The original incarnation of the band formed at Kent State University in Ohio in the late '60s as something of a joke, but they began taking the music more seriously after the Kent State shootings, in which four students were killed and nine wounded.
Devo band members have come and gone, but the bedrock members are the Casale brothers — Gerald and Bob — and the Mothersbaugh brothers — Mark, Bob and Jim.
Those funny yellow suits and red hats you remember were actually part of the band's biting social satire — the chemical protection suits mocked America's industrialization and consumerism. The red "flower pot" hats were intended to channel their sexual energy into their voices, according to the band. The name Devo actually stands for the "de-evolution" they saw in American culture.
The band has worked on various songs and projects over the past few years, including a project with Disney, called Devo 2.0, made up of child performers re-recording the band's songs. Devo also toured briefly in 2006.
Mark Mothersbaugh, perhaps the best known member of the band, has cultivated a very successful career composing musical scores for films, TV and, even, video games. He has frequently worked with quirky filmmaker Wes Anderson, scoring the films "Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou."
Did You Know?
Without his glasses, Mothersbaugh is legally blind. He got his first pair of glasses at age 7, and that was the first time he could ever see clearly. That inspired him to begin drawing and painting. You can check out his artwork at www.mutatovisual.com.
Band members are part of the Church of the SubGenius, a mock religion that parodies Scientology and New Age philosophy.
Pretty boy '80s hitmaker Duran Duran has weathered the ravages of time quite well. The band's recently released album, "Red Carpet Massacre," includes collaborations with today's pop princes Justin Timberlake and Timbaland.
The band (minus original member Andy Taylor, who didn't participate on the album) performed the album's first single, "Falling Down," and "Skin Divers" on "Good Morning America." (See related video.)
Duran Duran, with original members Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor, Andy Taylor and Roger Taylor, achieved massive success during the early '80s with a string of hits like "Rio," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "Save a Prayer" and "Is There Something I Should Know?"
By 1985, however, they split to pursue different projects. All told, Duran Duran has had 21 singles in the Billboard Hot 100, and has sold 85 million albums.
Did You Know?
Lead singer Simon Le Bon is still married to fashion model Yasmin Parvaneh after 22 years — an eternity in the world of rock star-model unions. The couple has three creatively named daughters: Amber Rose Tamara, Saffron Sahara and Tallulah Pine.
John Taylor's second wife, Gela Nash, is the co-founder and designer of the popular fashion line Juicy Couture. He appeared on episodes of the TV shows "Miami Vice" in 1985 and on "That '70s Show" in 2002.
Boy George (a.k.a. George Alan O'Dowd) and his band Culture Club took the '80s music scene by storm — thanks to George's "blue-eyed soul" sound and hip, gender-bender persona. The band's 1982 album, "Kissing to Be Clever," spawned the massive singles "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" and "I'll Tumble 4 Ya."