5010 81st Ave. N.
Pinellas Park, FL, 33781
Doors 3:00 PM (event ends at 9:30 PM)
This event is all ages
Inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, Blondie emerged as the great pop icons of New York's celebrated late '70s new wave punk scene by defying easy categorization. They wrote great rock hooks and brilliant, ironic lyrics. They had the hippest clothes and the coolest hair. Debbie Harry went from the pages of Punk magazine to being on the cover of just about every mainstream publication on the newsstands.
The original Blondie was formed in 1974 by art student/guitarist Chris Stein and ex-folkie and ex-Max's Kansas City waitress, vocalist/songwriter Deborah Harry. Drummer Clem Burke and keyboard player Jimmy Destri joined in 1975. The band played the fabled New York downtown circuit of CBGB's, Max's Kansas City and Mothers, amassing a major following before recording their first album Blondie in 1976 for the Private Stock label. It was released in 1977 and was well received as the band toured in support of Iggy Pop and David Bowie.
In the summer of 1977, they released their second album, Plastic Letters, and toured Europe and Asia. In March '78, the single "Denis" hit #2 in the U.K. That summer, the band worked with producer Mike Chapman to hone their radio sound and create the album Parallel Lines, with the single "Picture This" going #12 in the U.K. and the follow-up, "Hanging on the Telephone," hitting #5. Blondie had their first #1 record in the U.S. with "Heart of Glass," which also sold over a million copies in the U.K., with the album moving more than 20 million copies worldwide. The fourth single from Parallel Lines, "Sunday Girl," also hit #1 in the U.K.
In September 1979, the band's fourth album, Eat to the Beat, was released, along with the first-ever album-length video. Before year's end, Blondie continued their chart presence in the U.K. with the #2 hit "Dreaming." By February '80, they landed another #1 U.K. single in "Atomic" and two months later scaled the U.S. charts a second time with "Call Me," from the Paul Schrader film, American Gigolo. Before the end of the year, Eat to the Beat was certified platinum.
The fifth Blondie album, Autoamerican, produced the #1 U.K. smash, "The Tide Is High," which duplicated that feat in the U.S. The band appeared on the popular TV show Solid Gold, and soon the album was solid platinum. Debbie released her first solo album, Koo Koo, produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic and featuring a cover by H.R. Giger, the Academy Award winning sci-fi artist who created the Alien creature.
The band produced The Hunter in 1982, which included the single "Island of Lost Souls," their final U.S. hit before Chris was felled by a rare and often fatal genetic disease, which led to a sudden hiatus for the group.
Debbie went on to appear in numerous films and plays and to create music in various contexts. In recent years she has been the featured vocalist of the Jazz Passengers. Jimmy left music for a while to become a family man and contractor. Chris produced various bands in New York. Clem continued to record and tour with top acts. Sixteen years later the band members were used to being apart, but miraculously they were still talking. The friendships were still there. The doors were ajar. Responding to a request, they reformed to play a concert and had so much fun and found so much chemistry remaining that they decided to try to make some new music. That worked out so well that they re-formed and made a new album, No Exit, the seventh Blondie studio album, produced by Craig Leon, who had actually produced the band's first single, "X-Offender," and worked on the first album assisting producer Richard Gottehrer.
No Exit was a perfect, up-to-date evolution of Blondie - a great collection of perfectly crafted pop songs. The trademark elements were still there: that perfect, propulsive beat; Debbie's unmistakable voice, seductive, soulful yet ironic; atmospheric keyboards, sometimes lush, sometimes eerie; and brilliantly articulated guitar lines. It was an auspicious return, highlighted by the hit "Maria," which went to #1 in 14 countries. The album sold more than two million units worldwide and, behind it, the band completed two tours of the U.S, the U.K. and Europe.
The band returned with The Curse of Blondie, their 11th album, featuring 14 powerful new songs - probably the most musically varied and experimental album in the group's history.
Blondie's Live By Request CD and DVD came out on September 14, 2004, and the band released their Greatest Hits: Sight and Sound CD/DVD in the U.K. (which quickly went gold) to coincide with a British tour in November-December 2005. The package came out in the U.S. in spring 2006 on Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing. Aside from including the groundbreaking videos made by the group between 1977-1982, the CD/DVD features the bonus track and video of "Rapture Riders," a mash-up of "Rapture" and The Doors' "Riders on the Storm." The group's Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing release, The Best of Blondie, has been certified double platinum by the RIAA for sales of more than two million. One of the plaques was auctioned off to raise money to help the legendary CBGB's club in an attempt to stave off eviction from its downtown location.
In 2008, EMI celebrated the 30-year anniversary of Blondie's Parallel Lines with a re-release of the iconic album that gave the band their first #1 hit in the U.S., "Heart of Glass," and went on to sell over 20 million copies - an extraordinary feat achieved only by an elite club of artists. The reissue contains all the original classic tracks, along with instrumental versions, some vintage recordings previously available only on vinyl, plus exclusive video content. The timeless band that broke records and crossed boundaries with their unique style and music will hit the road again for a tour that will take them across the U.S. and Europe from summer through the end of the year. Debbie is rightfully proud of the band's hard work and accolades: "The guys have gotten really good at what they do. I mean, they always were good players and songwriters, but I think now you could say they're accomplished."
"Thirty years ago, people said that we were cynical, that we had a bad attitude," says Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh. "But now, when you ask people if de-evolution is real, they understand that there was something to what we were saying. It's not the kind of thing you want to see proven right, but it does make it easier to talk about."
"The world is in sync with Devo," says his band-mate and co-writer Gerald Casale. "We're not the guys who freak people out and scare them—we're like the house band on the Titanic, entertaining everybody as we go down."
And so, now is the time. More than three decades after the release of its visionary debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo, and a full 20 years since its last studio album, Devo is back with the aptly titled Something for Everybody. The long rumored, wildly anticipated album (which was launched with a memorable performance in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics) features the band's classic line-up—Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh, Gerald and Bob Casale—joined by drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Guns n' Roses). Produced by Greg Kurstin (The Bird & The Bee), the album also includes contributions from John Hill and Santi White (better known as rising hip-hop star Santigold), John King of the Dust Brothers, and the Teddybears.
Though the 12 songs on Something for Everybody are built on Devo's signature mechanized swing, the recording and presentation of the album saw the band experimenting with an entirely new approach. Greg Scholl was brought in to serve as COO for Devo, Inc., and—working with the advertising agency Mother LA—conducted a series of studies through the www.clubdevo.com site to help the band with its creative decisions, from color selection to song mixes.
"We decided to actively seek comment and criticism from outside people and use that as a tool, rather than shunning or ignoring it," says Gerald Casale. "Our experiences participating in secondary creativity—things like corporate consensus building, focus groups—make you appreciate the connection that an artist has to society."
"In the past, Devo was very insular," says Mark Mothersbaugh. "This time, I became intrigued with the idea of having people who understood Devo actually work on the songs, and to do to our songs what we did to 'Satisfaction' on our first record. Don't put any boundaries on their production style, let them bring what they needed to make Devo be what it should be after waking up from suspended animation for 20 years."
His revelation came when the Teddybears did a remix of the song "Watch Us Work It," an idea initiated by the Mother agency. "They took Josh Freese's drums off and put on a sample from something we did back in, like, 1982. And I thought, 'That actually is better!' That was when I first really saw that Devo had something to absorb, as well as something to impart."
Certainly Devo has had plenty to convey since Gerald Casale founded the group in Akron, Ohio, in 1973. The band was an extension of a multi-media exploration of the concept that mankind's progress had ceased, and the process of de-evolution had begun. Devo's early work caught the attention of such icons as Neil Young and David Bowie, and, with such hits as "Whip It" and "Girl U Want," and the accompanying, revolutionary music videos, the group became one of the defining acts of the 1980s.
Devo's sound, style, and philosophy have been an influence on artists from Rage Against the Machine to Lady Gaga. Kurt Cobain once said, "Of all the bands who came from the underground and actually made it in the mainstream, Devo is the most challenging and subversive of all."
In 1990, Devo morphed from a recording and concert act to putting more focus on individual pursuits and various creative enterprises. Mark Mothersbaugh, along with brother Bob, and Bob Casale, began making music for films and television, working on Pee-Wee's Playhouse and Rugrats and the movies of Wes Anderson. Gerald Casale directed scores of commercials and music videos for the likes of Miller Lite Beer and Mrs. Butterworth's to Rush, The Foo Fighters, and Soundgarden respectively. ("Everything we've done outside of Devo is basically a permutation on the theme we started with," says Mark Mothersbaugh.) Meanwhile, Devo's music remained a staple in movies, commercials, and videogames.
After appearing sporadically in concert and working on 2006's Devo 2.0 project—with kids providing the vocals to Devo songs—the band began the stop-and-start project of making new music. "It was now or never," says Gerald Casale. "We're all still alive, and we can all play and sing—probably better than we ever did in the past. These new songs, like 'Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)' or 'What We Do,' are as Devo as anything Devo has ever done."
Especially notable on Something for Everybody is the focus its songs bring to the vapid absurdity of so much contemporary speech (don't miss the closing wail of "Don't tase me, bro!" on "Don't Shoot"). Mark Mothersbaugh points out that, for all the attention usually given to Devo's funky robot sound, this has always been a central aspect of its work.
"We grew up in a time when we saw hippies become hip capitalists, when the real punks truly destroyed themselves, and we came to the conclusion that rebellion was obsolete," he says. "We saw subversion as the most successful form of change, so we always had an attraction to loaded phrases that you can reshape and subvert to fit your own needs."
Gerald Casale adds that Devo really was looking at today's world when writing the new songs. "The tautology of a line like 'What we do is what we do' is taken straight from hip-hop," he says. "And words like 'bro' and 'dude'—we're surrounded by it all the time, 20-year-olds don't even see any irony in it anymore."
A Devo for our times. A band that evolves, even as the world around them confirms the decay they have long suspected. With Something for Everybody, Devo has gained from experience, honed its attack, and stands ready to sound the alarm for another generation.
"As angry young men who have been validated, we have the possibility to do something that resonates like it did back in the early days," says Mark Mothersbaugh. "It's the same car, just now with air bags, power brakes, and steering."
"We're inspired by reality," says Gerald Casale, "because the world is so ridiculous and stupid. DE-EVOLUTION IS REAL."
$20.00 - $115.00
England Brothers Park
- Sorry, there are currently no upcoming events.