This is simply the best DEVO live recording out there. The sound is crystal clear, and the band is absolutely on fire during this 1978 performance at San Francisco’s Old Waldorf.
Terry Hammer was an audio engineer during the heyday of first wave punk in San Francisco. He maintains a mind-blowing YouTube channel upon which he has graciously decided to share dozens of live recordings he engineered for Bay Area radio stations KALX, KTIM, KSAN, KSJO, KUSF, and KSFS. Though it appears that Hammer was not the engineer on this particular live recording of DEVO, broadcast on KSAN on November 10th, 1978, he certainly had access to a low generation tape—and was kind enough to share it with the rest of us!
DEVO here are touring for their first album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are DEVO!, and were a well-oiled machine at this point. Perhaps it was a desire to impress the West Coast punkers that has the group blasting through their songs at furious tempos, far more hectic than on their albums.
This is not the first time these recordings have been made public. Obviously they were on the KSAN airwaves, but then some enterprising bootleggers in the late ‘70s released the show under at least two different titles.
The sound here is much improved from those ratty bootleg LPs. This thing is phenomenal.
Check it out right here: