LOS ANGELES — Alan Myers, drummer for new wave band Devo on its most popular songs, including the 1980 hit “Whip It,” has died, the band said on its website.
Myers died on Monday from cancer in Los Angeles, the band said.
“I think he probably influenced a lot of drummers that are out there now because he was really great at being very precise and minimalist,” Mark Mothersbaugh, singer and founder of Devo and now a TV and film composer, told Reuters.
“His minimalist style really suited what we were doing well,” said Mothersbaugh, a founder of the band famous for eccentric flower-pot hats and bright jump suits. “We always regretted it when he left.”
Mothersbaugh said he did not know Myers’ exact age but thought he was about 60.
Myers joined Devo in 1976 but left after the 1984 album “Shout” to pursue jazz and music “off the beaten path,” Mothersbaugh said.
The drummer was part of the band when it crossed over from avant-garde art school rock to mainstream success with “Whip It,” which was helped by heavy play during the early days of MTV.
He was the drummer on the band’s influential 1978 debut album “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!” which was produced by British recording pioneer Brian Eno.
When Devo reformed in 2009, Myers was working in Los Angeles as an electrician and playing music in various groups.
Devo, whose name is a contraction of “de-evolution,” formed in 1972 in Akron, Ohio, and moved to Los Angeles later in the decade.
Besides “Whip It,” Devo also recorded offbeat covers of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” and Allen Toussaint’s “Working in the Coal Mine.”