “Duty Now for the Future.” All proceeds will benefit the Summit County Democratic Party in their efforts to create a future filled with hope and responsibility by electing Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Although the four band members now live in Los Angeles, DEVO maintains strong family ties to northeastern Ohio, and feel that their energy could be best served by supporting Barack Obama in their home state. "Ohio is where we need to be," says Mark Mothersbaugh, the band's co-founder and frontman. "My wife Anita convinced me of this after we had attended yet another Obama event here in California. It's great that we’re all for Obama, but sitting around in our BLUE bubble doesn't do anything for his chances in the battleground states. We all have a vested interest in what happens here -- our families and friends who have been hurt of the nonsense of the past eight years. We hope to make an impact with this concert, and raise consciousness to what's happened in Ohio in the past -- and what will happen again if people are not made aware of what their vote means. Our country is currently struggling under the burden of the unrestrained greed and political blunders of the current administration. We need a presidential team that can pilot us out of this mess. I think that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are our only hope. That's why we are here."

Adds Gerald V. Casale, Mothersbaugh’s co-writer and the band’s co-founder (they met at Kent State): “DEVO's excited to be ‘bringin' it all back home’ to our birthplace, Akron. This is the most important election in recent history, and most experts agree that Ohio is the key to winning it. Freedom of Choice is the title of our most successful record -- it's what America is all about. We're honored to help raise money for the Summit County Democratic Party and awareness for Barack Obama's candidacy. By restoring democracy, he will make sure that Freedom of Choice remains what this country is all about."

DEVO will perform their “Duty Now for the Future” concert at the Akron Civic Theatre at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 2008. All proceeds will go to the Summit County Democratic Party and there will be a reception with the band for VIP ticket holders.