Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh Nearly Died From COVID


Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh spent 18 days at Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles battling Covid-19 in June, he revealed in a heartbreaking interview with the Los Angeles Times.Mothersbaugh believes he may have contracted the virus in late May while working near strangers at Mutato, his music production company. He dismissed the early symptoms as simple fatigue, but called his wife when her fever reached 103. “A nurse came over the next morning and said, ‘You should be in intensive care,’” Mothersbaugh recalls. “I said, ‘This is ridiculous.’ She replied that she had been a nurse for three decades: “You need an ambulance now.” ”

Mothersbaugh’s wife, Anita Greenspan, says the nurse saved her life. He spent the next two weeks at Cedar-Sinai, relying on a ventilator to breathe, delusional for much of the ordeal. “There is a bookstore I love where I find stationery supplies, and in my mind, I had been there,” he says. “I was convinced for about two weeks that I had been hit by a brick by someone in Little Tokyo.”

“I felt blood having been touched,” he continued. “I was handcuffed to a downtown parking lot. I had this whole story worked out about how these kids sold me to an ambulance company who then received some sort of payment for delivering the Covid patients to their intensive care units. I totally believed it.

Mothersbaugh’s family were unable to visit him in the hospital. They kept in constant contact via video and did their best to keep him sane and grounded, especially after he tried to escape when he was in a delusional state and the nurses had to. tie him to his bed. “If you have someone you know who is in intensive care with COVID, contact them and keep them in touch with the outside world,” Mothersbaugh said, “because it’s easy to lose track of the place. where you are and why you are. I had no idea I was on a ventilator for 10 days. Time meant nothing.

About a month before Mothersbaugh’s illness, he called Rolling stone to break down 10 key television and film music from his long career. In unpublished remarks from that interview, he revealed that Devo was supposed to do a mini-tour this year before the pandemic struck.

“We were supposed to do three or four shows in September,” he said. ” One of them [the Cruel World Festival] was centered around Morrissey. There was also a festival in New York and something in Cleveland.

Devo hasn’t toured since 2014, although Mothersbaugh has been considering a farewell outing for years. “I just couldn’t have enough momentum to get around it with other people who had different interests,” he said. “I tried to make it something really big.”

“It would be like a day with Devo or a weekend with Devo,” he continued. “It would almost be like an Easter egg hunt where there would be events in the town we were in. It would be more interesting than watching Devo perform songs from the 70s and 80s once again. But that did not happen.

Even without an epic farewell tour, Mothersbaugh is still at least a little open to the idea of ​​wearing his yellow suit and red energy dome for Devo shows once the pandemic is over. “It’s like putting on your cheerleading outfit in high school and going out and doing the songs again,” he says. “On the one hand, when I’m on stage, I love playing them. But on the other hand, it all sounds like, “Well, yeah, that’s what I did when I was 20. I am 70 years old. Let’s move on. But I’m sure there will be more shows somewhere on the line. Plus, who knows, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might reluctantly let Devo in, which will give us an excuse to get together.

In the meantime, Devo fans should be happy that Mothersbaugh is back home and recovering from his nightmarish ordeal. “Before Covid, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m starting to be around 50 now, and I’m 70,’” he told the LA Times. “When I was in the hospital, I felt like I was around 90 years old. And now I’m back at 70, and I’m trying to get back at 50. It’s my aim.


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