Gwar Frontman Dave ‘Oderus Urungus’ Brockie Dead at 50
The circumstances surrounding Brockie's death are still unknown, but according to a report published by Style Weekly, a spokesperson for the Richmond, Va. police department confirmed that his body was found by his roommate during the afternoon of March 23. Former GWAR bassist Chris Bopst, currently a music writer for Style Weekly, is quoted as saying, "I wish it was a joke. Everyone is in shock."
Australian site TheMusic.com.au has published a report claiming that GWAR's management will issue an official announcement on March 24 at 5:00PM Eastern time, but the Facebook page for Mobile Deathcamp -- the thrash group started by former GWAR bassist Todd Evans -- has confirmed the sad news with a post reading simply "RIP DAVE BROCKIE!!"
Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe heard about Brockie's passing from Bopst and shared his grief with an Instagram post that included a picture of Brockie and a few touching words of remembrance. "When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say, 'Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original.' Most of these people no idea of what they are talking about; they obviously had never met Dave," wrote Blythe. "Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND. I can't think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That's VERY HARD TO SAY. My band learned how to become a real touring band from GWAR. They gave us out first shot at this thing...Right now, 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.'"
Brockie's death is the second tragedy to strike the GWAR camp in recent years. In 2011, guitarist Cory Smoot died after suffering a heart attack on the band's tour bus. The band has frequently undergone lineup changes over the course of its 30-year existence, but at the time of his passing, Brockie was the sole remaining founding member; at the time of this writing, it's uncertain whether GWAR will carry on without him.
"Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I've known," former GWAR bassist Mike Bishop told Style Weekly. "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."
Jack Flanagan, manager of GWAR, has issued an official 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 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."
Now is a difficult time to laugh, but part of what made Brockie so special was his sense of humor. This is demonstrated in this fantastic reading he did of the children's story 'Goodnight Moon' while visiting our sister publication Loudwire recently: