Did You Know Devo Also Performed as a Parody Band?

Plenty of artists have alter egos on stage, but an entire band lampooning other bands is somewhat unheard of. But leave it to synth-pop geek rockers Devo to do just that.

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Throughout the ’70s and ’80s, the “Whip It” artists became well-known for their over-the-top costumes, kitschy themes, and synth-fueled satire. Devo’s tongue-in-cheek social commentary, which ruffled its share of feathers, but also cracked a few smiles, became their calling card.

However, the Ohio-formed band took it to a new extreme in the late 1970s. During live shows, the band would act as their own support, performing as the Christian soft rock band, Dove the Band of Love.

The already kooky outfit Devo would perform under the anagram Dove as their sardonic evangelical counterparts, playing a setlist of songs like “It Takes a Worried Man,” “Praying Hands,” “Shrivel Up,” “Gates of Steel,” “Jesus,” and Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.”

Dove the Band of Love even made an appearance in the 1980 parody film, Pray TV, a spoof on televangelism.

Dove seemed a natural extension of Devo, a band that subscribed to no religion but advocated for the satirical religious sect, the Church of the SubGenius. “As soon as we found out about the Church of the SubGenius,” the band’s “Chief Strategist” and bassist, Gerald Casale, explained in an interview with Westword. “I think it was 1979 — we were immediately entertained because any church that lampoons religion is our kind of church.

“I mean, I can’t remember who said that ‘religion is the last refuge of scoundrels,'” Casale continued, “but that’s pretty much how we feel about people believing things blindly and repeating their beliefs blindly, and when you ask them why they have no reasons.”

Watch Devo perform “Praying Hands” and “Shrivel Up” as Dove the Band of Love, below.

Photo by Chris Walter/WireImage

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