Akron backs Devo for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Writing and photos by Paul Treen

Hello, Akronites!

It’s been about 6 months since I’ve published in TDS, but I’m back. Oh yeah, it’s been 3 years since I first started Rubber City Rocks, and I have kind of phoned in during 2020, due to a little pandemic. 

Things could be looking up in 2021, with a vaccine rolling up out, and a certain Akron band has been nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! Not the Black Keys, nor is it the Pretenders. Can you guess? Do I really have to answer? OK, fine: Devo. 

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You may know who they are, whether it’s because of constant local references to their “energy dome” hats, or because their founding member Mark Mothersbaugh wrote the score for films you may have seen, like Thor Ragnorok and The Lego Movie.

But this story isn’t about Devo, really. It is about two women, Tish Jolernigan and Courtney Cable, and what they’re doing to promote Devo and Akron. 

They are part of Mayor Dan Horrigan’s proclamation that April 1 will now be known as “Devo Day.” Yeah, it’s that big! 

In honor of this, Tish designed an energy dome made from four Firestone tires. There were 50 made, and were sent all over downtown. They are all red except for one, at Lock 3, which is blue. They will be up till April 30. 

Courtney Cable works with Curated Storefront and welcomed us into the installation to get some pictures with the art.  We got to see, up close, the evenly spaced yellow boxes that are wearing tire energy domes. She told us the art represents Devo’s strictly rhythmic, boxy style. 

In addition, to promote the newly renovated and available office space, there is a giant AR screen in a retro TV frame in one of the windows at 164 Main St. So at night, while strolling Akron looking for all of the tire energy domes, pull your mask down. The AR installation will instantly put an Energy Dome on your head, kind of like an Instagram filter.  

And, if you want Devo in the Hall of Fame, vote for them at www.rockhall.com/vote. You can vote once a day until April 30, and I’ll be doing it each day! 

So whip it! Whip it good! 

Paul Treen is among The Devil Strip’s youngest contributors and is the creator of Rubber City Rocks. Also pictured is his brother, Davey.

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