Devo guitarist Bob Casale has died suddenly of heart failure at the age of 61.
Casale was a member of Devo from their original incarnation in 1973 all the way through to their most recent tours. He featured on each of the group’s nine studio albums, including their platinum selling 1980 offering, ‘Freedom of Choice,’ which featured their biggest hit ‘Whip It.’
Casale’s brother and Devo co-founder, Gerald Casale, fondly recalled a lifetime of working with his brother in a statement issued online: “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.”
Gerald went onto explain that Casale passed unexpectedly: “His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.”
Devo frontman Mark Mothersbaugh also commented on Casale’s passing, noting the guitarist’s contributions to the music industry extended well beyond Devo: “We are shocked and saddened by Bob Casale’s passing. He not only was integral in DEVO’s sound, he worked over twenty years at Mutato, collaborating with me on sixty or seventy films and television shows, not to mention countless commercials and many video games. 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.”
Last year, Devo lost its drummer, Alan Myers, after a battle with brain cancer.