Devo's Gerald Casale to Receive Ernie Kovacs Award at Dallas VideoFest

The event will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Texas Theatre

By: Jun. 27, 2024
Devo's Gerald Casale to Receive Ernie Kovacs Award at Dallas VideoFest
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Dallas VideoFest will present the coveted Ernie Kovacs Award to musician, artist, and music video director Gerald Casale, best known for his work in DEVO, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 29, at the Texas Theatre. A VIP meet-and-greet reception with Gerald Casale will take place upstairs at the Texas Theatre before the Award ceremony, while the event and film will be downstairs at the Texas. The brand new DEVO documentary (2024), which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January this year, will play the night before, Saturday, September 28.

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Additionally, a Q&A and book signing of the new “Ernie in Kovacsland” book with author Joshua Mills, son of Edie Adams and keeper of the Kovacs flame, at a Dallas bookstore is currently being locked down. 
Ernie Kovacs has been a key component of the Dallas VideoFest since the Festival began in 1987. Casale will receive the award from Dallas VideoFest's Founder and Artistic Director, Bart Weiss. Mills will also attend. 
As a primary force behind DEVO's creative vision, Jerry Casale is also responsible for designing the band's visually striking concert stage shows, and Dadaist costumes, including their signature red 'Energy Dome' hats.

Casale's innovative approach to music videos and short films (starting in 1973) led him to direct nearly 100 music videos for notable bands such as Rush, Silverchair, and The Cars. Gerald also has the distinction of directing both the very first Foo Fighters video and the final video for Soundgarden.

It became clear that Gerald Casale specifically deserved the Ernie Kovacs Award when Mills found this Tumblr link.
The link contains this quote: 
“Gerald Casale from DEVO has said, ‘I don’t think DEVO exists without the Nairobi Trio,’ referring to the recurring Ernie Kovacs sketch that featured a trio of (quite famous) performers in gorilla masks, trench coats and white gloves, attempting to play music as the sketch goes off the rails.”
“It completely blew my mind learning that Gerald Casale and DEVO were not only fans of Ernie Kovacs but were influenced by him as well,” said Mills. “Clearly, we are all DEVO.” 
“I remember a stern nun telling me I had reached ‘the age of reason' when I turned 7, said Gerald Casale upon learning he would be the recipient of the 2024 Ernie Kovacs Award. “Luckily, it was also the year I first watched the Ernie Kovacs Show with my parents huddled close to our black and white TV. That was the best antidote to ‘reason’ a boy could hope for. I was hooked. I watched, smiling and laughing, as Kovacs and his cohorts executed a Smorgasbord of absurdist comedy, combining high and low culture seamlessly to innovative, comedic ends. I can honestly say it inspired my visual aesthetic and set me on a satiric creative path sustained for a lifetime."
”The very first program of our festival in 1987 showcased Edie Adams (Ernie’s widow) expounding on the work of Ernie Kovacs,” said Bart Weiss, founder/artistic director of Dallas VideoFest, on the importance of Ernie Kovacs. “Ernie’s innovative spirit has been with us these 37 years. The Kovacs Award became the perfect way to honor those who changed how we look at TV/Video much like Kovacs did.”
“Just as Ernie Kovacs set the aesthetic and for the template for late night and most TV comedy, Jerry Casale’s iconic music videos set the paradigm for how a band could define their image and tell their story through music video.” 
The brand new DEVO documentary currently on the Festival Circuit will play on Saturday, Sept 28, at the Texas Theatre (231 W. Jefferson Blvd. – Oak Cliff/Dallas).
In 1980, new wave band DEVO scored a hit with "Whip It" and gained mainstream success with their message of societal "de-evolution," formed in response to the 1970 Kent State shootings.
Review in Variety magazine: ‘DEVO’ Review: Chris Smith’s Documentary About the Jump-Suited Robo-Rock Avatars of De-Evolution Is as Much Fun as Its Subject
The film traces the band's music, its videos, its roots in the embers of the counterculture, its freak success, and its big message, which remains prophetic and often misunderstood.

Photo Credit: Gerald Casale


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