Mothersbaugh performing in 2007
|Birth name||Mark Allen Mothersbaugh|
|Born||May 18, 1950|
|Origin||Akron, Ohio, U.S.|
Mark Allen Mothersbaugh (//; born May 18, 1950) is an American singer, songwriter, composer, record producer and visual artist.
Mothersbaugh's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as co-founder and lead singer of the new wave band Devo, which released a top 20 hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It". The band has maintained a cult following throughout its existence. Mothersbaugh is one of the main composers of Devo's music, and made major lyrical contributions to the band's songs. He is one of the only two members (along with bassist/synthesizer player Gerald Casale) who have been with Devo throughout its entire history.
Mothersbaugh began his solo career in 1987 while still a member of Devo. Since then, he has released three studio albums. His other musical projects include work for television series, films and video games via his production company, Mutato Muzika.
His lifelong interest in creating multimedia art pieces has resulted in gallery exhibitions of items such as his "Beautiful Mutants" photograph series, postcard diaries, art rugs, sculptures and musical instruments created from salvaged organ pipes and bird calls.
Mothersbaugh attended Kent State as an art student, where he met Devo co-founders Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis. In early 1970, Lewis and Casale formed the idea of the "devolution" of the human race after Casale's friend Jeffrey Miller was killed by Ohio National Guardsmen firing on a student demonstration. Intrigued by the concept, Mothersbaugh joined them, building upon it with elements of early post-structuralist ideas and oddball arcana, most notably unearthing the infamous Jocko-Homo Heavenbound pamphlet (the basis for the song "Jocko Homo"). This association culminated in 1973, when the trio started to play music as Devo.
Since Devo, Mothersbaugh has developed a successful career writing musical scores for film and television. In film, he has worked frequently with filmmaker Wes Anderson, scoring half of his feature films (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou). He also composed for The Lego Movie.
Mothersbaugh's music has been a staple of the children's television shows Rugrats, Beakman's World, Santo Bugito and Clifford the Big Red Dog. He also wrote the new theme song for the original Felix the Cat show when it was sold to Broadway Video, some music for Pee-wee's Playhouse in 1990 and the theme song for the Super Mario World TV series for DIC Entertainment in 1991. The character design for Chuckie Finster on Rugrats was based on him.
Mothersbaugh is known for producing music in video games including Sony's Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter series (both music scores were created by Josh Mancell), and creating own music for EA Games' The Sims 2. This work is often performed with Mutato Muzika, the music production company he formed with several other former members of Devo including his brother, Bob Mothersbaugh.
Mothersbaugh composed "Having Trouble Sneezing", the distinctive music in the award-winning "Get a Mac" commercials for Apple Inc. He composed the score for the first season of the television series Big Love but was replaced after one season by David Byrne of Talking Heads. Mothersbaugh also composed the theme music for the American television show Eureka, broadcast on the SyFy channel. He currently composes the score of the Cartoon Network's TV series Regular Show.
In 2013, Mothersbaugh appeared on an episode of The Aquabats! Super Show!, an action-comedy series by the creators of Yo Gabba Gabba! starring the Devo-influenced band The Aquabats, playing the eccentric scientist father of one of the main characters, Jimmy the Robot.
Although best known as a musician and composer, Mothersbaugh has also been successful as a visual artist. In November 2014 Mothersbaugh summarized his career for an interviewer, "I've done over 150 art gallery shows in the last 20 years."
On February 6, 2014, the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver (MCA Denver) announced a retrospective exhibition to bring together the first comprehensive presentation of Mothersbaugh's art and music from the beginning of his career in the early 1970s to 2014. This nationally touring exhibition was accompanied by a publication, Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, published by Princeton Architectural Press.
In regard to on-camera work, Mothersbaugh hosts a drawing segment on the Nick Jr. television series Yo Gabba Gabba! called Mark's Magic Pictures, teaching children how to draw simple pictures. The pictures often come alive at the end of the segment through animation.
Mothersbaugh was born to parents Mary Margaret ("Mig") and Robert Mothersbaugh, Sr. He has two younger brothers, Bob and Jim, and two sisters, Amy and Susan. His father appeared in early Devo films and fan events as the character General Boy, and his brothers participated in the band, although Jim's tenure was brief.
At the age of seven, Mothersbaugh began wearing glasses to correct his severe myopia and astigmatism. Over the years, he took an interest in designing his own distinctive eyewear for use in Devo shows. He favored a particular set of stainless steel frames for regular use made by a Los Angeles shop called LA Eyeworks, and says he purchased as many pairs as he could find because they tended to break or get stolen by fans. In a joint venture with eyewear manufacturer Shane Baum, Mothersbaugh has designed his own branded frames for sale, made of beryllium with a stainless steel chrome finish, in three different styles as of 2015. The Baumvision press release states that the unisex model "Francesca" is named for one of Mothersbaugh's pug dogs which is a simultaneous hermaphrodite that is also called Frank.
He has been married twice. His first wife was actress Nancye Ferguson, who can be seen briefly performing with him in the film Mystery Men. His current wife is Anita Greenspan, who runs the film music managing company Greenspan Kohan Management with Neil Kohan. The couple has two daughters from China, Mai Li Margaret and Hui Hui Hope, who were adopted after Greenspan learned of the practice in that country of female children being abandoned because of their gender.
Mothersbaugh was honored with the Richard Kirk award at the 2004 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.
- Human Highway (1982)
- Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) (TV)
- NBC (1990) (station ID's)
- Felix the Cat (1990) (TV, digitally remastered footage version of the original series) (theme)
- Rugrats (1991) (TV)
- Super Mario World (1991) (TV) (theme)
- Liquid Television (1991) (TV)
- Davis Rules (1991) (TV)
- Sewer Shark (1992) (VG)
- Great Scott! (1992) (TV)
- Frosty Returns (1992) (TV)
- Mann & Machine (1992) (TV)
- Beakman's World (1993) (TV) (theme)
- Bakersfield P.D. (1993) (TV)
- South Beach (1993) (TV)
- Street Match (1993) (TV)
- Down on the Waterfront (1993)
- Hotel Malibu (1994) TV Series
- Edith Ann: A Few Pieces of the Puzzle (1994) (TV)
- Santo Bugito (1995) (TV) (as Mark "Mothersbug")
- Too Something (1995) (TV)
- If Not for You (1995) (TV)
- Strange Luck (1995) (TV)
- Sliders (1995) (TV)
- The Courtyard (1995) (TV)
- Dumb and Dumber (1995)
- Flesh Suitcase (1995)
- The Big Squeeze (1996)
- Class Reunion (1996) (TV)
- Crash Bandicoot (1996) (VG)
- Quicksilver Highway (1997) (TV)
- Fired Up (1997) (TV)
- Men (1997)
- Unwed Father (1997) (TV)
- Working (1997) (TV) (theme)
- Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back (1997) (VG)
- Last Rites (1998) (TV)
- The Mr. Potato Head Show (1998) (TV)
- Stories from My Childhood (1998) (TV)
- Crash Bandicoot: Warped (1998) (VG)
- Interstate '82 (1999) (VG)
- Crash Team Racing (1999) (VG)
- Rocket Power (1999) (TV) (theme music)
- The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: The Visitors from Outer Space (1999) (V)
- Tucker (2000) (TV)
- Grosse Pointe (2000) (TV)
- The Other Me (2000) (TV)
- Clifford the Big Red Dog (2000) (TV)
- All Growed Up (2001) (TV)
- Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex (2001) (VG)
- Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy (2001) (VG)
- Halloweentown II: Kalabar's Revenge (2001) (TV)
- Rugrats: Still Babies After All These Years (2001) (TV)
- Second String (2002) (TV)
- Cheats (2002)
- MDs (2002) (TV)
- Hidden Hills (2002) (TV)
- The Groovenians! (2002) (TV)
- Jak II (2003) (VG)
- All Grown Up! (2003–2007) (TV)
- The Even Stevens Movie (2003) (TV)
- Jak 3 (2004) (VG)
- Popeye's Voyage: The Quest for Pappy (2004) (V)
- LAX (2004–2005) (TV)
- The Sims 2 (and Expansion Packs) (2004–2008) (VG)
- The Complete Truth About De-Evolution (2004) (V)
- Music for Edward Gorey (?)
- Feed Me (2006)
- Eureka (2006) (TV) (Theme)
- Big Love (2006) (TV)
- Boom Blox (2008) (VG)
- Cars Toons (2008–present)
- Boom Blox Bash Party (2009) (VG)
- Skate 3 (2010) (VG)
- Regular Show (2010–) (TV)
- Catfish (2010)
- Glory Daze (2010–2011) (TV)
- Blue Mountain State (2010–2011) (TV)
- Hawaiian Vacation (2011)
- Shameless (2011) (TV)
- Enlightened (2011–2013)
- House of Lies (2012–) (TV)
- The Carrie Diaries (2013–2014) (TV)
- The Last Man on Earth (2015–) (TV)
- Grandfathered (2015–) (TV)
- My Struggle (as Booji Boy)
- What I Know Volume I
- Beautiful Mutants
- Studio albums
- Muzik for Insomniaks (Cassette, 1987)
- Later released on CD as Muzik for Insomniaks, Vol. 1 and Muzik for Insomniaks, Vol. 2 in 1988 by Rykodisc
- Muzik for the Gallery (LP, 1987)
- Joyeux Mutato (CD, 1999, Rhino Handmade limited edition; reissued 2000 by Rhino to regular retail)
- The Most Powerful Healing Muzik in the Entire World (6-CD Set, 2005)
- Long, Pat (2009-05-02). "Pat Long meets new wave 80s oddballs Devo, who are intent on making a comeback". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2012-05-09.
- "Devo". AllMusic. Retrieved 2012-09-30.
- Steinberg and Michael Kehler (2010), p.355
- Paul Vermeersch: A brief history of Devo, Part 1, October 21, 2014, retrieved August 4, 2015
- Songfacts, retrieved August 4, 2015
- "Mark Mothersbaugh". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2007-07-17.
- "The Lego Movie (2014)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
- 8 Cartoon Characters Inspired by REAL People, retrieved August 4, 2015
- Are you not Devo? You are Mutato, retrieved August 4, 2015
- Roberts, Randall (December 7, 2007). "Are You Not Devo? You Are Mutato". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2008-10-31.
- Sagers, Aaron (June 14, 2013). "Mark Mothersbaugh joins 'The Aquabats! Super Show!'". MTV Geek.
- Devo-related 45s, retrieved August 4, 2015
- Hesse, Josiah (November 8, 2014). "Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh Still Loves Fucking with People". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2014-11-08.
- Mark Mothersbaugh Myopia, retrieved August 4, 2015
- Matheson, Whitney (November 14, 2014), Stream Baby Stream: Where Can My Kid Learn to Draw?, retrieved August 4, 2015
- "Mary M. "Mig" Mothersbaugh". Legacy.com. 2014-08-31. Retrieved 2015-09-08.
- Gruskoff, Jen (2010-03-03). "A Vision of Family". GetButtonedUp.com. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
- Peskowitz, Josh (June 11, 2010). "Eye Glasses of the Day: Mark Mothersbaugh's". Esquire. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
- Raymer, Miles (2014-10-02). "Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh on his new eyewear line, revisiting old work". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2015-09-07.
- "Mothersbaugh Eyewear" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-09-07.
- NERDIST Podcast Episode 130: Penn & Teller; Penn discusses his involvement along with Mark & Tom Ardolino of NRBQ with collecting song poems (starting at 08:17 in the podcast).
- Mutato Muzika: Diamonds in the Basement (video). Gearwire. April 3, 2008. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
- "BMI Hands Out Over 100 Awards at Annual Film/TV Gala". bmi.com. Retrieved 2010-10-28.
- "America's Best Colleges 2010". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2015-09-09.
- "Klasky-Csupo, Famed Animators Team for NBC". Animation Magazine. Fall 1990. Retrieved 2015-08-04.
- "‘Vacation’ Reboot to Feature Music by Mark Mothersbaugh". Film Music Reporter. April 29, 2015. Retrieved 2015-04-30.
- "Mark Mothersbaugh Scoring ‘Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip’". Film Music Reporter (Film Music Reporter). 6 November 2015.
- "Mark Mothersbaugh Scoring Netflix’s ‘Pee-wee’s Big Holiday’". Film Music Reporter (Film Music Reporter). 12 October 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mark Mothersbaugh.|
- Official website
- Official art and exhibitions website
- Mark Mothersbaugh at AllMusic
- Mark Mothersbaugh at the Internet Movie Database
- Trolf, Andreas (January 3, 2008). "Mark Mothersbaugh Interview". Fecal Face.
- Interview, April 25, 2001 at liveDaily.com at the Wayback Machine (archived September 30, 2007)
- Extensive interview from 1998 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 20, 2002)
- Ayyüce, Orhan (December 25, 2007). "Home Front Invasion Wartime Interview with Mark Mothersbaugh". Archinect. Archived from the original on June 12, 2011.