Devo star Gerald Casale has joined the ranks of the celebrity winemakers after uncorking his first Pinot Noir. The Whip It hitmaker realised his lifelong dream of owning a winery a few years ago and now he's ready for fans to taste the products of his labour.
The rocker tells Billboard.com he has spent decades perfecting his wine knowledge with tips from culinary experts and pals like Wolfgang Puck and Michael McCarty - and he's pouring all the information he has gathered into his 50 By 50 vineyard in Napa Valley, California.
His first vintages of Pinot Noir and Rose of Pinot Noir will be released this week (30Apr14).
He tells Billboard, "I never knew how I would be able to do it."
Casale adds, "Wine is part of a ritual and to me, rituals keep anything of value in human society alive. Rituals glue us together. Music is a big part of that obviously. In the 20th century, going to the theatre was a big ritual, which has been kind of destroyed. Wine - eating and drinking together and matching food and wine - is a huge ritual. The more you know about it, the more you care about it, the more pleasure there is."
The wine launch gives Casale something to smile about following the death of brother and Devo bandmate Bob Casale in February (14).
Devo star Bob Casale has died at the age of 61. Casale passed away on Monday (17Feb14) from health complications which led to heart failure, according to his brother Gerald.
He tells TMZ.com, "As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer, and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got."
The Casales formed Devo in the early 1970s with brothers Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Alan Myers. The band had a string of new wave hits, including Whip It and Girl U Want.
After two decades of performing together, the band announced it would embark on a five-year hiatus in 1990 to focus on solo ventures, but the musicians reunited in 1996 for a gig at U.S. music festival Lollapalooza.
In 2006, they released Watch Us Work It after it was used in a Super Bowl advertisement for computer giant Dell. The cult group subsequently started working on new material and in 2010, the stars released their first album in 20 years, titled Something for Everybody, and embarked on a year-long tour.
Devo drummer Alan Myers has died after a battle with cancer. The rocker, the band's third and most prominent drummer, passed away on Monday (24Jun13).
News of his death was confirmed by jazz musician Ralph Carney, the uncle of The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney.
In a post on Facebook.com, Carney writes, "I just got some bad news. Alan Myers passed... from cancer. He was Devo's best drummer and one of the first people to teach me about jazz. I cry... Alan taught me so much about music. He gave me my first sax lesson."
Myers, who joined Devo in 1976, played on the group's 1980 single Whip It and appears in the track's classic video.
He is heard on a number of Devo albums including Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, Freedom of Choice, and Shout, but bowed out of the line-up in 1986.
Devo co-founder Gerald Casale took to his Twitter.com page to pay tribute to his former bandmate, writing, "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!! Alan, you were the best - a human metronome and then some. U (you) were born to drum Devo!"
Drummer Josh Freese, who has also played with Devo, tweeted, "RIP Alan Myers. 1 of my all time favs (favourites). An underrated/brilliant drummer. Such an honor playing his parts w/ (with) Devo. Godspeed Human Metronome."