Gerald Casale

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Gerald Casale
Gerald Casale performing with the rock band Devo in 1978
Casale performing live with Devo, 1978
Background information
Birth nameGerald Vincent Pizzute
Also known asJerry
Born (1948-07-28) July 28, 1948 (age 74)
Ravenna, Ohio, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • composer
  • multi-instrumentalist
  • record producer
  • music video director
  • Bass guitar
  • vocals
  • synthesizer
  • guitar
Years active1972–present

Gerald Vincent "Jerry" Casale ( Pizzute; born July 28, 1948) is an American musician, composer, music video director, and vintner.

Casale's music career spans more than 40 years. He came to prominence in the late 1970s as co-founder, co-lead vocalist, and bass player of the new wave band Devo, which released a top 20 hit in 1980 with the single "Whip It". Casale is the main lyricist and one of the main composers of Devo's music and directed most of Devo's music videos.[4] He is one of only two members (along with lead singer and keyboardist Mark Mothersbaugh) who have been with Devo throughout its entire history. Casale's brother Bob also performed with the band.

Casale pursued a solo career in 2005 while still a member of Devo with the project Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers. The project received little promotion beyond a music video for the single "Army Girls Gone Wild". Jihad Jerry performed at several shows near the end of Devo's 2006 tour, performing the song "Beautiful World". He has also performed occasionally with other bands.

Casale has also directed music videos for other recording artists, including the Cars ("Touch and Go"), Rush ("Mystic Rhythms"), A Perfect Circle ("Imagine"), Foo Fighters ("I'll Stick Around"), Soundgarden ("Blow Up the Outside World"), and Silverchair ("Freak" and "Cemetery"), among others.[5]

Early life[edit]

Gerald Vincent Pizzute was born on July 28, 1948, in Ravenna, Ohio. He was born with the last name Pizzute because his father, Bob, had legally changed his name (his birth name having been Robert Edward Casale) to that of his foster parents. Four years after Gerald's birth, his father changed his name back to his birth name. Gerald Casale grew up in Kent, Ohio and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School in 1966.[6]


The Numbers Band and Devo[edit]

Prior to Devo, Casale had played bass guitar with the Numbers Band. He caused friction in the band by suggesting that they should incorporate advertising jingles and other "low culture" elements into their music.[7] After leaving the Numbers Band and graduation, Casale attended Kent State University, majoring in Art (focusing on fine/performing arts and fashion-related studies). In the late 1960s, he was a self-described hippie until the May 4, 1970 shootings. Being involved with Freshman orientation at the KSU Honors College, he personally knew two of the victims, Jeffrey Miller and Allison Krause, and was near Krause when she was shot.[8] Casale described that day in multiple interviews as being "the day I stopped being a hippie".[9] Together with Bob Lewis, Casale used the shooting as a catalyst to develop the concept of De-evolution, forming the band Devo in 1973.[8][10] Casale was the oldest member of the band.

Devo performing live in Atlanta, Georgia, 1978: Bob Casale and Gerald Casale

According to Casale, the album Oh, No! It's Devo's sound was inspired by reviewers alternately describing them as both "fascists" and "clowns".[11] Following the commercial failure of their sixth studio album Shout, on which Casale sang the majority of the tracks, Warner Bros. dropped Devo. Shortly after, claiming to feel creatively unfulfilled, Alan Myers left the band,[12] causing the remaining band members to abandon the plans for a Shout video LP, as well as a tour.

In 1987, Devo reformed with new drummer David Kendrick, formerly of Sparks, to replace Myers. Their first project was a soundtrack for the flop horror film Slaughterhouse Rock, starring Toni Basil and they released the albums Total Devo (1988) and Smooth Noodle Maps (1990), on Enigma.

Devo had a falling out and played two shows in 1991 before breaking up. Around this time, members of Devo appeared in the film The Spirit of '76, except for Bob Mothersbaugh. Following the split, Casale began a career as a director of music videos and commercials, working with bands including Rush, Soundgarden, Silverchair and the Foo Fighters.

In 2005, Devo recorded a new version of "Whip It" to be used in Swiffer television commercials, a decision they have said they regretted. During an interview with the Dallas Observer, Casale said, "It's just aesthetically offensive. It's got everything a commercial that turns people off has."[13]

In 2006, Devo worked on a project with Disney known as Devo 2.0. A band of child performers was assembled and re-recorded Devo songs. A quote from the Akron Beacon Journal stated, "Devo recently finished a new project in cahoots with Disney called Devo 2.0, which features the band playing old songs and two new ones with vocals provided by children. Their debut album, a two disc CD/DVD combo entitled DEV2.0, was released on March 14, 2006. The lyrics of some of the songs were changed for family-friendly airplay, which has been claimed by the band to be a play on irony of the messages of their classic hits."[14]

Devo performing live at Festival Hall, in Melbourne, Australia, 2008: Casale and Mark Mothersbaugh

In an April 2007 interview, Gerald Casale mentioned a tentative project for a biographical film about Devo's early days.[15] According to Casale, a script was supposedly in development, called The Beginning Was the End. Casale stated that there might be some new Devo material coming as well, but whether it was related to the release of a film was unclear. Devo played their first European tour since 1990 in the summer of 2007, including a performance at Festival Internacional de Benicàssim.

In December 2007, Devo released their first new single since 1990, "Watch Us Work It", which was featured in a commercial for Dell.[16] The song features a sample drum track from the New Traditionalists song "The Super Thing". The band announced in a July 23, 2007, MySpace bulletin that a full-length music video for the song was forthcoming and the song itself was available on iTunes and eMusic. Casale said that the song was chosen from a batch that the band was working on, and that it was the closest the band had been to a new album.

In a December 5, 2007, article on Mutato Muzika, LA Weekly reported that "After touring sporadically over the past decade but not releasing any new material, Devo are spending December at Mutato trying to create an album's worth of new material and contemplating a method of dispersal in the post-record-company world."[17] In an April 2008 interview,[18] Mothersbaugh revealed a song title from the in-progress album: "Don't Shoot, I'm a Man". In a radio interview on April 17, 2008, Casale stated that Mothersbaugh had "killed the project" and that there would be no new Devo album. Casale, however, later stated that "We're going to finish what we started."[19]

The album, Something for Everybody was eventually released in June 2010, preceded by a 12-inch single of "Fresh"/"What We Do".[20]

Devo was awarded the first Moog Innovator Award on October 29, 2010, during Moogfest 2010 in Asheville, North Carolina. The Moog Innovator Award has been said to celebrate "pioneering artists whose genre-defying work exemplifies the bold, innovative spirit of Bob Moog".[21] Devo was scheduled to perform at Moogfest, but Bob Mothersbaugh severely injured his hand three days prior, and the band was forced to cancel. Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale collaborated with Austin, Texas, band The Octopus Project to perform "Girl U Want" and "Beautiful World" at the event instead.[22]

In an interview on March 3, 2011, Casale stated that he was "working on a script for a... Devo musical" that would be aimed towards a live Broadway production.[23]

In August 2012, the band released a single called "Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro (Seamus Unleashed)",[24] dedicated to the Republican Party presidential candidate Mitt Romney's former pet dog Seamus. The title relates to the Mitt Romney dog incident, which occurred in 1983 when Romney traveled twelve hours with the dog in a crate on his car's roof rack. Casale has also mentioned plans to release a collection of demos from the sessions of Something for Everybody, with potential titles being Devo Opens the Vault, Gems from the Devo Dumpster, or Something Else for Everybody.[25] The album was eventually titled Something Else for Everybody and was released on May 20, 2014.

In April 2020, Casale participated in a long-form interview with the Conan Neutron's Protonic Reversal podcast, discussing many subjects related to the band and more.[26] He returned for a follow-up the next month.[27]

Other work[edit]

Casale as Jihad Jerry performing live with Devo in San Francisco, California, 2006

In 2005, Casale announced his "solo" project, Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers (the Evildoers themselves including the other members of Devo) and released the first EP, Army Girls Gone Wild in 2006. A full-length album, Mine Is Not a Holy War, was released on September 12, 2006, after a several-month delay. It featured mostly new material, plus re-recordings of four obscure Devo songs: "I Need a Chick" and "I Been Refused" (from Hardcore Devo: Volume Two), "Find Out" (which appeared on the single and EP of "Peek-a-Boo!" in 1982) and "Beehive" (which was recorded by the band in 1974, then apparently abandoned with the exception of one appearance at a special show in 2001).[28]

Casale directed several television commercials, including ads for Diet Coke and Honda Scooters featuring Devo, as well as for Coco's restaurants,[29] and Miller Lite. Distinctive elements of Casale's visual style include dutch angles, desaturated color, and color washes on images.[30]

While Jihad Jerry never toured, the theatrical character appeared with Devo at several shows in 2006, as well as on the Fox News program Red Eye. Casale abandoned the Jihad Jerry character in 2007;[31] He was quoted as saying "People are kind of freaked out by the Jihad Jerry stuff. I thought they'd all think it was really funny and get off on it but people are really offended and scared... I think that's it. I don’t want them to have Jihad Jerry to kick around anymore!".[32] Later Casale donned the Jihad Jerry turban for a performance with UK-based DJ and producer Adam Freeland at the South by Southwest music festival in 2009.[33]

Casale and Mothersbaugh have also produced music for other artists including Toni Basil.[34]

In 2014, Casale made a cameo appearance in a 1980s themed Delta Air Lines in-flight safety video, portraying a passenger who puts his "carry on" item (a Devo energy dome) under the seat in front of him in order to prepare for takeoff.[35]

Casale collaborated with Italian electronic artist Phunk Investigation on the song "It's All Devo!", released as an EP under the name Devo's Gerald Casale for Record Store Day 2016.[36]


Casale has played several types of bass guitars left-handed, mostly heavily customized. Among the most distinctive is a teardrop shaped bass, actually a Gibson Ripper with its horns sawed off and a thick arm padding added to the top side, as seen in videos for "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" and "Come Back Jonee". From 1982 on, Casale has used a right-handed Steinberger L-series bass guitar, played upside down. He has played various keyboard basses, including an EDP Wasp, a Minimoog (as well as a synth that was custom-built by Moog Music which consisted of two Minimoogs connected together), a Roland D-50, and a Korg TR-61. As of 2012, Casale has used a Roland GAIA SH-01.

Personal life[edit]

In 1970, he was a student at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, and was a witness to the 1970 Kent State Shootings. Two people killed at the shootings, Jeffrey Miller and Allison Krause, were friends of Casale.[37] In a 2020 interview, he stated, “I went through some traumatic change. It was just a fork in the road where you realize everything you’ve been told is a lie...We didn’t see progress. We saw it going backwards, we start getting more tribal and more demonically mean, and more chaotic.” [38] [8]

Casale took an interest in wine after moving to California in 1978.[39] In the 1990s he taught classes in wine tasting for three years during Devo's hiatus.[40] In 2014, he announced that he would be opening a new wine company, the 50 by 50, selling Pinot noirs.[41]

Casale bought the historic Josef Kun House in 2007 and spent seven years in meticulous restoration with the help of preservationist James Rega. The house was designed by Richard Neutra in the early 1930s. Casale placed the house on the market in 2015.[42]

On February 17, 2014, Casale's younger brother and fellow Devo bandmate Bob Casale died at age 61. According to Gerald, it was a "sudden death from conditions that led to heart failure."[43]

On September 11, 2015, Casale married Krista Napp in Santa Monica, California. Prior to the wedding, the couple had reportedly been questioned by friends about the date coinciding with the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. After joking that he and Napp were "the Twin Towers of love", a friend who was in charge of the cake fashioned a 9/11-themed reception without their knowledge, featuring a cake baked in the shape of the Twin Towers, box cutters as party favors and table place setting cards featuring images of box cutters with "Gerald & Krista" engraved on them. After TMZ ran a story about the event on September 14 and published photos, Casale received significant backlash from the media and online. Apologizing to anyone who was offended, Casale called the reception a "surprise" and a "set-up", explaining that his friend "thought it was some sort of transgressive sick humor, and the problem is, it's not funny."[44][45]

As of 2021, Casale lives on a ranch in Napa, California.[46]

Casale and the other Devo members used to be part of the Church of the SubGenius.[47]


Year Title Director(s) Studio(s) Notes
1987 Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise Joe Roth 20th Century Fox with Mark Mothersbaugh
1988 Slaughterhouse Rock Dimitri Logothetis Arista Films with Mark Mothersbaugh


Music videos[edit]

Year Song Artist Notes
1978 "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Come Back Jonee" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
1979 "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprise" Devo
"Worried Man" Devo Segment in the film Human Highway
1980 "Panorama" The Cars Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Touch and Go" The Cars Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Girl U Want" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Freedom of Choice" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Whip It" Devo
1981 "Love Without Anger" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Through Being Cool" Devo
"Beautiful World" Devo
1982 "Time Out for Fun" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"Peek-a-Boo!" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
"That's Good" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
1983 "Theme from Doctor Detroit" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
1984 "Are You Experienced?" Devo Co-directed by Chuck Statler
1985 "Meeting in the Ladies Room" Klymaxx
"Mystic Rhythms" Rush
"One More Colour" Jane Siberry
1988 "Disco Dancer" Devo
1989 "Superconductor" Rush
1990 "Post Post-Modern Man" Devo
1995 "I'll Stick Around" Foo Fighters
1996 "Blow Up the Outside World" Soundgarden
1997 "You Don't Have to Hurt No More" Mint Condition
"Freak" Silverchair
"Cemetery" Silverchair
"Bikeracks" Cola
"Green to Me" Hum
"Downtime" Fat
1998 "Self Destructive" Ridel High
2004 "Imagine" A Perfect Circle
2006 "Army Girls Gone Wild" Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers Co-directed by Grady Sain
2009 "Don't Shoot (I'm a Man)" Devo Co-directed by Davy Force
2010 "Fresh" Devo Co-directed by Davy Force
2011 "What We Do" Devo Co-directed by Kii Arens and Jason Trucco
"California" Datarock
2016 "It's All Devo!" Devo's Gerald Casale with Phunk Investigation Co-directed with Maurizio Temporin
2021 "I'm Gonna Pay U Back" Devo's Gerald V. Casale Co-directed by Davy Force




Year Title Label Notes
2005 Army Girls Gone Wild EP Cordless Recordings as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers
2006 Mine Is Not a Holy War Cordless Recordings as Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers
2008 "To Be or Not" X Production as Devo's Gerald Casale with Die Alten Maschinen
2016 "It's All Devo!" MVD as Devo's Gerald Casale with Phunk Investigation

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Long, Pat (May 2, 2009). "Pat Long meets new wave 80s oddballs Devo, who are intent on making a comeback". The Guardian. London. Retrieved May 9, 2012.
  2. ^ "Devo". AllMusic. Retrieved September 30, 2012.
  3. ^ Steinberg and Michael Kehler (2010), p.355
  4. ^ Adams, Sam (June 30, 2010). "Devo's Gerald Casale". The A.V. Club. Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  5. ^ "Gerald Casale videography". Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Prufer, Jason (August 7, 2011). "DEVO's Seminal 1975 Night on Kent State's Front Campus". Kent Patch. Patch Media. Archived from the original on September 7, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2012.
  7. ^ "Devo's Gerald Casale". The A.V. Club. June 30, 2010. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  8. ^ a b c Sommer, Tim (May 8, 2018). "How the Kent State massacre helped give birth to punk rock". Washington Post. Retrieved May 3, 2018.
  9. ^ Knight, Brian L. (2005). "Oh Yes, It's Devo: An Interview with Jerry Casale". The Vermont Review. Retrieved April 14, 2015.
  10. ^ Kreps, Daniel (March 6, 2015). "Mark Mothersbaugh Explains How Tragedy Inspired Devo in Animated Clip". RollingStone. Retrieved January 6, 2016.
  11. ^ Sculley, Alan (June 30, 2010). "Devo Is Like the House Band on the Titanic".
  12. ^ "Alan Myers Obituary". Rolling Stone. June 26, 2013. Retrieved July 19, 2013.
  13. ^ Dearmore, Kelly (August 17, 2006). "Jihad Jerry". Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  14. ^ Abram, Malcolm X (August 18, 2005). "Still DEVOlutionary". Akron Beacon Journal. Archived from the original on October 26, 2005.
  15. ^ Interview: David Casale, retrieved August 13, 2015
  16. ^ Synth Pioneers DEVO New Song "Watch Us Work It" in Dell Commercial, August 4, 2007, retrieved August 13, 2015
  17. ^ Roberts, Randall (December 5, 2007). "Are You Not Devo? You Are Mutato". LA Weekly. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  18. ^ Williams, Jonathan (April 17, 2008). "Mothersbaugh draws from Devo and daily life". Archived from the original on February 24, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  19. ^ "Q: Are they not men?". June 12, 2008. Archived from the original on August 15, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  20. ^ ChadGrisly. "SOMETHIN.jpg".
  21. ^ "MoogFest 2010 Announces Devo as Recipient of Moog Innovation Award". September 8, 2010. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  22. ^ Pareles, Jon (November 1, 2010). "Honoring the Moment When Music Met Moog". The New York Times. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  23. ^ "Interview with Gerald Casale of Devo". March 3, 2011. Retrieved August 19, 2011.
  24. ^ "Devo Backs Seamus: 'Don't Roof Rack Me, Bro!'". August 16, 2012.
  25. ^ "Devo Parts With Warner Bros., Bites Romney in New Song". Billboard. August 23, 2012. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
  26. ^ "Protonic Reversal Ep159: Jerry Casale (DEVO)". April 24, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  27. ^ "Protonic Reversal Ep175: Jerry Casale (DEVO) pt. 2". May 29, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  28. ^ Deming, Mark, Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers: Mine Is Not a Holy War, retrieved April 13, 2016
  29. ^ Coco's commercial with Brian Hamilton, Jacques the Maitre d', archived from the original on December 13, 2021, retrieved October 24, 2016
  30. ^ William Ward, Gerald Casale, archived from the original on October 5, 2016, retrieved October 4, 2016
  31. ^ "Gerald Casale of DEVO". June 9, 2007. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010.
  32. ^ "BIYL Interview Gerald Casale of Devo". June 2007. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010.
  33. ^ "Jihad Jerry Biography". Retrieved January 7, 2016.
  34. ^ Devo-related 45s, retrieved August 4, 2015
  35. ^ Delta Safety Video, retrieved June 14, 2022
  36. ^ "Gerald Casale - It's All Devo". Record Store Day. 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2022.
  37. ^ "Devo's Jerry Casale on the Kent State Massacre, May 4, 1970". May 4, 2010.
  38. ^ Kilpatrick, Mary (May 3, 2020). "'And everything was just frozen in this chaos in horror and screaming': Gerald Casale remembers May 4, 1970". Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  39. ^ "A Drink With: Gerald Casale". Christie's. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  40. ^ "Devo Frontman Is Whipped by Wine". Wine Spectator. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  41. ^ "Devo's Gerald Casale Starting New Wine Company, the 50 by 50...No Spuds Involved". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  42. ^ Barragan, Bianca (January 15, 2015). "Devo Founder Selling Richard Neutra's Landmark Kun House". Curbed LA. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  43. ^ Duke, Alan (February 18, 2014). "Devo's Bob Casale dead of heart failure, brother says". CNN. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  44. ^ Stutz, Colin (September 14, 2015). "Devo's Jerry Casale Says 9/11-Themed Wedding Cake & Party Favors Were a 'Surprise'". Billboard. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  45. ^ "Devo's Jerry Casale says September 11-themed wedding cake was a 'set-up'". The Guardian. September 15, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2022.
  46. ^ Masturzo, Phil (August 14, 2021). "A new wave in wine: Devo's Gerald Casale". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved August 15, 2021.
  47. ^ Murphy, Tom (July 26, 2011). "Devo's Gerald Casale: "We're the predators that nobody can stop"". Westword.

External links[edit]