Bob Lewis (musician)

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Bob Lewis
Born 4 March 1947
Citizenship United States of America
Education U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School
Bob Lewis

Lewis in 2006
Born Robert Curtis Lewis
(1947-03-04) March 4, 1947
Akron, Ohio, U.S.
Residence Euclid, Ohio, U.S.
  • Composer
  • musician
  • basketballer

Musical career

Instruments Guitar
Associated acts Devo

Robert Curtis Lewis (born March 4, 1947) is an American composer, musician, and basketballer. He is best known as a co-founder (along with Gerald Casale) of the new wave band Devo. He graduated from Kent State University shortly after the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970.

Early years

Bob Lewis was born in Akron, Ohio, and played basketball briefly for Bobby Knight at Cuyahoga Falls High School. He was a National Merit Scholar and attended Kent State University, where he was the first student to graduate with a major in anthropology.

Lewis studied poetry with Black Mountain poet Ed Dorn, British poet Eric Mottram and Robert Bertholf, an English professor at Kent who later was named the curator of the poetry collection, and with Charles D. Abbot Scholar at the University at Buffalo.[1]


In 1970 Lewis and Gerald Casale began working on a theme of de-evolution in response to the Kent State shootings.[2] In 1971 Lewis, along with Devo co-founder Gerald Casale and Peter Gregg, recorded three proto-Devo songs, "I Been Refused", "I Need a Chick" and "Auto Mowdown", on primitive recording equipment located over Guido's Pizza Shop in Kent, Ohio. Lewis and Gerald Casale wrote seminal tracts on de-evolution for the now-defunct LA Staff.[3] In 1973 they formed the band Devo with Mark Mothersbaugh.

Recommendations from David Bowie and Iggy Pop enabled Devo to secure a recording contract with Warner Bros. in 1978. As musicianship in the band improved, Lewis moved to a managerial role,[4] and after the band achieved success, he asked for accreditation and compensation in 1978 for his contributions to the band. The band refused to negotiate, and sued Lewis in Los Angeles County Superior Court,[2] seeking a declaratory judgment stating that Lewis had no rights to the name or theory of de-evolution. Lewis then filed an action in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging theft of intellectual property. During discovery, Lewis produced articles, promotional materials, documentary evidence and an interview with Lewis and band members [2] recorded at the Akron Art Museum following the premiere of In the Beginning was the End in which Mothersbaugh, Alan Myers and other band members credited Lewis with developing the theory of de-evolution. The band settled for an undisclosed sum.

Other work

Lewis wrote and performedAndrea as Hurricane Bob on the New Wave Akron compilation album, Bowling Balls from Hell,[5] and worked on videos with New Wave groups Tin Huey, Hammer Damage and Human Switchboard. In the 1980s, when working as a consultant in Damascus, Syria, he was Middle East Correspondent for Rolling Stock magazine, published by Ed and Jennifer Dunbar Dorn.[6]

Lewis' poetry has been published in Creedences, Shelley's and in the Poetry Review when Eric Mottram was editor. In 1977 he released a book of poetry titled Viscerally, illustrated by Fran Fecko and published by Tom Beckett.[7]


  1. Bob Lewis, retrieved 22 April 2016
  2. 1 2 3 "Interview with Bob Lewis". Retrieved 2011-08-19.
  3. Notes on going under, retrieved 22 April 2016
  4. Francis, Joel (23 July 2010), The evolution of Devo, retrieved 21 April 2016
  5. Bowling Balls from Hell, retrieved 22 April 2016
  6. Rolling Stock: A chronicle of the eighties, retrieved 22 April 2016
  7. A cycle of poems, retrieved 22 April 2016

External links

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