Devo's Bob Casale Passes Away At Age 61!

Waking up to find one more of your musical heroes has died doesn't happen often, but the older you get, the more days like this you'll see.  Today, of course, came the announcement of the passing of Devo's Bob Casale at the age of 61 from cancer.

Aside from wondering when we'll finally beat cancer once and for all, I am filled with a sadness I haven't felt since my own father died a decade ago.  That's because Devo was like family to me.  It took the success of "Whip It" to bring them to my attention as a teenager stuck in the sticks with no MTV, but I remained a fan of the band long after the fair-weather fans came and went.

Even after they parted ways with Warner Bros., saw drummer Alan Myers leave the band, and began recording for Enigma Records, I was floored by how great a live presence the band remained.  Of course, it was Bob whose boundless energy was propelling the band.  The man was a motor firing away at all cylinders and all I could do was focus on him and his craftsman-like approach to putting on a rock show.

Bob was the backbone of the band, never hogging the spotlight.  He knew the importance of the role he played in the band and relished his responsibilities.  To this day, I still can't make it through a Devo album without stopping at some point to replay one of his guitar parts and marveling at just how freakin' amazing this guy was.

His passing reminds us all just how fragile life is and how there are no promises beyond today.  Right now, though, I'm going to crank some Duty Now For The Future and cry a little.

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