Bob Casale, the guitarist of Devo who is popular for their 1980s' hit "Whip It", has passed away. His brother Gerald Casale, who is also a founding member of the group, says that the guitarist died on Monday, February 17 from "conditions that lead to heart failure." He was 61.
L.A. Times reports that Casale was recently admitted to hospital due to stomach ailments. "During testing, he de-stabilized. They were a little flummoxed," Gerald told the news outlet in a phone call on Tuesday. "He was sitting up, talking and the next thing he was in an ER, life-and-death situation. His blood pressure dropped too low and they couldn't stabilize it in time."
"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," Gerald said in a statement posted on the band's Facebook. "My brother Bob - Devo's anchor. Level-headed, even-keeled and very slow to anger. If he got mad you knew you deserved it," he added in a Twitter post.
Another Devo member Mark Mothersbaugh said in a statement, "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."
Devo was formed in 1972 by Gerald and Mark. Bob played guitar/keyboard in the band, while Mark's brother, also named Bob, played guitar. Alan Myers played drums for the group. He passed away from brain cancer in June.
Bob is survived by his wife Lisa, daughter Samantha and son Alex.