Thanks to the Cleveland Plain Dealer's John Soeder for a bit of trivia about a favorite plastic icon: The energy dome "hats" worn by the musical group Devo aren't just upside-down flower pots. Devo co-founder Jerry Casale told Soeder:
I was forced to go to Catholic school [at St. Patrick School in Kent, Ohio] when I was a kid. I was traumatized by the priests and the nuns, so I would sit in class and stare up at the ceiling. The good thing about the building is that it was a very beautiful old Art Deco building. It had these light fixtures that were exactly the red hats, but imagine if they were upside down, hanging from the ceiling on three chains, with the bulb hidden inside. They weren't red; they were white milk glass. But exactly those proportions, exactly that size. So it was just this epiphany one day -- I'll just use that shape, turn it around and paint it red like the cancellator helmet out of this 'Nancy' comic book. It was those two things: We'll make it the shape of the Art Deco ceiling fixture from my grade school, but we'll make it bright red like Nancy's cancellator helmet, and we'll put a hat liner inside so it can hover on your head.There you go. I've been to St. Patrick's elementary school in Kent (thanks CYO basketball...), but I didn't bother looking up at the lights. Perhaps a blog reader in Kent can confirm the shape. I can't tell when the Devo guys are serious, or if they're just messing with the spuds. Either way, music and marketing go hand-in-hand these days, and Casale pointed out that Devo fans can get their own energy domes -- now in a serene blue that was selected by a focus group (again, really?), on the band's web site, clubdevo.com. "We found a manufacturer that uses the best ABS plastic, so they're nice and stiff, Casale said. "They're hard to break, and the color is beautiful."