Alan Myers of Devo

Alan Myers, the third and most well-known of Devo’s drummers, the so-called “human metronome” who anchored the classic albums Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Duty Now for the Future, Freedom of Choice and more, died this week, according to Ralph Carney, a jazz musician and friend of Myers’, and current Devo drummer Josh Freese.

Carney, a onetime bandmate of Myers’ and uncle of The Black Keys’ drummer Patrick Carney, tonight posted on Facebook earlier tonight: “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……….”

UPDATE: Devo’s Gerald Casale has paid tribute to his former bandmate, tweeting:



Devo also released a statement from Mark Mothersbaugh: “Alan Myers’ metronomic drumming style helped define the sparse machinery rhythms that were a signature of our band’s early sound.”

Myers joined Devo in 1976, replacing Jim Mothersbaugh, and played with the band through its formative years in the mid-to-late ’70s and then into the group’s commercial peak with the hit single “Whip It” and beyond. He left the band in 1986, having last appeared on Devo’s album Shout, after reportedly feeling a lack of creative fulfillment.  He was replaced by Sparks’ David Kendrick, but continued to play music in Los Angeles with a variety of ensembles.

Freese has credited Myers’ playing on 1980’s Freedom of Choice as his own inspiration to drum.

In 2010, he told Spin magazine:

“It was the first album I got, when I was eight years old. I sat in my basement and played along to it all the time, so it was crazy when we did that tour last year where we played it top to bottom. It’s fun in the way that it’s very metronomic and the patterns are very deliberate and kind of nursery rhyme. A lot of people think that it’s a drum machine on ‘Whip It.’ But that’s Alan Myers.”


Tonight, Freese tweeted:


And some of Myers’ best-known performances:


Devo, “Whip It”


Devo, “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”


Devo, “Freedom of Choice”






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