Today it was announced that Bob Casale, also known as Bob 2, of DEVO, has died from heart failure at the age of 61. Bob’s brother, Gerald Casale, called Bob “DEVO’s anchor”. He played on every DEVO album.
If you’re a skateboarder from the late 1970s, DEVO is part of the soundtrack of your life. There was something about DEVO that spoke to skaters. Probably the weirdness. Skateboarding wasn’t an accepted part of the American psychic landscape back then. Skaters were weirdos. DEVO was weirdos. The music was weird but rocking and cool. Bingo. Instant connection.
About 4 years ago my dad was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. We got the information in the afternoon. That night, in Dallas, my wife and I went to see DEVO play. It made me feel better. It was fun, and loud, and took my mind off the situation. The fun absurdity of the music speaks, at least to me, to the absurdity around us all the time. When you really listen, it isn’t absurd at all. It makes sense. Devolution is real. Strong good men getting brain cancer — that is absurd, but it’s the nature of things.
That is all really just to say that again — yeah – the soundtrack of my life, as a humanoid and a skater.
Less than a week ago, a longtime Texas skateboarder also died of heart failure. My friend Clay Towery. One of the funniest, weirdest people I’ve ever met.
Two beautiful mutants in one week.
Peace to the family, friends, and fans of these two men. Thanks to your contributions to my life.