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Music video pioneer Chuck Statler screens an “All Devo” program of newly restored music videos and early pre-MTV films at the Rauschenberg Gallery

John Davis, WGCU
(from left) Filmmaker, director, producer and photographer Chuck Statler and Bob Rauschenberg Gallery Director Jade Dellinger

Well before the emergence of MTV, filmmaker Chuck Statler was producing and directing music films and recording concerts for emerging artists and upstart labels including Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Madness, Nick Low, the Cars, Suicide Commandoes, Prince, the Time, Graham Parker, the Waitresses, the Moldy Peaches, the Jayhawks and perhaps most notably Devo!

His affiliation with Devo band members goes back to their days together studying at Kent State University. His short film “The Truth about De-Evolution” would go onto attract widespread attention and helped launch the band to mainstream stardom. Statler filmed the band’s first ever performance back in 1973 and would go on to direct and/or produce a number of the band’s music videos and film compilations including music videos for their hits “Satisfaction,” “Come Back Jonee,” “The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise,” “Freedom of Choice,” “Whip It,” “Through Being Cool,” Peek-A-Boo, and more.

Largely due to a film series exhibition of his work at the Museum of Modern Art, Statler’s been dubbed “The Godfather of music video.”

Statler is in Southwest Florida to premiere “Chuck STATLER shows+tells The Truth About De-Evolution: Premiering an “ALL DEVO” program of “newly restored” music videos and early pre-MTV films” at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery at Florida SouthWestern State College in Fort Myers. A film screening and Q&A with Statler takes place Feb. 23, 2023 from 6 -8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Statler joins us in studio along with Bob Rauschenberg Gallery director Jade Dellinger, who co-authored the first-ever book tracing the history of the band titled, “We Are Devo!”

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