According to online reports, Bob Casale, guitarist for new wave icons Devo, has died at 61. The cause was complications stemming from heart failure. His brother Gerald, also a member of the band, confirmed the news on Twitter:
“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” Gerald told TMZ. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer, and talented audio engineer — always giving more than he got.”
The Ohio-bred fivesome, formed in 1972, were known for their sardonic humor and signature flowerpot hats. Their early albums, including Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Freedom of Choice made them underground heroes — and even mainstream stars for a brief moment in the early ’80s, thanks to new-wave classics like “Whip It” and “Girl U Want.”
Casale was predeceased in the band by drummer Alan Meyers, who passed away last June at age 58 following a battle with stomach cancer. Frontman and cofounder Mark Mothersbaugh, who went on to score a number of popular films and TV shows, has been in the news recently for his work in The Lego Movie, currently the no. 1 film in the country.