And so, Dave Brockie, better known to the unwashed, neon-jizzed masses as Oderus Urungus, front-being of GWAR, has died. He was found by his roommate in his Richmond home at 7pm last night, sitting in a chair, with no evidence of drugs in the residence. In a statement released on Instagram, Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe wrote:
If I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that—Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in "limits.” Richmond, VA has lost one of its most creative people. This is a crying shame to me. Thank you Brockie, for all the crazy shit you did- thank God you existed, so you could do it and I didn't have to. It was an honor to know you, to be your Shaky Slave, to serve in the Blood Vomits along side you (let's ride!), and to be soaked by your sweet cuttlefish. RIP Dave Brockie. Oderous, enjoy your trip back home.
The irony of trying to offer a sensitive obituary about a guy who was gross for a living is not lost upon me. Dave Brockie was indeed a gross dude, but a charming and wholly unique one, a rebel against good taste in a cultural landscape that all too often rewards political correctness. And while GWAR was a jokey band, they weren’t a joke—they could play the hell out of their instruments, and Brockie was an energetic, magnetic vocal presence. And, they were fucking funny as shit.
Of course, the whole point of GWAR was the live show, which I had the good luck to catch in the fall of 2011. If you’re unfamiliar, it was an hour-and-a-half of fake executions, buckets upon buckets of fake blood, and near-riot level mosh pits. The eye of the storm was always Brockie, whose vision pushed GWAR, standing strong onstage, closing the show by shooting fake blood out of a prosthetic penis. It was the strongest stage show from any band around, one that appealed to the fans of dumb shit, smart shit, dumb-smart shit, and smart-dumb shit. Brockie’s vision was that of a joke that was aimed at everyone, that therefore could offend no one, so tasteless that it bordered upon high art. And now he’s gone. It sucks, but he wouldn’t want us to mourn him. At last, Oderus Urungus is free.