Devolutionary Design

A lot of people dismiss Devo as a silly band, but they actually took themselves very seriously. In their early days they had this considered philosophy that the human race was in a state of de-evolution (hence: “devo”).

A lot of their early songs were about corporate control and blind conformity. But the band members were actually visual artists first. And Jerry Casale, one of Devo’s founders, says that originally they were trying to figure out what devolutionary art would look like.

One day, Jerry and his fellow Devo band member Mark Mothersbaugh were walking through the sports section of a department store when they spotted something: a set of practice golf balls in a clear plastic pouch with a cardboard display head. And on that was an illustration of the golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez.

Casale and Mothersbaugh laughed about the image of Chi Chi and decided that they had to have it. One of the things they loved about Chi Chi was that he was a golfer who didn’t fit into the typical “golfer” persona. He wore loud pants, bright shirts and his signature item of clothing was a Panama straw hat. He was quite a character.


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