Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus of GWAR Has Died


UPDATE, 1:30 PM: A statement has been released by Jack Flanagan, GWAR’s manager. It is as follows: 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.

Read RVA Magazine’s 2010 interview with Brockie HERE

Richmond has lost a legend. Dave Brockie, founder and frontman of GWAR, died at his home in Richmond yesterday. He was 50. Brockie’s death was confirmed by Richmond Police spokesperson Dionne Waugh. In an email to WTVR channel 6, she wrote: “At approximately 6:53 p.m. on Sunday, Richmond Police were called to a residence in the 4800 block of West Seminary Avenue for a report of a deceased individual. When officers arrived, they found David M. Brockie, 50, deceased inside the home.”

An outpouring of shock and grief greeted the news, as such Richmond metal and punk luminaries as Lamb Of God’s Randy Blythe and former GWAR members Chris Bopst and Michael Bishop offered praise for Brockie’s one-of-a-kind creativity and larger-than-life personality. Speaking to Style Weekly, Bishop said, “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known. 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.”

Blythe posted a tribute to Brockie on his Instagram account (via Blabbermouth), which read in part, “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. “Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND. I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That’s VERY HARD TO SAY.”

Blythe added, “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.’ Richmond has lost one of its most creative people. This is a crying shame to me.”

Dave Brockie began his career in the early 80s, as the lead singer and bassist for Richmond hardcore band Death Piggy. The band became regionally famous as much for its cartoon pig logo (a ubiquitous graffiti image on the walls of Richmond in the mid-80s) as for its music. GWAR was initially created as a joke opening band for Death Piggy–a troupe of warmongering aliens crash-landed on Earth that formed a band as a means of conquering our civilization. Brockie, along with VCU art students Hunter Jackson and Chuck Varga, formed the original Slave Pit artistic collective. Their original intent was to shoot movies, but after their ostensible joke side project, GWAR, developed a following, it became the main focus.

Footage from GWAR’s first show, at Shockoe Bottom club P.B. Kelly’s, survives to this day. At the time, Brockie was playing guitar, with original singer Johnny Slutman on vocals.

GWAR cycled through a variety of lineups and members during the mid-to-late 80s, with Brockie becoming their lead vocalist in 1987. In the nearly three decades since then, Brockie remained the band’s only constant member. His outrageous Oderus Urungus costumes led to the group’s live performances being banned temporarily in North Carolina, while for many years they could only perform in Richmond sans costumes, as no local club was willing to clean up after their messy stage shows, full of fake gore.

Here’s the video for “Sick Of You,” from their classic 1990 album, Scumdogs Of The Universe:

GWAR’s international popularity kept them busy throughout their career, releasing 13 albums (the most recent being 2013’s Battle Maximus) and a wide variety of films and videos as well. But it wsan’t the only artistic activity Brockie engaged in over the years; he also led side projects X-Cops and DBX (Dave Brockie Xperience), as well as a brief Death Piggy revival in the early 90s. Brockie also published sci-fi/horror novel called Whargoul and, as Oderus Urungus, had recurring appearances on the Fox News show Red Eye with Greg Gutfeld.

Brockie’s death comes three years after the sudden death of GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot, aka Flattus Maximus, at the age of 34. GWAR were planning their fourth annual GWAR-B-Q to take place at Hadad’s Lake on August 17. The band’s management will release a statement about Brockie’s death at 1 PM today; we’ll bring you that statement when we have it.

Original article, 1:32 AM 3/24/14:

If this is true, its a sad day for Richmond. We just talked to Dave a few weeks ago and he has always been a supporter of the magazine since we started in 2005.

We don’t have anymore details but Style Weekly is reporting that legendary GWAR frontman Dave Brockie has been found been dead in his home Sunday night. More on this when we find out.

RVA Staff

RVA Staff

Since 2005, the dedicated team at RVA Magazine, known as RVA Staff, has been delivering the cultural news that matters in Richmond, VA. This talented group of professionals is committed to keeping you informed about the events and happenings in the city.

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