DEVO’s revenge

I remember first hearing DEVO on a Sunday evening when Dr. Demento played ‘Mongoloid’ on his radio show. He later would play ‘Jocko Homo’ which featured the lines “I’ve got a rhyme that comes in a riddle / O-Hi-O! / What’s round on the ends and high in the middle? / O-Hi-O!”

Many people may not be able to name any song by DEVO, but they might be familiar with their signature red flower pot hats.

It was not until the late 90’s that I saw DEVO live in a small club, it was a great show! The energy they played in that rather small venue, after having played larger spaces in the 80’s was great. I saw them 2 more times after that.

DEVO still plays shows, but many families are exposed the music of DEVO’s co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh on a regular basis via his musical scores for the children programs: Rugrats and Clifford the Big Red Dog. He has also provided music for many movies.

I share all of this because DEVO is in the news… They are taking on McDonald’s.

It seems one of the McDonald Happy Meal toys in their ‘American Idol’ themed Happy Meals violated a DEVO (copyrighted) trademark– the red flowerpot hat.

An article featured here, stated:

“….the fast food chain released a series of American Idol Happy Meal toys in the US based on a range of music genres…..

Devo’s complaint relates to New Wave Nigel, a toy kitted out in an orange jumpsuit, pink shades, and Devo’s “energy dome” hat.”

“Bass player Gerald Casale said the band were taking legal action against McDonald’s for using their copyrighted hat without permission.”

“‘This New Wave Nigel doll that they’ve created is just a complete Devo rip-off and the red hat is exactly the red hat that I designed, and it’s copyrighted and trademarked.

They didn’t ask us anything. Plus, we don’t like McDonald’s, and we don’t like American Idol, so we’re doubly offended.’

Comment was being sought from McDonald’s.”

My favorite line from the article was:

“Casale said it was ironic the world’s largest fast food chain should appropriate the image of a band known for taking aim at the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.”

So now I am wondering… would it be wrong for me, as a person who enjoys DEVO, to go to McDonald’s and buy a New Wave Nigel Happy Meal… After all, this lawsuit might make the New Wave Nigel worth something.

I mean if DEVO is going to make a buck off of it shouldn’t I, as a DEVO supporter, be able to profit from it too??

2 Responses to “DEVO’s revenge”

  1. libbie Says:

    my husband and i shared a very similar conversation last night.

  2. David S. Says:

    that’s hilarious. i just cleaned out my car tonight and threw away one of those McDonald’s “nigel” guys. Your post made me think i shouldn’t have done that. But then i considered the loads of plastic garbage we collect from trips through the drive thru. Its better that he’s gone. Now if we can convince the big chains to stop importing this inane, useless stuff…

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