Bob Casale, the popular 80s band Devo’s guitarist, died on Monday from a condition that led to heart failure. The musician was 61 years old. His brother, Gerald, confirmed the news through Twitter.
My brother Bob – Devo’s anchor. Level-headed, even-keeled and very slow to anger. If he got mad you knew you deserved it.
— Gerald Casale (@Gvc3Casale) February 18, 2014
Devo was an underground success in the 80s and an innovator in the new wave sound with hits like Whip It. While band members like Bob and Gerald Casale eventually faded from the spotlight, Mark Mothersbaugh went on to have huge success with movie and television soundtracks. Most recently, Mothersbaugh produced the soundtrack for the LEGO Movie, which is doing very well at the box office right now.
The band from Akron, Ohio was formed in 1972 when Bob Casale and his brother Gerald joined with Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh. The late Alan Meyers was added as their drummer and the band found a cult following with their different electronic sound.
They were largely unknown until Whip It exploded up the charts, forever cementing their place in “one hit wonder” status. But the band felt they were more than that. They worked together for twenty years until their eventual break up in 1991. Devo got back together and toured through the late 90s and up until very recently. They even put out a new album in 2010 titled, Something for Everybody.
The band recognized Bob Casale on their official Facebook page as well.
Very sad news to report today.
Bob Casale of Devo. Born: July 14th, 1952. Deceased: February 17th, 2014
As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got. He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.
Gerald Casale, Devo founder.
Fans showed their support of the founding guitarist as well.
R.I.P. Bob Casale, a sad day in Spudland… http://t.co/N6sRRjmG4T
— Dirk Vermin (@DirkVermin) February 18, 2014
— PearlJamOnLine.it (@PearlJamOnLine) February 18, 2014
RIP Bob Casale. Shocking news. Such a good guy, talented musician, fantastic engineer and integral part of Devo. He will be deeply missed.
— Josh Freese (@joshfreese) February 18, 2014
Bob Casale is survived by his son, Alex, his daughter, Samantha, and his wife, Lisa.