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Devo Guitarist Bob Casale Dies at 61

Jim Dyson, Getty Images

Bob Casale, the guitarist for New Wave pioneers Devo, has passed away. He was 61.

TMZ reports that Casale died on on Monday from health complications that led to heart failure. His brother Gerald, also a founding member of Devo, confirmed the sad news on Twitter. “It’s unfortunately true,” he writes in one post.

Devo’s Facebook page also has some information regarding Casale’s death.

Very sad news to report today.

Bob Casale of Devo. Born: July 14th, 1952 . Deceased: February 17th, 2014

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. His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.

Casale was one of the original members of the group that sprung from Akron in the mid ’70s. They helped shape and define the oncoming punk and New Wave revolutions. Devo’s 1978 debut album, ‘Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!,’ remains a cornerstone of the movement and one of the era’s best and most influential records.

Two years later, and defying all odds, the band — whose music sounded like nothing else on the planet at the time — had a Top 20 hit on its hands with ‘Whip It,’ a synth-driven monster of a song that exposed Devo’s occasional pop smarts.

Devo had stayed active over the years, with frontman Mark Mothersbaugh moving on to other endeavors (including composing the scores for several of Wes Anderson’s movies). Devo’s latest album, 2010’s ‘Something for Everybody,’ marked their creative and commercial return after a 20-year break.

Next: A Look Back at Devo's Classic Debut

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