The cliché that time heals all wounds is simply not true when it comes to Bob Casale’s untimely death; at least not for me.
The circumstances surrounding my brother’s death on February 17th, 2014
were strangely circumspect. He went to the emergency room because he
was coughing up blood. They stabilized him and suggested to Lisa, his
wife, and Alex and Samantha, his son and
daughter that they could go home while the technicians performed some
tests including an MRI to try to establish a root cause. That’s when
things turned upside down.
According to the attending doctor
on call Bob “became agitated”. They reduced his anxiety with medication
but supposedly his blood pressure dropped unexpectedly so he was
administered Epinephrine. From there the records really make little
sense as to how they decided to put him on a ventilator while they tried
to stabilize his blood pressure. When they proceeded to re-start his
heart and restore breathing they failed.
It was all so wrong
and shocking. I was overcome with anger and disbelief. I had just spoken
with him 2 days earlier and all was fine. He was excited that in June
we were going to finally perform the Hardcore Devo songs we had not
performed in 30 odd years. Bob was not a drug abuser and no definitive
cause of death was ever established other than heart failure – a result
of medical procedures, not an initial cause of treatment. Suing the
hospital was deemed a dead-end by medical advisors we consulted.
My anger and shock has turned to an overwhelmingly deep sadness one
year later. I miss Bob now more than ever. He was a good soul, a
dedicated husband and father and one of the original 5 gears of Devo. He
was slow to anger and suffered stoically. He provided balance in a band
driven by two sets of brothers, content to play the anchor rather than
vie for ego-driven attention.
Bob’s many talents extended far
beyond his ability to play guitar and keyboards performing live with the
rest of Devo. He was an astute technician and an experienced audio
engineer. He was quick-witted, funny and shared significantly in Devo’s
creative cosmology. He gave much more than he took from the band’s
In recent times he was my chief ally in keeping the
promise and rightful legacy of Devo from being quashed by the oblivion
of historical neglect. It was his idea to mount a tour based on Devo
performing the songs we created prior to the pains and pitfalls of major
record label success. The concerts were meant to re-affirm the art
collective roots of Devo when the idea and the message we projected was
more important than the individual cult of personality.
Although way too short and, unfortunately for Bob, months too late
getting a green light on February 14th, 2014, the Hardcore Devo tour
happened against all odds. Luckily my dogged efforts to film that tour
as a memorial to Bob came to fruition.
So now on the eve of
the commercial release of “Hardcore Devo Live” I reflect on the dark
year I’ve weathered since Bob 2 went into another dimension. I’d like to
think that he would approve of the merits of our performance in his
"Regarding Obama supposedly eating dog meat as a child: Look up “equivocation” people! Why engage in apples and oranges arguments? Even if Obama ate some dog, he didn’t abuse and kill it for goddsakes! It was already dead! And, as far as Romney’s claim that Seamus like being roof-racked, when is the last time your dog showed joy by convulsing and shitting mounds of diarrhea down your car windows from that fun trip on the roof in the hot summer sun? Give me a (you know what) break! This not about Democrats vs Republicans or Red vs Blue and all the rest of that trumped up pseudo WWF smack down crap the media hypnotizes you with. This is just about a man with a very questionable soul. Even though our political candidate choices are about as deep as the difference between Pepsi and Coke these days, and knowing that the president is just a figurehead bought and paid for by the Plutocracy that is America in Century 21, character still matters. A president should take the same oath as doctors i.e. “Do No Harm”. We make pets dependent on us. We created all the dog breeds. We are thus responsible as stewards over all species. Case closed.