Energy domes are blue today as DEVO mourns the loss of former drummer Alan Myers who died June 24 in Los Angeles from complications related to brain cancer. He was 58.
Devo spokesman Michael Pilmer confirmed the death Wednesday.
Band member and composer Mark Mothersbaugh comments on Myers' achievement on the official DEVO website, saying his "metronomic drumming style helped define the sparse machinery rhythms that were a signature of our band's early sound."
The third drummer for the often misunderstood new wave icons, Myers joined the band in 1976 — long before they became MTV innovators — and was with DEVO "during their period of greatest success," says Rolling Stone:
Known for his precision on the kit, his playing featured on Devo's first seven albums, including 1978's Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and 1980's Freedom of Choice, which included the single "Whip It." He left the band in 1986 over a lack of creative fulfillment as the group increasingly used electronic drums, according to the 2003 book We Are Devo!
Post-DEVO, Myers worked as an electrical contractor in Los Angeles, and since 2005 had been playing improvisational music with his wife Christine in the group Skyline Electric, and with his daughter Laena Geronimo in the experimental outfit Swahili Blonde.
WHERE DID THE NAME "DEVO" COME FROM? WAS IT ART STUDENTS? I BET IT WAS.
Ohio-born DEVO was named after a concept of de-evolution concocted by Kent State art students Jerry Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh in 1972.
De-evolution is "the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society," notes AllMusic.
Their music echoed this view of society as rigid, repressive, and mechanical, with appropriate touches -- jerky, robotic rhythms; an obsession with technology and electronics (the group was among the first non-prog rock bands to make the synthesizer a core element); often atonal melodies and chord progressions -- all of which were filtered through the perspectives of geeky misfits.
REACTION FROM THE BAND
RE: Alan Myers. I begged him not to quit Devo. He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed.— Gerald Casale (@Gvc3Casale) June 26, 2013
In praise of Alan Myers, the most incredible drummer I had the privilege to play with for 10 years. Losing him was like losing an arm. RIP!!— Gerald Casale (@Gvc3Casale) June 26, 2013
RIP Alan Myers. 1 of my all time favs. An underrated/brilliant drummer. Such an honor playing his parts w/Devo. Godspeed Human Metronome.— Josh Freese (@joshfreese) June 26, 2013
VIDEOS: ALAN MYERS LIVE PERFORMANCES
- Alan Myers Performs Oct. 2009 with Jean Paul Yamamoto - Spaceland LA
- Devo " Gut Feeling " first time in live in 1977
- Swahili Blond live at Space 1520
- Skyline Electric Live @ Sancho Gallery, Jan 7th 2011