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Monday, March 24, 2014

R.I.P. GWAR's Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus

Posted By on Mon, Mar 24, 2014 at 10:59 AM

R.I.P. Dave Brockie
  • R.I.P. Dave Brockie

Dave Brockie, who as Oderus Urungus founded and led the satirical metal band GWAR for 30 years, died Sunday morning at his home in Virginia, according to multiple sources. He was 50.

Richmond's Style Weekly first broke the news. A statement from GWAR's manager, Jack Flanagan:

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.

Oderus Urungus - CHRISTOPHER VICTORIO
  • Christopher Victorio
  • Oderus Urungus

It feels strange to say that GWAR -- the endlessly profane, bilious, cartoonish metal band whose shows were like carnivals of derangement -- was beloved. But it's hard to look at photos of fans at GWAR concerts and say it was anything less. In recent years GWAR still toured regularly and still packed S.F. venues like the Regency Ballroom, with its shows becoming a rite of passage for new generations of metal fans.

It's also sort of incredible to realize that GWAR -- a thrash metal band in which Brockie wore a fearsome costume festooned with a giant phallus, and held mock executions in the middle of sets -- outlasted so many other, more conventional artists. Or maybe it makes perfect sense. Even if you knew GWAR's schtick, it was always a little shocking.

Also, it was darkly, terribly funny -- as was Brockie himself. When SF Weekly last interviewed Brockie/Oderus in 2011, he opined on drugs, politics, STDs, and of course, his version of Mexican food:

You're playing San Diego tonight; have you any thoughts on that region's Mexican food?

Oh, well I enjoy eating Mexicans just as much as any man does. They're spicy and they're actually kind of half-cooked. They've got great sauces and I find Mexicans to be perfectly seasoned in their natural stew.

Do you have a regional Californian preference?

I do love both ends of your country but there is something about Northern California that is so pretty that it fills me with rage and hatred. I like nice cold mountains and burning glaciers of lava and 90-foot-tall penguins dotting the landscape. I don't do so well with these fervent fields full of crops and happy workers fishing watermelons in the sun. That's not what the human race needs to be doing.

Isn't it kind of paradoxical that you're always entertaining the people you hate?

Yeah, but I don't think too hard about stuff that I like. It is a paradox, but I'd rather have a pair of ducks than eight chickens.

-- @iPORT


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Ian S. Port

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