Entertainment & Arts

Former Devo drummer Alan Myers dies after cancer battle

From left: Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Mothersbaugh (kneeling), Jerry Casale, Bob Casale and Alan Myers (1978)
Image caption Alan Myers (far right) left Devo to pursue jazz and music "off the beaten path"

Alan Myers, the long-time drummer for the US new wave band Devo, has died, aged 58, after suffering from cancer.

Myers died on Monday in Los Angeles, the band said.

He was Devo's drummer from 1976 to 1985, when they produced the influential album, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, and released the hit Whip It.

One of the band's two founders, Gerald Casale, called Alan Myers "the human metronome".

"People watching him thought we were using a drum machine," he told the Associated Press. "Nobody had ever drummed like that."

Myers played on classic Devo tracks such as Mongoloid, Jocko Homo and the band's minimalist version of The Rolling Stones' Satisfaction.

The comments were echoed by Mark Mothersbaugh, Devo's co-founder.

"I think he probably influenced a lot of drummers that are out there now because he was really great at being very precise and minimalist," he told the Reuters news agency.

Myers, the band's third drummer, played on Devo's first seven albums, but was increasingly unfulfilled, according to the 2003 book We Are Devo!

"He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed," tweeted Casale.

Myers parted company with Devo after their album, Shout, to pursue jazz and music "off the beaten path", Mothersbaugh said, adding: "We always regretted it when he left."

Following his departure from the band, he worked as an electrical contractor in Los Angeles, and since 2005 had played improvisational music with his wife, Christine Myers, in the group Skyline Electric, and more recently Swahili Blonde, whose line-up features his daughter Laena Myers-Ionita

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