Of course I voted for DEVO. After nearly forty years of slavish DEVOtion to the spudboys from Akron, they are at last nominated for a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are not, by any means, a shoo-in. The group that David Letterman once referred to as "The Fisher-Price of rock and roll" are part of a class that includes eighteen other artists: Def Leppard, Janet Jackson, John Prine, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, MC5, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, Roxy Music, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Stevie Nicks, The Cure, The Zombies, and Todd Rundgren.
I have been one of those Hall of Fame kibitzers from way back, and I understand that all discussions about who gets in when is the reason for the Hall's existence. I am certain there are fans out there who are still anxiously awaiting their chance to vote for the Starland Vocal Band. Winners of the Best New Artist Grammy in 1976, the SVC has a hit single and a TV variety show to promote their ascension into pop music's pantheon. "Afternoon Delight" hit number one on the Billboard Chart. By contrast, DEVO's big hit, if you'll pardon the pun, "Whip It" peaked at number fourteen. And no one was foolish enough to suggest that DEVO host their own summer replacement series.
Still, some forty years after the fact, this bastion of the New Wave finds itself amidst heady company as votes begin to trickle in at a time when voting is a right we should all embrace. While it is true that there are probably places where your vote might make a more emphatic change, I would like to point out that DEVO played a fundraiser for Barack Obama back in 2012 in their home state. Barack Obama went on to win a second term.
Need I say more?
Okay. So maybe you're not convinced. There are still so very many more important issues of the day. Certainly that imposing list of fellow nominees is enough to make anyone ask, "Why DEVO? Why now?"
To which I would respond, "De-evolution is real. Take a look around you." There is a reason my wife and I chose "Freedom of Choice" as one of the songs we played at our wedding. And so I ask you, on behalf of DEVO: If not now, when?