Devo Responds To Reagan Shooter's Royalties Claim


The man who shot U.S. president Ronald Reagan in 1981 may indeed be entitled to royalties from a song on Devo’s fifth studio album, a member of the band has said.

Last Sunday, John Hinckley Jr. tweeted about his writing credit on “I Desire,” a track on 1982’s Oh, No! It's Devo. “The album is still selling worldwide, especially in Japan and Europe,” he wrote. “I haven't seen royalties in 35 years. What's the deal?”

Devo used an excerpt from a Hinckley-penned poem in “I Desire” and credited him along with Casale and bandmate Mark Mothersbaugh.

Devo’s Gerald Casale told Newsweek that the would-be assassin – who was released in 2016 – might be due some cash.

“It's possible that he's not lying," Casale said. “We're not talking about a lot of money here. Believe me, it wasn't a hit.

“But certainly it's not because of Devo that he didn't get his money.”

Casale said royalties are not managed by the band. He said Hinckley set up his own publishing company several years ago so any royalties he is owed “should have been going straight to him" from performing rights associations and publishers.

Hinckley, 66, recently started sharing his original songs online. “I prefer music that is upbeat and positive,” he explained on Twitter, where he has cited Canadians Neil Young and Leonard Cohen as favourites. “You can hear it in all of my songs.

"I want to keep the focus on the music. So much good can come from music. I have people tell me that my songs help them get through their day. That’s a good feeling.”

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