DEVO Responds to John Hinckley, Would-Be Reagan Assassin, Over Song Royalties
Hinckley was listed as the song's co-writer alongside DEVO founders Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh. Casale told Newsweek over the phone on Tuesday that the unusual songwriting partnership happened after a tabloid published the Hinckley poem following the assassination attempt.
The poem was an obsessive verse written to actress Jodie Foster, who Hinckley had been stalking and hoped to impress by assassinating Reagan. Casale said that DEVO was "blown away by the poetic sociopathy" of Hinckley's poetry.
"I saw it and I showed it to Mark Mothersbaugh," Casale said. "We couldn't believe how inspired and pathological the poetry was, given what he had done. And this poetry was all love poems to Jodie Foster."
"We did take two verses from one love poem and then I wrote subsequent verses that completely twisted the meaning of his verses on their head," he added. "So that the [narrator] is telling the girl... to run from him because he's a dangerous guy."
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