I'd be remiss in not mentioning the death of Devo drummer Alan Myers over the summer. He played on the first seven Devo releases and left after his role became greatly diminished after Mark Mothersbaugh began using more programming instead of an actual drummer. This despite the fact that Myers was incredibly reliable when it came down to keeping time.
Admittedly, I never really thought that much about Devo's choice in drummers, particularly since Myers was used more as a timekeeper than as a finesse or power percussionist.
That all changed one night when me and a pair of chuckleheads sat down and watched a live video of Devo during the Freedom Of Choice tour. One of the first things we noticed was how much Myers looked like a rat. The second thing we noticed was how friggin' good he was behind the kit.
A new facet to the band emerged: a taught rock and roll band that could be just as aggressive as any punk band (see their early cuts compilation Hardcore for further evidence) while delivering a show that far exceeded most of the arena rock bands that littered America's venues during the same time period.
In the video, goes beyond his normal duties as the "human metronome." He is a flurry of activity, providing the band with extra muscle while hiding his abilities on the majority of Devo's studio output.
There are exceptions of course: the looping and clever patterns he created for Devo's cover of "Satisfaction," the dynamic drumming for "Shrivel Up," and this early video of "Gut Feeling" where Myers is a madman.
Come to think of it, I began to lose interest in Devo right around the same time that his work was pushed farther and farther into the mix.
An incredibly underrated drummer that was a vital part to Devo's most influential moments.
Use your Freedom Of Choice by pre-ordering this Officially Licensed DEVO Energy Dome Throbblehead figure... DEVO in effigy!
Made by Aggronautix. Features figure dressed in DEVO's Freedom Of Choice tour outfit circa 1980 sporting the band's patented red Energy Dome. It wiggles and jiggles on the head of this 7" tall, polyresin figure, accurately sculpted right down to the 1980's Keytar. Limited to just 2000 numbered units.