- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2020

Devo has rebooted the band’s trademark red “energy dome” headgear as part of a new line of branded personal protect equipment announced Friday by the groundbreaking new wave group.

Among the items available for order on Devo’s new online store is an “Energy Dome PPE Kit” that includes one of the band’s emblematic red hats and a branded attachable face shield meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the contagious respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

“The Dome is solid and the attached Shield is clear but it’s what you can’t see that gets you!” reads the product’s description. “Stay safe from invisible particles and unwanted bodily fluids in this coordinated, disease blocking, DEVO Energy Dome PPE kit headgear.”

Devo co-founder Gerald Casale noted in a statement that the launch of the new web store and merchandise comes 40 years to the month since the release of the group’s third studio album, “Freedom of Choice,” which it included the band’s biggest hit, “Whip It,” and the marked the beginning of its members wearing the red energy domes they subsequently made famous.

“We were pro-information, anti stupid conformity and knew that the struggle for freedom against tyranny is never-ending,” said Mr. Casale, 71. “Here we are 40 years later, living in the alternate reality nightmare spawned by Covid 19 and the botched response of our world ‘leaders’ to do the right thing quickly. We are not exaggerating when we say that 2020 could be the last time you might be able to exercise your freedom of choice. If you don’t use it, you can certainly lose it.”

Reflecting on the band’s famous headgear, the band’s bassist described the domes as the “most iconic symbol of the band’s multi-media mission to spread the idea of Devolution.”

“We explained that once the dome was placed on your head it recycled the electrical energy that regularly escapes from your brain. People of course laughed. Now the dome is no longer a source of controversy or derision. Its popularity is a sort of proof that De-evolution is real,” said Mr. Casale.

Devo is selling the Dome PPE Kit including the headgear and attachable face mask for $49.98 apiece, and the individual components can be purchased separately as well, in addition to newly available branded cotton face masks.

Impact Merchandising told The Washington Times on Friday afternoon that the company had already sold more than 160 combo backs since they started accepting order hours earlier.

Formed in Akron, Ohio, in 1973, Devo released nine studio albums in the decades that followed. Its members have no plans to perform live together for the time being because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Mr. Casale said in a statement.

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