- JULES BATES/ARTROUBLE
- Bob Casale
Yesterday, Devo guitarist Bob Casale died at age 61 “from conditions that led to heart failure,” according to his brother Gerald. There have already been plenty of obituaries for the musician, an original member of the brilliant experimental rock band from Akron, Ohio, who found unexpected success on the pop charts with their 1980 single “Whip It.” I have distinct memories of having my little mind blown when they performed on Saturday Night Live in 1978—I had no idea who they were, but they made a strong impression. It took many years before I came to realize the band’s genius, and while I’ve enjoyed and admired many of Devo’s original albums, the group’s 1978 debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (Warner Brothers), remains my favorite. To my mind it’s probably one of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll albums ever made, a fact that seems to become more clear every time I hear it. I pulled it out this morning, and it sounded better than ever. In memory of Casale, I’m posting one of that album’s best tracks (and the one that provides the album title), “Jocko Homo,” as today’s 12 O’Clock Track. If you still think Devo was a novelty band, or have never heard anything more than “Whip It,” it’s time to rectify that situation, pronto. Check out the brilliance after the jump.