Devo / Burroughs - Black

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Burroughs Meets Devo

The concept of De-Evolution, the guiding philosophy of DEVO, dates back way past 1972 Ohio. In fact it officially dates back in print to 1924 Ohio when Rev. BH Shadduck (PhD!) published his wild anti-evolution booklet Jocko-Homo Heavenbound (aka Jocko-Homo Heaven-Bound King of the Zoo). The book and the many followup books published by his Jocko-Homo Pub. Co. were popular in his lifetime, but then sat dormant for decades waiting to be rediscovered. Gerald Casale was a student at Kent State who’d been using the term “De-Evolution” before he met fellow student Mark Mothersbaugh in 1970. But it was Mothersbaugh who owned the Jocko-Homo booklet and introduced it to Casale, and here the embryonic DEVO truly began to devolve.

Trouser Press

Touser Press was a rock and roll magazine started in New York in 1974 as a mimeographed fanzine by editor/publisher Ira Robbins.

The magazine's original scope was British bands and artists (early issues featured the slogan "America's Only British Rock Magazine"). Initial issues contained occasional interviews with major artists like Brian Eno and Robert Fripp and extensive record reviews.

Junky is the semi-autobigraphical account of William Burroughs, Bill Lee in the book. It covers his time from the late 1940's to the early 1950's during his time of heroin addiction and his many attempts to kick the habit.

Burroughs unintentionally shows both sides of drug addiction. He paints a fairly positive view, stating the friendships and knowledge gained were due to his dependence. Several times he claims he was better off on the 'junk' than he was when he quit. The book reads like a typical addict's denial. While we see Burroughs pushing the positives, we the reader, read the usual desperations, fear, anxiety and loss. It is a dark and depressing tale of a life wasted.

The Interzone is both an international zone and a zone in which the law has been suspended. It was inspired to Burroughs by his life as a fugitive in Tangiers, as well as his consumption of heroin that has been one of the objects of his literary work. Burroughs’s descriptions of the Interzone reach a visual richness that even David Cronenberg was not fully able to introduce in his cinematographic adaptation of Naked Lunch in 1991

The cut-up technique (or découpé in French) is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, later Byron Ginseng, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.

Booji Boy is a character created in the early 1970s by the American new wave band Devo. The name is pronounced "Boogie Boy"—the strange spelling "Booji" resulted when the band was using Letraset to produce captions for a film, and ran out of the letter "g". When the "i" was added but before the "e," Devo's lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh reportedly remarked that the odd spelling "looked right."


Both Burroughs and Devo consider Orgone in their work. Orgone is a pseudoscientific and spiritual concept described as an esoteric energy or hypothetical universal life force, originally proposed in the 1930s by Wilhelm Reich.

Orgone interested Burroughs particularly because he believed that it could be used to ease or alleviate "junk sickness"—a popular term for heroin withdrawal. This fitted well in the context of his novels, which were usually narrative recreations of his own experiences with narcotics and the Beat life.

Devo claimed that their iconic energy dome design was used to recycle the wasted orgone energy that flows from a person's head.