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Devo’s Bob Casale dead of heart failure

Primavera Sound Festival – Barce

PRIMAVERA SOUND Photo of DEVO and Bob CASALE, Bob Casale performing on stage (Photo by Gary Wolstenholme/Redferns)

NEW YORK — Devo guitarist Bob Casale died Monday, his brother and band mate announced Tuesday. Casale was 61.

He was known by fans as “Bob 2″ since he played alongside guitarist Bob Mothersbaugh, the brother of Devo co-founder Mark Mothersbaugh.

“As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning,” his brother and band mate Gerald Casale said in a Facebook posting. “He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got.”

The new wave band began after Gerald Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh met as art students at Kent State University. The group wrote its first music in May 1970 — the same month National Guard troops fired on anti-war protesters on the Kent State campus, killing four students.

Devo actively toured in recent years, including a televised performance playing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada.

“He was excited about the possibility of Mark Mothersbaugh allowing Devo to play shows again,” Gerald Casale wrote in his brother’s death announcement. “His sudden death from conditions that led to heart failure came as a total shock to us all.”

The band’s name was derived from the word “de-evolution” — the idea that humans are regressing into a destructive herd mentality, Gerald Casale told CNN in an interview in February 2010.

“When you think about 1980, if somebody would have showed you in a crystal ball 2010, you would have thought it was a bad joke,” Casale said. “De-evolution happened and now everybody agrees. They don’t think we’re crazy. They know that it was true.”

Devo drummer Alan Meyers, who was with the group from 1976 to 1986, died last year.

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