Notable deaths: Devo guitarist Bob Casale and sociologist Lewis Yablonsky

February 21
Bob Casale
Devo guitarist

Bob Casale, the guitarist for Devo, the group best known for the 1980 hit “Whip It,” died Monday. He was 61.

His brother and fellow band member, Gerald Casale, confirmed the death. The cause and other details were not released.

The Ohio-based Devo became known in the late 1970s for a frenetic version of the Rolling Stones’ “Satisfaction.” The new wave band released its debut album, “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!,” in 1978. The band’s “Freedom of Choice” (1980), which featured “Whip It,” went platinum.

Gerald Casale formed Devo with lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh. Alan Myers, the group’s drummer, died last year of cancer at 58.

Lewis Yablonsky
sociologist

Lewis Yablonsky, a sociology professor who was an authority on youth gangs, hippies and drug addicts, died Jan. 29 at his home in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 89.

His son, Mitch Yablonsky, confirmed the death. The cause was not disclosed.

A longtime professor of sociology at California State University at Northridge, Yablonsky thought his rough-and-tumble youth gave him insights other scholars lacked. A card sharp during his youth in New Jersey, Yablonsky was kicked out of a Navy officer training program during World War II for running card games.

After working with New York street gangs, he produced his first book, “The Violent Gang,” in 1962. He also worked extensively in prisons to rehabilitate inmates and testified in court cases as an expert witness.

Yablonsky later visited communes from San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury to New York’s East Village and described his experiences in the counterculture in “The Hippie Trip” (1968).

— From news services

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