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Mark Mothersbaugh

Broken Record with Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell, Bruce Headlam and Justin Richmond

Pushkin Industries

Society & Culture, Music

4.54.2K Ratings

🗓️ 31 October 2023

⏱️ 71 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


The lead singer and keyboardist for Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, is an avant-garde, new wave pioneer. Although critics sometimes classify Devo as a joke band, the Akron, Ohio art-punks’ ethos was created in response to a very serious event—the 1970 shooting at their college, Kent State. Following the incident, the band took on the name “Devo,” short for what they felt was organized society’s “de-evolution.”

Throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s Devo helped lay the groundwork for DIY, anti-establishment bands by releasing bizarre and left-of-center music and conceptual films that helped usher in the music video revolution.

In addition to his work with Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh has also created a long and successful career scoring for TV and film. His credits include, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse, The Rugrats TV show and movies, and he’s scored several classic Wes Anderson-directed films including The Royal Tenenbaums and Rushmore.

On today’s episode Justin Richmond talks to Mark Mothersbaugh about how he developed his quirky sensibility as one of five kids growing up in a chaotic household with exotic animals. Mark also tells a story about the time Richard Branson suggested that Johnny Rotten join Devo after the Sex Pistols broke up.

You can hear a playlist of some of our favorite Mark Mothersbaugh songs HERE.

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The lead singer and keyboardist for Devo, Mark Mothersbaugh, is an avant-garde new wave pioneer


Although critics often classified Devo as a joke band,


Oscar and Ohio art punk's ethos was created in response to a very serious event


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