Alan Myers, Former Devo “Whip It” Drummer, Dead at 58

Alan Myers (far right) drummed for Devo for 10 years, and was dubbed the "human metronome." Alan Myers (far right) with Devo.

And the beat goes on. Former Devo drummer Alan Myers may have died after a battle with brain cancer on Monday, June 24, but his legacy as part of the "Whip It" band lives on. He was 58.

Myers, who was the third — and arguably most well-known — drummer for the American New Wave band, joined the group in 1976 during the band's heyday, and helped anchor the beats of some of its biggest albums, including 1976's Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and 1980's Freedom of Choice.

His drumming was heavily featured on 1980's "Whip It," which turned out to be the band's biggest hit.

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On Tuesday, June 25, jazz musician and good friend Ralph Carney broke the news to fans via Facebook, writing: "I just got some bad news. Alan Myers passed yesterday from cancer. He was Devo's best drummer and one of the first people to teach me about jazz. I cry…"

Bassist and Devo founding member Gerald Casale told The Associated Press that their band would not have been the same without Myers' genius drumming — the late musician was dubbed "the human metronome" by fans. 

"We were mostly in basements and garages writing songs. It was Alan that brought everything to life," Casale told the AP. "That was the catalyst where everything clicked."

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

Myers eventually left the band in 1986 over creative differences, reportedly due to its increased use of electronic drums, according to 2003 book We Are Devo!

"I begged him not to quit Devo," Casale tweeted on Tuesday. "He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed." 

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After leaving the band, Myers went on to work as an electrical contractor in Los Angeles, according to Rolling Stone, and would return to the stage in 2005 playing improvisational music with his wife, Christine Myers, in the group Skyline Electric.

Myers is survived by his wife Christine and daughter Laena Geronimo, who is also a musician in the band Swahili Blonde.

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