I hope you are all great.
Your contact form does not seem to be orking properly at this time so I am using this Tellus Devo option.
I am a Ph.D. candidate at Penn. I have been searching all over for an interview you gave that was published in the Soho Weekly News (allegedly.) The date is unknown, but I believe it is 1978. The artist Dan Graham quotes it many times, and I need to find it. Would you be so kind as to send me a reference? With a month and a year, it is enough. If you have a PDF and are willing to send it to me, please do. Wish you the very best! Thank you in advance! Rui
What he quotes is:
“We figured we’d mimic the structure of those who get the greatest rewards out of the upside-down business and become a corporation. Why stop at the music? I really believe that’s the mistake groups make. [Most groups] don’t understand the total picture they fit into. They don’t see how they interrelate publicly to the culture and the political situation in their work. They are destroyed because they become exploited by the system. Like,take a group, divide them up, pull one person out as the star and make solo albums …. We decided that what we hated about rock and roll was STARS… We watched Roxy music, a band we liked, slowly became Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. If you get a band that’s good, you bust it up and sell three times as many records. Take the Beatles for example.
(…) What do you think rock and roll is in America… besides Propaganda for Corporate Capitalist Life? Most rock musicians, they’re no more than clerks and auto-mechanics, you know… if they are lucky they’ll settle in an Alice Cooper kind of existence… Since Pop Music is definitely a vulgar art from connected with consumerism, the position of any artist is, in pop entertainment, really self-contempt. Hate what you like, like what you hate. It’s a totally schizophrenic position, but that in itself is a position that most people both inside the system and outside don’t understand. Therefore, if they don’t understand that very idea, they don’t even know what they are dealing with. Devo understands its self-contradiction and uses it as the basis for its creativity…. The system is totally geared toward profit, obviously. The artist is usually a willing victim because he’s a middle-class shit himself.”