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Jocko Homo

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Song Name: Jocko Homo

Artist: DEVO

Appears On: Mongoloid b/w Jocko Homo, Be Stiff EP, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, E-Z Listening Disc Now It Can Be Told, Greatest Hits, Greatest Misses, DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years, Best Of DEVO Vol. 1, Live In Central Park, DEVO Live 1980, Hot Potatoes, Hardcore DEVO Volume 1, Pioneers Who Got Scalped, The Adventures Of The Smart Patrol Soundtrack, The Essentials, Whip It And Other Hits, this is the DEVO box, New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle, Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977, Butch Devo And The Sundance Gig, Miracle Witness Hour, Hardcore Devo Live!


Run Time: 3:38 (album version)

Year Written: 1975

Years Performed: 1975-2014

Writing Credits: Mark Mothersbaugh

Sung By: Mark Mothersbaugh (lead), Gerald Casale, Bob Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale, audience members (backing)

Alternate Versions: Hardcore Version, Booji Boy Version, Stiff EP Version, E-Z Listening Version, "Sad" Acoustic Version

Demo Versions:

Song Connections:

Trivia / Info:

  • The title is taken from a 32-page anti-evolution tract published in 1924 by F. W. Alden [1] called Jocko-Homo Heavenbound. ("Jocko Homo" being a now obsolete euphemism for "man ape"[2].)
  • The inspiration for the song came directly from the movie Island Of Lost Souls, which is based around the "Island Of Doctor Moreau" story, in which animals are forced into advanced evolution and then begin de-evolving. In an attempt to maintain order and humanity, the doctor cracks a whip and barks "Are we not men!?" to some unruly subjects. He also enforces nonviolent behavior by asking a lead animal-man, Sayer Of The Law, "What is the law!?". (This line did appear in the 1975 version.)
  • This is DEVO's most-played song, first appearing in late 1975 and being played at every full show since. (It outplays it's runner-up is Uncontrollable Urge by a few shows, which appeared sometime in 1976, or very early 1977. ) The 2001-08-02 "TechnoDevo" show for Klasky Csupo is the last time Jocko Homo was not played.
  • Three studio versions are available to the public. The first two, which appear on Hardcore DEVO and the Be Stiff EP, are slower than most versions. The Hardcore DEVO take is a very rough mix, with the bass much more prominent. The Be Stiff EP version (also appearing on Pioneers Who Got Scalped and Greatest Misses) is a more professional master. The version appearing on Q/A and all other compilations is far faster than any other version (even live), and does not include the regular "O-HI-O" chant. (The only other O-HI-O-less versions are the first performance in 1975 and the acoustic version.)
  • In 1988, the song was remade as a sappy "sad" country ballad. Although the electric version returned the next year, it showed up again in 1990 alongside the normal version, at the Sundance Festival, and again at the Larry Dominello Benefit gig.
  • The longest known version of Jocko Homo clocked in over 9 minutes, appearing in 1977, though a clearly edited 6 minute version can be found on Devo Live: The Mongoloid Years that was rumoured to have been played for 30 minutes.

Onstage Behavior:

  • Typically, Mark takes his mic and leaps into the audience, constantly asking "are we not men?" to audience members.
  • Before the chant, the band take off their radiation suits to reveal T-shirts and kneepads and throw them into the audience.
  • On it's first performance on Halloween of 1975, the song featured a significantly longer coda with no members of the audience responding. On two occasions, an audience member grabbed one of the microphones and insulted the band. It then entered a segue into I Need A Chick, which was not played in it's entirety; the band was kicked off the stage and their equipment forcibly unplugged before they could finish.
  • In 1977 (audible on A072), three new breaks were added to the call/answer section and never played again. The first was a chant of "white dopes on punk", the second was "we accept you/we reject you/one of us/one of us", and in the second set they simply used a chant of "S-P-U-D".
  • In 1980, before the call/answer section began, the band (except Alan) donned red plastic tunics with the letters D, E, V, and O on them in luminescent yellow.
  • At the 3-DEVO concert, during this song's call/answer section, Mark walked up to a camera and showed off it's 3D ability by throwing various prank objects at it.

Lyrics:

They tell us that
We lost our tails
Evolving up
From little snails
I say it's all
Just wind in sails
Are we not men?
We are Devo!
We're pinheads now
We are not whole
We're pinheads all
Jocko homo
Are we not men?
D-e-v-o
Monkey men all
In business suit
Teachers and critics
All dance the poot
Are we not men?
We are Devo!
Are we not men?
D-e-v-o
God made man
But he used the monkey to do it
Apes in the plan
We're all here to prove it
I can walk like an ape
Talk like an ape
I can do what a monkey can do
God made man
But a monkey supplied the glue
Are we not men?
We are Devo!
We must repeat
D-E-V-O
O.K. let's go!

Video: Appears on The Men Who Make the Music and We're All Devo. Part of The Truth About De-Evolution, included on The Complete Truth About De-Evolution.

Live Video: "Jocko Homo" appears on DEVO Live 1980, DEVO Live, Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun, Live at the Observatory, Santa Ana, CA and DEVO – Hardcore Live


DEVO
Mark Mothersbaugh | Gerry Casale | Bob Mothersbaugh
Bob Lewis | Bob Casale | Jim Mothersbaugh | Alan Myers
David Kendrick | Josh Freese & Jeff Friedl | Josh Hager
Record Labels / Publishers
Booji Boy Records | Warner Brothers | Enigma | Devo, Inc. 
Stiff | Virgin | Rykodisk | Infinite Zero | Restless | Discovery | Rhino 
MVD Audio | The Orchard | Superior Viaduct | Futurismo
Production
Brian Eno | Ken Scott | Robert Margouleff | Roy Thomas Baker | DEVO 
The Teddybears | Greg Kurstin | Santi White | John King | John Hill | Mark Nishita 
Official Studio Albums
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! (1978) | Duty Now For The Future (1979) | Freedom of Choice (1980) | New Traditionalists (1981) | oh, no! it's DEVO (1982) | Shout (1984) | Total DEVO (1988) | SmoothNoodleMaps (1990) | Something for Everybody   (2010)
Other Albums
Be Stiff EP (1977) | E-Z Listening Disc (1987) | Now It Can Be Told: DEVO at the Palace (1989) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 1 74-77 (1990) | Hardcore DEVO Vol. 2 1974-1977 (1991) | DEVO Live: The Mongoloid Years (1992) | DEV-O Live (1999) | Recombo DNA (2000) | Live In Central Park (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | New Traditionalists: Live 1981 Seattle (2012) | Something ELSE for Everybody  (2013) | Miracle Witness Hour  (2014) | Live at Max's Kansas City - November 15, 1977  (2014) | Butch Devo and the Sundance Gig  (2014) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
Filmography
The Men Who Make The Music (1981) | Human Highway (1982) | We're All DEVO (1984) | The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (1993) | DEVO Live (2004) | DEVO Live In The Land Of The Rising Sun (2004) | DEVO Live 1980 (2005) | Hardcore DEVO Live!  (2015)
Related Articles
History | Bootlegs | Booji Boy | Devolution | Influence | The Wipeouters | Jihad Jerry & The Evildoers | Devo 2.0 | Akron, Ohio | Music Videos | Versions | Outfits

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