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 4:37 PM EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
Click through our gallery to remember those we lost this year.
updated 4:11 PM EDT, Tue July 29, 2014
James Shigeta, a prolific and pioneering Asian-American actor whose 50-year career includes the movies "Die Hard" and "Flower Drum Song," has died at age 81.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Actress Skye McCole Bartusiak, who played Mel Gibson's youngest daughter in "The Patriot," has died at age 21.
updated 9:34 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multi-generational success on both the small and big screen, has died. He was 86.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
Actress Elaine Stritch, known for her brash persona, gravelly voice and versatility over seven decades on Broadway, has died at age 89.
updated 12:28 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
American blues guitarist and singer Johnny Winter died in a hotel room in Switzerland at age 70.
updated 5:59 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Nadine Gordimer, the Nobel Prize-winning South African author and anti-apartheid activist, has died at age 90.
updated 3:03 PM EDT, Sun July 13, 2014
Grammy-winning jazz bassist Charlie Haden, whose music career spanned seven decades and several genres, has died at age 76.
updated 4:30 PM EDT, Sun July 13, 2014
Renowned conductor Lorin Maazel died from complications of pneumonia at age 84.
updated 9:50 AM EDT, Sun July 13, 2014
Drummer Tommy Ramone was 65 and the last living original member of The Ramones. Ramone was also one of the band's composers.
updated 7:21 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
Rosemary Murphy, an Emmy Award-winning actress, has died. She was 89.
updated 6:59 PM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
"Harry Potter" actor David Legeno has died at age 50, a California sheriff's office said.
updated 8:17 PM EDT, Thu July 10, 2014
Eileen Ford, who founded Ford Model Agency 70 years ago and helped modernize the modeling industry, has died at the age of 92.
updated 3:28 PM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
The actor who gave voice to Pinocchio in Walt Disney's 1940 animation movie has died. He was 87.
updated 4:33 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
Eduard Shevardnadze, whose political career seesawed between two extremes, has died at age 86.
updated 9:06 AM EDT, Tue July 8, 2014
Former Real Madrid star Alfredo Di Stefano, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, has died at the age of 88.
updated 6:45 PM EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
Richard Mellon Scaife, the billionaire publisher and banking heir who financed conservative causes that included attempts to discredit Bill Clinton while he was president, has died.
updated 3:39 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Louis Zamperini, the Olympic runner and World War II officer who survived a horrific plane crash, a seven-week raft journey, near starvation and unspeakable torture, has died at age 97.
updated 9:23 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Walter Dean Myers, a beloved author of children's books, died following a brief illness. He was 76.
ADVERTISEMENT