I Desire
by Devo

Album: Oh, No! It's Devo (1982)

Songfacts®:

  • This song took most of its lyrics from a poem by John Hinckley, Jr. Hinckley attempted to assassinate President Ronald Reagan in 1981, believing that this would finally impress the actress Jodie Foster, whom Hinckley was obsessed with. The narrator pledges his devotion but admits the object of his desire would be wise to walk away, "for nothing is more dangerous than desire when it's wrong."

    Hinckley's writing was so integral to the song's lyrics that he is listed as a co-writer for the song, alongside usual Devo songwriters Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh. Says Mothersbaugh: "We used [the poem] for the lyrics and turned it into a love song. It was not the best career move you could make. We had the FBI calling up and threatening us."
  • Shortly after the album was released, Hinckley wrote a letter to Dallas radio station KZEW and requested they play the song 58 times a day.

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