As mentioned by Far Out, lead singer and keyboardist of the 70’s new wave band Devo Mark Mothersbaugh, says he has collaborated with the late and legendary David Bowie and Brian Eno back in the late 1970’s. Devo, an American electronic rock band formed in 1973 are best known for their popular songs “Whip It” and “Girl U Want,” both released in 1980. At an event hosted by Sonos at its Soho location in Manhattan earlier this month, Mothersbaugh looked back on one night in the summer of 1977 when Bowie apparently approached Devo after a set at Max’s Kansas City: “David Bowie came up and he said, ‘I’d like to produce you guys.’ And we said, ‘Well, we don’t have a record deal.’ And he said, ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll pay for it.’”
Bowie was apparently intent on showing Mothersbaugh that he was serious about his offer, so he “came out on stage when we played our second show at Max’s that night,” Mothersbaugh said. “He came out on stage and goes, ‘This is the band of the future, I’m going to produce them this Christmas in Tokyo!’ And we’re all like, ‘Sounds great to us. We’re sleeping in an Econoline van out in front on Bowery tonight, on top of our equipment.”
The band flew to Cologne where the collaboration was recored in Conny Plank’s studio. The band–Devo–jammed with David Bowie, Brian Eno, Holger Czukay (of Can) and a couple other German electronic musicians. Mothersbaugh found a recording of the session while cleaning out his studio, he says he has not listened to it yet. “There’s these tracks down below that say things like: ‘David’s vocals’ and ‘Brian’s extra synths.’ And I’m like, ‘I remember turning that stuff off when we were doing our final mixes. I’m thinking we should see what’s on those tapes,” Mothersbaugh said, adding, “I’m really curious to see what the heck they did.” As are we.