I started my Monday in the same fashion as any other day. I woke up, prepared a coffee while attending to the cats and turned on the PC to see the latest feeds on Facebook to begin chuckling at just how many friends spoiled the recent episode of “The Walking Dead” for the world – instead I started to see numerous photos of media allies with Oderus Urungus/Dave Brockie and seeing unhappy face emoticons under them or the words “so sad”. Was I reading this correctly? Could it be true? Sadly it would seem to be the case and yes my friends, Mr. David Brockie, founder of the legendary GWAR and its unimitable force of nature front man Oderus Urungus had died. He was 50 years old.
Brockie came up with the idea of GWAR while in his Punk band “Death Piggy” who were a group that used stage props and delivered small plays during their set. He devised these intergalactic barbarians from Antarctica to be a wilder opener for their own set and with this being the case the same members would be in both bands. The name was a lengthier “Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh” (which in itself sounds like a ravenous animals growl) and when the audience started paying the most attention to them, a change was made to have the now titled GWAR become the main band and Death Piggy was sent to that great pen in the sky. This was 1984 and considering that Glam Rock and Power Metal were par for the course there was nothing like this insanity being done.
I first heard GWAR when I was back in college and had visited my friends radio show. It was weird to say the least and that “Scumdogs Of The Universe” album was pretty raw and raunchy in terms of what it was offering up to the Metal listeners. As a lifelong comic book fan I loved the creativity behind such a band with its larger than life stage show and costumed identities. The first time I saw GWAR had to be in the early nineties and it was at The New Ritz which was the original home of Studio 54. As this was a radio contest win I don’t seem to have a ticket in my collection to refer to for the main date but I will venture to guess that it was around 1992 or so. As a newbie to what would go on I stayed way in the back, especially when I learned how hoses and connectors to the band would be shooting out fake blood and other bodily fluids. At one point during the show I found the band, some of their “slaves”, a dinosaur and volunteer minions from the crowd up on the stage and said to my friend that I was losing track of the proceedings. He had seen them before so laughed about that citing that it was far from over. Then Oderus whipped out his “thing” and said it was a long time since he had orgasmed over a crowd such as this and proceeded to shoot uhm….uhm “stuff” all over the fans in the front. Clearly I had never seen a show like this before and it left me with stories to tell for months. When was the first time you saw GWAR?
As I typed up my reflections, the official statement from the bands manager Jack Flanagan was issued and I have shared it with you all. “It is with a saddened heart, that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR passed away at approximately 6:50 PM EST Sunday
March 23,2014. His body was found Sunday by his band mate at his home in Richmond, VA. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963. My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.”
Such a shame and such a larger than life creative personality for sure. I mentioned being a big comic book fan and with that comes a love of action figures and related toys. I had always hoped that Todd McFarlane would add a line of GWAR figures to his creations because I felt that they would be hot sellers. Perhaps now something like this will come to pass.
These shots that you see here were shot by me during a show that I attended back in 2009. I greatly enjoyed what GWAR was all about but admit that I did not see them in concert all that often. I hope you enjoy these visuals and that they bring you some level of comfort in the loss of such a player. I cannot imagine the band continuing without its primary creative force.
On behalf of PiercingMetal.com I send the deepest of condolences to the family and friends of Dave Brockie and of course this extends to his worldwide fans of his band, his music and the ideas that he was always coming up with. There will a tremendous void with his passing for sure. Rest in Peace to you Mr. Brockie and Oderus. Thank you for the music, the madness and the thrill ride that was any encounter with you and your mad creative genius. You will be missed by too many to even number.
Official Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Brockie