Notorious band had endured since the late ‘80s as cartoonish-but-potent symbol of rock ‘n’ roll outrageousness.
By Fred Mills
UPDATE (2): Rolling Stone reports: “The members of Gwar have decided to go forward with their annual “Gwar-B-Q” event this summer, following the death of frontman Dave Brockie – who performed as the alien Oderus Urungus – earlier this week. “As Dave and Oderus would have wanted,” reads a statement from the group’s manager, Jim Flanagan, the event will take place August 16th at Hadad’s Lake in Richmond, Virginia. Flanagan also announced a public memorial for Brockie on August 15th at the same location.”
UPDATE: Band manager Jack Flanagan, has issued a statement: “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 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014. His body was found Sunday by his bandmate 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. My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.”
Richmond, VA, media outlet Style Weekly is reporting the passing of Dave Brockie, a/k/a Oderus Urungus, the outsized (literally) frontman for shock-rock metal band GWAR, at the age of 50. The cause of death has not yet been determined, but police have indicated it was not due to foul play. Reports SW:
A member of the Richmond Police Department confirmed early Monday that the 50-year-old musician was found dead in his home Sunday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. by his roommate. Police were called to Brockie’s residence in the 4800 block of West Seminary Avenue at approximately 6:53 p.m. on Sunday, she says, and found Brockie deceased when they arrived. The Medical Examiner’s office will determine the cause of death.
“Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop says. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”
“His penchant for scatological humors belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist, one of the best, ever! A great front man, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice.”
More details as they emerge, along with a look at the band and its career. (This writer happened to be on hand at the notorious Charlotte, NC, concert in the early ‘90s when Brockie was arrested and tried for obscenity stemming from the group’s performance, and I reported it for a number of outlets, including Billboard, Creative Loafing and MTV.)