Mark Mothersbaugh meets Richard Branson

Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO tells a story:

Wow, was it ’77 or ’78? I remember it because Northeast Ohio was under a blanket of snow about 30 inches deep. At that point, everybody in the band had quit their day jobs just to be totally dedicated to the band, so people were letting us sleep in their living rooms or wherever we could sleep. We got a call from Richard Branson — we were all in our 20’s back then. He says, “Hey, wanna come down to Jamaica?” And I’m looking outside at the snow — I’m wearing a winter coat to try to eat breakfast in this cold apartment — and I said, “Yeah, I’ll come down to Jamaica.”

So Bob 2 (Bob Casale) and me went down. To make a long story short — I’m trying to think of how to paraphrase this — he had a bunch of guys from Virgin Records with him. We were in this nice hotel room. They brought out all this Jamaican marijuana. In Ohio, we didn’t have drugs at all. Instead of the summer of love, we had the summer of agony over and over again.

And they were asking us what we thought of the Sex Pistols, and we said, “Oh, we really like ’em. At their last show in San Francisco we were there, and they came to our show, and it’s a shame they broke up, blah, blah, blah.” “And what do you think of Johnny Rotten?” “Oh, we think he’s great. We think he should totally change what he’s doing and do something new.” And they go, “Well, that’s great, because Johnny Rotten wants to join Devo and he’s in the next room. And we have members of the press from all over England with us here, and I’d like to take everybody down to the beach and make the announcement that Johnny Rotten is joining Devo.”

And when he said that, I remember looking at Richard Branson, and I realized he had the mandible and these protruding teeth of a brain-eating ape. And I became scared of him after that.

3 thoughts on “Mark Mothersbaugh meets Richard Branson

  1. There’s a funny story Don Letts tells about Johnny Rotten hanging out with Joni Mitchell on this same Jamaican venture with Richard Branson…

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