Devo percussionist Alan Myers dies

Written by on June 26, 2013

One of the new wave movement’s most defining drummers passed on Monday. Alan Myers, who joined Devo in 1976 and was with the band for a decade, died from brain cancer.

Myers’ craftiness on the skins was both subtle and startling to music fans of the era, as he could not only anchor the band but create rhythms as well. He was a true percussionist, rather than a drummer, who could make an already jaunty/quirky tune more jaunty and quirky.

He joined Devo shortly before the group’s “Q: Are We Not Men, A: We Are Devo” album was released and remained through their ascension coinciding with that of MTV. While it would be nearly impossible to pick out a few songs as his best, perhaps most music lovers across the fandom spectrum will always remember Myers’ performances on “Girl U Want” and  Devo’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.”

Myers’ death was first reported by longtime friend, musician Ralph Carney, who posted on his Facebook page:

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

After Myers left Devo, he did remain with the music scene in Los Angeles, working with a number of bands including the most recent, Skyline Electric, fronted by his wife.

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