Gwar's Oderus Urungus dead at 50
|Photo by Erik Hess|
|RIP, Oderus Urungus a.k.a. Dave Brockie|
Over the past 30 years, the thrash metal band and its frontman pulverized its audiences with bodily fluids, political fury, and one of the most elaborate stage setups in the history of rock 'n' roll.
Jack Flanagan, GWAR's manager, issued the following 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."
I had the pleasure of speaking to Brockie on two occasions, most recently around Valentine's Day for the Minnesota Daily's dating advice column. He was surprisingly serious with his answers, but always threw in lines like, "If she says she's not into the relationship part -- a spear through the mouth."
The last time we spoke, I messed up the time change and called him 30 minutes late. Where another artist might refuse to speak to me after such a slip, Brockie took it in stride, using the opportunity to tease me. I apologized, blaming Eastern time for my mistake, and he responded, "Well, that's no excuse. You're a reporter -- what if they send you to Mongolia? You'll be right fucked. Wear a sundial."
Later in the same conversation, he walked into a "nine ton" coffee table "made out of a planet" and began incoherently screaming into the phone. "I'm a hoarder," he said. "I haven't thrown anything away in 40 billion years." It wasn't part of the interview. It was just Brockie being Brockie.
Brockie was always kind and accommodating, no matter how inane my questions were. He approached each interview with the enthusiasm you'd expect from someone being interviewed for the first time ever, though he'd been in the game for 30 years. He had a quick and witty sense of humor, deriving great pleasure from gently poking fun at me, a novice college reporter. At times, he'd go on long-winded tangents about his quest to find the perfect whale to mate with to form combination Oderus Urungus/whale creatures. He lived his fantasy, never running out of bizarre, fantastical stories he'd tell off the top of his head. He was simultaneously generous, thoughtful, disgusting, and hysterical.