Inquiring Minds

Devo In Jail: Bassist Gerald Casale Talks 1982 U Of H Arrest

For a bunch of geeky-looking guys from the Midwest, Devo sure has a knack for trouble. In this week's print feature, bassist Gerald Casale tells Rocks Off how the 1970 National Guard shootings at Kent State University near the band's hometown of Akron, Ohio, "transformed me and... ended up manifesting itself creatively as the Devo aesthetic. "

Something we had to leave out, unfortunately, was his story of a mid-'70s Halloween party in Cleveland, where Casale and Devo front man/co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh brawled with a crowd blasted on booze and nitrous oxide. They later snuck back inside the same party, in street clothes, to watch free-jazz cadet Sun Ra play one song for half an hour: "It was called 'Only 25 Years Til the 21st Century,'" Casale remembers.

The real prize, though, is that Casale told us the entire story behind his onstage arrest during - well, mostly after - a show at the University of Houston. We now take you back to Cullen Auditorium on the evening of Nov. 30, 1982...

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray