Skip to main content

Devo's Bob Casale dead of heart failure, brother says

By Alan Duke, CNN
updated 5:41 PM EST, Tue February 18, 2014
Bob Casale.
Bob Casale.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Bob Casale worked on many soundtracks for TV, film, commercials, video games
  • Bob Casale, 61, was known by Devo fans as "Bob 2"
  • Gerald Casale says his brother "was there in the trenches with me from the beginning"
  • Devo drummer Alan Meyers, who was with the group from 1976 to 1986, died last year.

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.

The band Devo plays in 1981. Although Devo never quite managed to maintain the mainstream success it found with the song "Whip It!" in 1980, its status as an important group hasn't wavered. Take a look back at the styles of the American new wave band. The band Devo plays in 1981. Although Devo never quite managed to maintain the mainstream success it found with the song "Whip It!" in 1980, its status as an important group hasn't wavered. Take a look back at the styles of the American new wave band.
Devo style
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
>
>>
Devo style Devo style
Click through to see people who passed away in 2014. Click through to see people who passed away in 2014.
People we lost in 2014
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: People we lost in 2014 Photos: People we lost in 2014

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.

People we've lost in 2014

CNN's Henry Hanks contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:51 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
updated 5:01 PM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
Singer George Hamilton IV died at a Nashville hospital following a heart attack. He was 77.
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
Northern Ireland's former first minister and former Democratic Unionist Party leader Ian Paisley has died. He was 88.
updated 9:04 AM EDT, Fri September 12, 2014
Richard Kiel, the actor best known for playing the James Bond villain "Jaws," died at age 74 in a California hospital.
updated 4:56 PM EDT, Tue September 9, 2014
Actress Molly Glynn, who played an emergency room doctor on several "Chicago Fire" episodes, died from injuries after a tree fell on her during a storm.
S. Truett Cathy, the fast-food entrepreneur who turned a single restaurant into the multibillion-dollar Chick-fil-A empire, has died at age 93.
updated 1:57 PM EDT, Sat September 6, 2014
Simone Battle, an "X Factor" finalist and G.R.L. singer, was found dead in a Los Angeles home, a coroner's spokesman said. She was 25.
updated 10:26 PM EDT, Thu September 4, 2014
Joan Rivers, the sassy comedian whose gossipy "can we talk" persona catapulted her into a career as a talk-show host, author and red-carpet maven, has died.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
Jimi Jamison, who belted out the hits "The Search is Over" and "Burning Heart" for 1980s rock band Survivor, has died. He was 63.
updated 8:53 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
CNN lost a much loved and respected colleague with the sudden passing of photojournalist Sarmad Qaseera.
updated 3:54 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Acclaimed actor-director Richard Attenborough has died at 90, the actor's agent said.
updated 6:03 PM EDT, Sun August 24, 2014
The founder of the University of Phoenix, Dr. John G. Sperling, has died. He was 93.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
Don Pardo, the announcer whose velvety baritone voice introduced "Saturday Night Live" hosts on NBC for decades, has died at age 96.
updated 3:34 PM EDT, Mon August 18, 2014
Jim Jeffords, who shifted the balance of power in the Senate when he bolted from the Republican Party in 2001, died at age 80.
updated 5:32 PM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Former Z-Boys skater Jay Adams died after a heart attack while vacationing in Mexico with his wife. He was 53.
updated 7:35 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Actress Arlene Martel, who "Star Trek" fans know as Spock's bride-to-be, died of complications from a heart attack. Martel was 78.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Ed Nelson, best known for playing a doctor in the 1960s nighttime soap opera "Peyton Place," has died at 85.
updated 11:08 PM EDT, Wed August 13, 2014
Actress Lauren Bacall, known for her distinctive, husky voice and sultry sensuality, has died at age 89.
ADVERTISEMENT