Devo’s Bob Casale dead of heart failure, brother says
LOS ANGELES (CNN) — Devo guitarist Bob Casale died Monday, his brother and band mate announced Tuesday. Casale was 61.
He was known by fans as “Bob 2” since he played alongside guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh, the brother of Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh.
“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” his brother Gerald Casale said in a Facebook posting. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got.”
The new-wave band began after Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh met as art students at Kent State University. The group wrote its first music in May 1970 — the same month National Guard troops fired on antiwar protesters on the Kent State campus, killing four students.
Devo actively toured in recent years, including a televised performance playing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.
“He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again,” Gerald Casale wrote in his brother’s death announcement. “His sudden death from conditions that led to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.”
Mark Mothersbaugh issued a statement Tuesday saying he was “shocked and saddened” by Casale’s death.
“He not only was integral in Devo’s sound, he worked over 20 years at Mutato, collaborating with me on 60 or 70 films and television shows, not to mention countless commercials and many video games,” said Mothersbaugh. “Bob was instrumental in creating the sound of projects as varied as Rugrats and Wes Anderson’s films. He was a great friend. I will miss him greatly.”
Mutato is the name of the band’s headquarters, a landmark on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard.
The band’s name was derived from the word “de-evolution” — the idea that humans are regressing into a destructive herd mentality, Gerald Casale told CNN in an interview in February 2010.
“When you think about 1980, if somebody would have showed you in a crystal ball (for) 2010, you would have thought it was a bad joke,” Casale said. “De-evolution happened and now everybody agrees. They don’t think we’re crazy. They know that it was true.”
Devo drummer Alan Myers, who was with the group from 1976 to 1986, died last year.
By Alan Duke
CNN’s Henry Hanks contributed to this report.