Devo multi-instrumentalist Mark Mothersbaugh told the Los Angeles Times in a recent interview that he’d experienced some severe delusions during his hospital stay for COVID-19. According to Rolling Stone, he spent 18 days in the hospital, 10 of which he was on a ventilator.
His wife, Anita Greenspan, mentioned how close he’d come to passing away in a recent article about an infamous mansion called the Sway House. The mansion, rented by TikTok personalities Bryce Hall, Noah Beck and Blake Gray, was accused of throwing large parties with little regard for the virus. Party-goers were allegedly “defecating and urinating in the street, having sex in cars and smoking marijuana in a fire risk area.”
Due to outrage from neighbors, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti shut off water and power for the residence, following a threat that he could take those measures against any residence disobeying social distancing precautions. Greenspan spoke out against the Sway House, saying “This virus is no joke… they don’t seem to care about public health.”
Mothersbaugh believes he caught COVID-19 while working around strangers at his production company, Mutato, in late May. He reportedly dismissed the symptoms initially until his fever reached 103. “A nurse came over the next morning and said, ‘You should be in ICU,’” Mothersbaugh recalled for the LA Times. “I said, ‘That’s ridiculous.’ She replied that she’d been a nurse for three decades: ‘You need an ambulance right now.’”
He went on to discuss the delusions he suffered while in the hospital, “There’s a bookstore I love where I get stationery supplies, and in my mind I had been there. I was convinced for about two weeks that I had been hit by a brick by somebody in Little Tokyo. I felt blood from being hit.” His story continued, “I was handcuffed to a parking deck downtown. I had this whole elaborate story of how these kids sold me to an ambulance company that then got some sort of a payment for delivering Covid patients to their ICUs. I totally believed it.”
At one point during his stay, his delusional state led to him trying to escape and nurses strapping him to his bed. While his family wasn’t allowed to visit him, they reportedly tried to ‘keep him sane’ over video. Mothersbaugh reflected, “If you have anyone that you know who’s in ICU with COVID, contact them and keep them in touch with the outside world, because it’s easy to lose track of where you are and why you are. I had no idea I was on a ventilator for 10 days. Time meant nothing.”
Devo were supposed to be one of the bands playing the first Cruel World Festival in May in Los Angeles, but it was cancelled due to the pandemic and hasn’t yet been rescheduled. Mothersbaugh mentioned in the interview that Cruel World and two other festivals Devo were going to play were originally rescheduled for September before all being cancelled. While the band hasn’t toured since 2014, he said he was open to stepping back up on stage, at least for a farewell tour.