Devo at the Berlin Wall

Dev at the Brandenburg Gate 1978

I went over to Berlin to photograph Devo, we did all the normal photo shoot stuff in the afternoon before they had to go to the Soundcheck.

But it still said nothing other than, here are a bunch of weird Americans from Akron, Ohio wearing yellow paper suits and funny hats. I did have a better idea, but it would take a lot of persuasion to achieve it.

They had to leave for the airport at seven am, I suggested leaving an hour early and going to the Brandenburg Gate to do photos. Berlin was still a divided city and the Wall separated east from west. I ran it by Gerry, I ran it by Mark, once I had their votes the rest of the band agreed, and so off we went.

When we reached the Wall it was completely deserted, the band changed into their outfits on the coach while I checked out the best position for photographs. Then the band quickly posed together for a few frames, but it still didn't say that much about the situation. I asked them to march back and forth in front of the gate a few times. 

It was to be my East German homage to Abbey Road.

Out of the corner of my eye I spotted some Russians on top of the gate, with what I assumed were binoculars. Just as the band crossed for the third time the Russians stood up and I saw it was not binoculars they were carrying it was machine guns. Then a bunch of German came out of the loudspeakers, it scared the life out of us, in fact the frames are not level because I was seriously spooked by the situation.

They scarpered quickly back to the bus, I joined them and in moments we were soon on our way out of the country, the adrenaline rush was pretty strong, but, I doubt if the whole thing lasted more than three minutes, machine guns have that effect on people.