Booji Boy Holding DEVO’s First 7-inch Vinyl Single

Booji Boy of DEVO | Photo from Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia

Booji Boy Holding DEVO’s First 7″ Vinyl Single
Photo From Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia
Published Issue 125, May 2024

Booji Boy (pronounced “Boogie Boy”) is the frontman of DEVO, as described by Mark Mothersbaugh’s 1978 book, My Struggle by Booji Boy. The roots of the character come from the band discovering a baby mask in an Akron, OH area novelty store. The spelling “Booji” came about when the band was using Letraset to produce captions for a film, and ran out of the letter “g.” When the “i” was added, DEVO’s lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh said the odd spelling “looked right.” Officially introduced in the 1976 short film, The Truth About De-Evolution, the intent of Booji Boy is to satirize infantile regression in Western culture.

Typically played by Mothersbaugh, Booji Boy has traits of a simian child and typically wears an orange nuclear protection suit. When the character makes an appearance at a DEVO show, he is almost always positive and generally closes shows with a speech about how great the audience has been. However, Booji Boy is extremely pessimistic and even regards his birth as one of the worst moments of his life. He looks forward to the day when “normal” humans go extinct.

Mark Mothersbaugh is one of this era’s most unique and prolific composers. Deeply aware of the ability of precise, multi-faceted artistic expression to deliver vital social commentary, he has perpetually challenged and redefined musical and visual boundaries. Mothersbaugh co-founded influential rock group DEVO, and then parlayed his avant-garde musical background into a leading role in the world of scoring for filmed and animated entertainment, interactive media and commercials.

As an award winning composer, his credits include Moonrise Kingdom, 21 Jump Street, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Enlightened, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic, Pee Wee’s Playhouse, and the hugely successful Rugrats television, stage and film franchise.

Through his multimedia company, Mutato Muzika, Mark has scored hundreds of commercials. Mothersbaugh received the BMI Richard Kirk Award for Outstanding Career Achievement at the organization’s 2004 Film/TV Awards. He can currently be seen as the art teacher on the hit television series, Yo Gabba Gabba!

Check out Mark’s April install, Lucas Cows (1969), or head to our Explore section to see more of his work.