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Alan Myers Hits His Final Snare

The drummer for Devo was 58

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(Getty)

The rock band drummer is a paradox. How can the backbone of the band also be its dumbest, most dispensible member? So the jokes go on forums across the internet. See also This Is Spinal Tap.

Then there’s Alan Myers, who was the drummer for the nerd punk band Devo–famous for its song “Whip It.” Dubbed the “Human Metronome,” Myers passed away earlier this week at age 58 and was praised effusively by his former bandmates as being anything but the typical drummer.

Devo (short for “devolution”) was formed in Akron, Ohio, in the early 1970s by the singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the bassist Gerald Casale. Known for its use of electronics and its herky-jerky rhythms, the group made its initial breakthrough in 1977 with its version of the Rolling Stones hit “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”

Mr. Myers was not an original member, but he joined Devo long before it became an MTV staple and played on its earliest albums.

Mr. Casale told The Associated Press on Wednesday that Devo would never have reached the heights it did without Mr. Myers, whom he called the best drummer he had ever played with.

“We were mostly in basements and garages writing songs. It was Alan that brought everything to life,” Mr. Casale said. “That was the catalyst where everything clicked.”

One such example of Myers’ undeniable skill was on the band’s 1978 debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, a title which the band copped from The Island of Dr. Moreau. The demo tapes were heard by David Bowie and the legendary Brian Eno, both of whom jockeyed to produce the album (Eno led, but Bowie also contributed).

In addition to the album’s drum-heavy Stones cover, which was featured in the Sorcese film Casino, Myers led the way on the song “Gut Feeling,” which, in honor of Myers, is the Scroll’s Jam of the Day. Enjoy it.

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Alan Myers Hits His Final Snare

The drummer for Devo was 58

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