Guitarist Bob Casale, who, as Bob2, co-founded kinetic, quirky New Wave electronic rockers Devo in Ohio in 1973, died at 62, according to his group-co-founding older brother, Jerry Casale, in a post on his Facebook page.
“His sudden death from conditions that lead to heart failure came as a total shock to us all,” Jerry Casale wrote.
Last year, drummer Alan Myers, who joined Devo in 1976, died from stomach cancer at 58.
Devo's debut LP, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” went gold in 1978, while the quintet's third album, 1982's “Freedom of Choice” was a platinum seller. The group that first received airplay on trend-setting L.A. station KROQ-FM, racked up tongue-in-cheek hits, including their debut single, “Mongoloid,” “Jocko Homo,” “Girl U Want,” “Beautiful World” and their biggest hit, “Whip It,” that was certified gold in 1980.
Devo also got airplay for their cover versions of “(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction,” “Secret Agent Man,” and the Lee Dorsey hit penned by pianist Allen Toussaint, “Working in the Coal Mine.”
Devo toured through last year and maintains a solid Devo-ted fan base. Like fellow New Waver Danny Elfman, former leader of Oingo Boingo, since 1987 Devo's co-founding singer-songwriter-keyboardist Mark Mothersbaugh branched out into film and television scores, including “The Rugrats” film and TV franchise. One of his latest film scores is for the current No. 1 movie in the country, “The Lego Movie.”
AC/DC singer Brian Johnson tells 98.7FM in Palm Beach that his band will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year by recording a new album in Vancouver in May and undertaking a 40-date tour.
The Grammy-winning Australian rockers led by guitarist Angus Young comprise one of the most popular and best-selling bands never nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They've sold more than 200 million albums worldwide, including approximately 75 million in the U.S.
Johnson's first LP with the group, 1980's “Black in Black,” has 50 million copies around the world; nearly half of them here domestically.
AC/DC's last studio album, “Black Ice,” released in 2008, went No. 1 in 29 countries, including the U.S. (where it sold nearly 200,000 copies on its first day of release).
Conversely, another legendary hard rock band, Black Sabbath, hasn't got time for a new record, according to a post from guitarist Tony Iommi on his Facebook page.
He said that with the band playing upcoming shows in the U.S., Canada and Europe, Sabbath “is far too busy to be thinking about more recording.”
The band plays the Hollywood Bowl on April 25.
Reclusive former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer canceled what was to be his first tour in 43 years, since he abandoned The Mac's American tour in 1971 in Los Angeles to join a Christian-based group.
A curt email statement from his label, Blind Pig Records, said, “Jeremy Spencer tour canceled. The previously announced U.S. tour by Fleetwood Mac guitarist Jeremy Spencer has just been canceled.” Finito.
The fragile 65-year-old Spencer issued a statement through his publicist that read: “I have recently been under considerable stress due to unrelenting demands on my life and time. It has now resulted in potentially serious health problems for which I am compelled to return to Ireland for treatment. I am distraught over having to postpone what was to be a memorable tour.”
It is unclear whether the tour will be rescheduled.
Spencer, who was co-founding lead guitarist (with Peter Green) for Fleetwood Mac in 1967, recorded the band's first five studio albums, the last being the gently rocking “Kiln House” in 1970 that was the first album to feature singer-keyboardist Christine McVie.
David Crosby has had to postpone a few shows from his current solo tour promoting, “Croz,” his first solo album in 21 years, after undergoing a couple of heart procedures, according to CBS News. The gigs, in Los Angeles and San Francisco, have been pushed back to April. He is also expected to undertake his scheduled tour with Stephen Stills and Graham Nash that begins next month.
The 72-year-old former member of The Byrds had a standard cardiac stress test and because of the results, he was sent immediately to an undisclosed hospital in California where he underwent a cardiac catheterization and an angiogram. He released a statement saying that he's feeling good and expects to make a full recovery
Among the recently released albums, digital reissues, MP3 downloads and deluxe box sets are the 30-track “Best of True Stereo,” the first release of any kind from British Invasion gods The Dave Clark Five in many years; and a couple live albums from The Allman Brothers, who are retiring from performing at the end of the year, including “Boston Common 8/17/71 (Live),” a 2-CD, “Play All Night: Live at the Beacon Theatre 1992,” and a DVD of a 1991 gig filmed for Japanese television, “Live at Great Woods.”
Benmont Tench, keyboardist for nearly 40 years with Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, finally released his first solo album, the 12-track “You Should Be So Lucky,” that was produced by the legendary Glyn Johns and features guests Ringo Starr, Gilliam Welch, Don Was, Ryan Adams and Petty; “Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles” is New York folkie Suzanne Vega's first studio album in seven years; and a 2-CD import, “Brutally Live,” from Alice Cooper.
A 4-CD box, “Live at the Boarding House,” is from bluegrass supergroup Old and in the Way, that was around during 1973-1974 and consisted of The Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia, jazz and swing fiddler Vassar Clements, fiddler and guitarist John Hartford, mandolin player David Grisman, Garcia's bass-playing collaborator John Kahn and one-time member of Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, Jim Kweskin's Jug Band and Seatrain, fiddler Richard Greene.
A new budget priced 5-CD box set series, “Original Album Classics,” from Sony Legacy is out featuring sets by the likes of Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick, Kenny Chesney, Billy Joel, The O'Jays, Teddy Pendergrass and Rick Springfield; and “The Best of the War Years” is a 20-song release from Perry Como.
Steve Smith writes a new Classic Pop, Rock and Country Music News column every week. Contact him by email at Classicpopmusicnews@gmail.com.