Alan Myers, who drummed with Devo for a decade, has died, reports Slicing Up Eyeballs. “The Human Metronome” had been battling cancer. Myers joined the band in 1976, replacing Jim Mothersbaugh, and left in 1985, during the writing of 1988’s Total Devo. He was replaced by Sparks’ David Kendrick.
He also drummed on Devo’s 1978 debut, Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo, 1979’s Duty Now for the Future, 1980’s Freedom of Choice, 1981’s New Traditionalists, 1982’s Oh, No! It’s Devo, and 1984’s Shout.
In a 1995 interview with Q Magazine (via Rocksbackpages), Myers explained his reasons for leaving the band– largely believed to be due to his frustration with the introduction of the Fairlight synthesizer and mechanized drum parts. “We weren’t moving more in line with the earlier, more unique material, with a variety of reasons.” After quitting Devo, a friend got him into construction, and Myers subsequently established his own electrical contractors, Skyline Electric, a name he also used for a late-period band. He had also got involved with meditation, citing it as “a form of [Devo's theory of] de-evolution because it takes you from the physical to the conscious to the super-conscious. I’ve found that the purpose of having a body is to show that the physical world is an illusion.”
Founding Devo member Gerald Casale paid tribute to his former bandmate:
“In praise of Alan Myers, the most incredible drummer I had the privilege to play with for 10 years. Losing him was like losing an arm. RIP!! I begged him not to quit Devo. He could not tolerate being replaced by the Fairlight and autocratic machine music. I agreed. Alan, you were the best – a human metronome and then some. A once in a lifetime find thanks to Bob Mothersbaugh. U were born to drum Devo!”
Current member Josh Freese also paid his respects: “RIP Alan Myers. 1 of my all time favs. An underrated/brilliant drummer. Such an honor playing his parts w/Devo. Godspeed Human Metronome.”
Watch Devo’s video for “Jocko Homo”: