Bob Casale, founding member and keytarist of DEVO, has passed away of ‘conditions leading to heart failure’ at the age of 61. He is the second member of the seminal New Wave conceptual band to die in the past year, after metronomic drummer Alan Meyers succumbed to stomach cancer last June.
Bob Two, as he was called (lead guitarist and vocalist Robert Mothersbaugh was Bob One) fleshed out the band’s sound with guitar, vocals, keyboards and the aforementioned keytar, which he and his brother Gerald pioneered onstage. He was an integral part of all the band’s kinetic and groundbreaking films and music videos such as (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction, The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprize, Freedom of Choice, Girl U Want and Peek-A-Boo.
On FilmOn’s free VOD service, you can check out Bob Two in action in DEVO’s excellent concert film, Devo: Live 1980 (2005) a rare, full-length show filmed at the Phoenix Theatre in Petaluma, California. Part of the Freedom of Choice tour, the concert features most of the tracks and hit off that album such as the title track, “Whip It”, “Girl U Want” and “Gates of Steel,” as well as most of tracks and hits off their first two albums Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Duty Now For The Future such as “Jocko Homo,” “Come Back Jonee,” “Blockhead” and “Uncontrollable Urge.”
There is even a Booji Boy appearance. (Quite possible Neil Young was in the audience or backstage, as he would shortly recruit the band to participate in his ongoing Human Highway (1982) visual music project, in which during the filming of the collaborative re-recording of his “Hey, Hey, My, My,” just to the south at Different Fur studios in San Francisco, Mark Mothersbaugh would coin one of his favorite terms, “Rust never sleeps”) Young, like myself and countless others, appreciate how kick-ass Devo was on so many levels.
RIP, Bob Two.
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