NEW YORK – Bob Casale, the guitarist for Devo, best known for the 1980 hit “Whip It,” has died of heart failure, his brother and band member Gerald Casale said today. He was 61.
Devo founding member Casale said in a statement that his younger brother’s death Monday was “sudden” and “a total shock.”
“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” Casale said. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got.”
No further details on his death were provided.
The Ohio-based Devo introduced themselves to the world in 1977 by making a frenetic version of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” The new wave band released its Brian Eno-produced debut, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” in 1978 and reached platinum status with 1980’s “Freedom of Choice,” which featured “Whip It.”
Gerald Casale formed Devo with lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh. Alan Myers, the group’s drummer, died last year after a battle with cancer age at 58.
Devo is short for devolution, the idea that man was regressing into an earlier state.