It’s been widely reported that Dave Brockie, known far better to fans as front-thing Oderus Urungus of GWAR, was found dead in his Virginia home yesterday evening. Brockie had been the leader and chief visionary of the theatrical metal band since its inception, 30 years ago. GWAR delighted rock fans and drama club enthusiasts alike, building a mythology around himself and a rotating cast of bandmates with elaborate costumes and names to match. Nobody left a GWAR concert unchanged, and that change often manifested itself in physical filth—audiences were sprayed with fake blood and other bodily fluids, much to their delight. Brockie was the last founding member of GWAR, and presumably the band will die with him. (Expect the tributes that will surely pop up soon to be mighty, though.) TMZ—so take this for what it’s worth—is reporting that Brockie’s death was not a suicide, that no note was found, and that there were no drugs in the house. Brockie was only 50.
On a more personal note, A.V. Club fans surely remember GWAR’s two appearances on A.V. Undercover. The band couldn’t have been friendlier (or better rehearsed!) than they were, marching around the office in their costumes and generally having fun with the whole thing. I made the mistake of referring to Brockie as “Dave” once he had already donned his Oderus Urungus gear, to which he responded, “Who the hell is Dave?!” (Prior to that, he responded to “Dave” just fine.) Here’s the band’s first appearance, doing Kansas’ “Carry On, Wayward Son.”