Scumdogs of the Universe: Hang thy heads in grotesque sorrow
March 24, 2014 8:31 AM   Subscribe

Oderus Urungus, the founder and lead singer of Gwar, has died.
posted by skycrashesdown (85 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I guess it isn't a hoax. May he forever feed at the blood trough of the Sloar.
posted by dr_dank at 8:34 AM on March 24, 2014 [11 favorites]

posted by jeffamaphone at 8:34 AM on March 24, 2014

This is the worst news. Another awesome musician that I will never get to meet. I hope Brockie, Peter Steele and Warren Zevon are getting along OK wherever they are.
posted by Sternmeyer at 8:37 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was talking with him on twitter the day before yesterday. What the fuck.

posted by BitterOldPunk at 8:37 AM on March 24, 2014

oh yikes. I was hoping this wasn't true.
posted by dabitch at 8:38 AM on March 24, 2014

I hope he is up in heaven eat a Jesus meat sandwich
posted by munchingzombie at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by Iridic at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2014

Unfortunately their manager confirmed it.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:40 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by mosk at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2014

I posted about this on twitter, but in 1997 I went to see Gwar live. I had never been to a show alone before, but none of my friends would come with me. I was 18, and I had never seen so many cops outside a venue, which made no sense to me because Gwar seemed so innocuous when you got down to it. They put on an amazing show, and I have always held a special place in my heart for them because they represented my assertion of independence. I had long felt that they were eternal and immortal, having toured for as long as I could remember. I'm so sad to hear of his death.

posted by Nimmie Amee at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2014 [7 favorites]


Maybe he'll come back as a squirrel.
posted by Catblack at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by josher71 at 8:42 AM on March 24, 2014

Saw them last halloween. So sad to hear.

posted by waraw at 8:42 AM on March 24, 2014

Reached for comment God said, "What a racket!"
posted by inturnaround at 8:43 AM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I saw Gwar at Birch Hill in Old Bridge, NJ. The stage wasn't high, and since you could only see so much over people's heads, I pushed my way in and stood over the barrier. I made it a point to take a face full of blood? cum? I forget the organ that gushed it into my face. My contacts were red when I took them out that night. I was so proud.

posted by Brainy at 8:44 AM on March 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

Oderus reads you "Goodnight Moon."

posted by jbickers at 8:45 AM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by Smart Dalek at 8:45 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by oceanjesse at 8:46 AM on March 24, 2014

Reminiscence by Accordion Guy, lots of clips.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 AM on March 24, 2014

They did an fucking awesome cover of Kansas' Carry On My Wayward Son for the AV Club's Undercover series.

posted by alvarete at 8:47 AM on March 24, 2014 [15 favorites]

Here he is getting the Worst Cold Reading Ever.
posted by Catblack at 8:48 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by lalochezia at 8:49 AM on March 24, 2014

. Pour out a bucket of blood for your homie.
posted by jocelmeow at 8:52 AM on March 24, 2014

I came away from my only Gwar show covered in stage blood, with my head ringing like a bell. It was the best concert I've ever attended, if by "best" you mean "most like a Dionysian sparagmos".

posted by fleetmouse at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by Cash4Lead at 8:55 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by D_I at 8:57 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by vibrotronica at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2014

THIS is where 'the opposite of a moment of silence' is appropriate!

posted by mikelieman at 9:05 AM on March 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

I knew Brockie in the mid eighties, when I lived in Richmond, Va. A thoroughly decent guy, a true Canadian.
They also put on some of the very very very best, toughest, most outrageous shows I have ever seen.
posted by From Bklyn at 9:10 AM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

On Joan Rivers:

Everywhere you look nowdays you look on TV you see people being run over by tanks, people getting beaten up by the police, people starving, there are new sexual diseases. Obviously the human race is in love with self destruction. We are only satisfying a consumer need.

posted by eye of newt at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

I saw GWAR twice and got drenched by the biledriver in the front row. I loved it. These lines from "B.D.F." are particularly poignant:

I haunt the malls and the Burger Kings
I am the giver of pain
Splitting the rumps of the wicked
Only their nipples remain

posted by Renoroc at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by Monkeymoo at 9:15 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by jquinby at 9:16 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by drezdn at 9:16 AM on March 24, 2014

He was certainly right about how much bands named after places suck.

posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:18 AM on March 24, 2014

My mother, who has always liked loud bands, had, for well over a decade, professed an interest in going to see Gwar. I am not sure if Empire Records was the cause of all of this, but I blame it anyway. Nevertheless, I finally broke down and took her to see them what was to be two days before the death of Flattus Maximus. I said, "If we must go, we should at least do it right," so we scavenged up some disposable white clothing, so as to better display the gore, ichor, and other brightly-colored fluids. After an opening act featuring guys with sackcloths over their heads and nooses around their necks, she edged closer and closer, despite my vocalized despair over her lack of calcium intake and the resilience of her hips attendant. Yes, my mother tasted the filthy cuttlefish before we retreated to the balcony to witness of the devouring of groupies.

Gwar is gloriously outrageous, like a perverted Jack Kirby basing a comic off of Sun-Ra. Rock needs Gwar, or something very much like it, to keep it from being timid and taking itself too seriously. If Gwar did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them.

Long live Gwar.
posted by adipocere at 9:20 AM on March 24, 2014 [23 favorites]

My husband got to drive Slymenstra Hymen around once. (I love this story.) She told him they were all really into antiquing.

I really can't do better than that jizz-dick fleetmouse posted upthread.

posted by Madamina at 9:21 AM on March 24, 2014 [4 favorites]

Since no one has posted it yet, here's Phallus in Wonderland. (Totally, NSFW in case that needs to be said.)
posted by dortmunder at 9:24 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've seen Gwar quite a few times, most notably a couple of New Years Eve shows (one a double bill with Gen and the Genitorturers). Gwar put on some of the most outrageous, flat out fun shows I've been to.

posted by kjs3 at 9:27 AM on March 24, 2014

I've seen GWAR a dozen times, blown out my knee in a pit at one of their shows, been soaked in liquid crack and hot blood all the way down to my socks, and had some damn fine food at the GWAR-B-Q in Richmond last year. Times like these make you think - all those moments will be lost in time... like jizz in rain.

I think one of the things that most compelled me to see GWAR the first time in my mid-teens was reading this classic as a lad - Punisher vs. GWAR WARG.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:27 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

Seen them twice, love the music. A very sad day.

posted by starvingartist at 9:33 AM on March 24, 2014

Now who will degrade us?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:36 AM on March 24, 2014 [7 favorites]

I think Satan must have called him back to hell so that he could sodomize Fred Phelps for all eternity.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:45 AM on March 24, 2014 [17 favorites]

Man. Two guys each from GWAR and DEVO dying so recently, while Robin Thicke lives a life of luxury.
posted by Cookiebastard at 9:53 AM on March 24, 2014 [5 favorites]

There was this lovely small moment in their show when I saw them in 1997, on the same tour Nimmie Amee and this person attended:

Oderus was about to use a three-foot phallus to penetrate a life-sized baby doll (that in my memory was dressed as the Pope, but I think I'm confusing that with another part of the show). He lined the baby doll up, adjusted the strap-on, but didn't quite do the deed. As the audience cheered louder and louder, egging him on, he paused...and just looked out at the crowd with this really deadpan look.

I don't want to make this more poignant or philosophical than it was. I didn't read it as "Oh, and you thought *I* was a monster, listen to yourselves!" or anything heavy like that. It was just this really nice human moment. Like "Okay, let's just take a step back here. I'm about to fuck a baby doll on stage. And not only that, this is my job...isn't that nuts!?"

It was just few seconds, him gazing at us with this hilarious, inscrutable expression. Again, not to ascribe too much to it, but for just those few beats it felt like Dave Brockie and not Oderus was there with us, and he was enjoying the show just as much as any of us fellow metal geeks in the audience.

And then of course he turned back into Oderus before our very eyes. His lip snarled, his hips bucked, and the baby doll's head was replaced with the knob of a firehose phallus soaking the entire moshpit.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:06 AM on March 24, 2014 [11 favorites]

posted by egypturnash at 10:08 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by valkane at 10:25 AM on March 24, 2014

I'm really really sad I never got to see them perform.
posted by oceanjesse at 10:28 AM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

I learned of GWAR through a friend in my dorm, around the time of This Toilet Earth, early 1995ish. Definitely not my kind of music, but I couldn't deny the lyrical genius and instrumental talent. The friend in question saw them perform on stage; he left as a pale blond man wearing an ash-colored shirt and very faded cut-off jeans. He returned and he was red.. red haired, red shirted, red-jeaned, russet skin.

"What happened?"

"I was close enough to the stage that I tried to touch Oderus's giant schlong, so he turned and ejaculated his bloody jizz in my face. It was awesome." And, as it turned out, entirely water-soluble.

These guys were pretty tasteless, but they were outstanding showmen and musicians, and the humor that pervaded everything tempered their edginess. And good at dying young, it seems. Eek.
posted by Sunburnt at 10:54 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:03 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by umberto at 11:14 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by detachd at 11:30 AM on March 24, 2014

posted by dogwalker at 11:35 AM on March 24, 2014

When I met one of the most music-involved friends I ever met, he had just walked in the door of the party having gotten back from a GWAR show. Ten years later, for my birthday, he would take me to the only GWAR show I would ever see. God, the whatever-it-was-being-called (was at one point a Toad's Place, hardly successful, changed hands several times) down on the Canal Walk in Richmond had the most god-awful acoustics; for some reason, it damped the bass and accentuated the treble and my unplugged ears rang for ten straight days.

You know they were banned in the town where they lived? GWAR could not play in Richmond for a period including the end of the '90s because (the story goes), it was near the end of a show, Dave was mostly naked (and maybe drunk?) anyway, so when it came time to play B.D.F., Dave whipped out his actual penis to fuck the baby with. And lo, there was a great displeasure and it was all RAWG and X-Cops for ten years. Anyway...

At the time, I lived six blocks away from the venue and we went to the box office early to check who the opening act was going to be (we didn't need to be on time, did we?) and they were doing soundcheck. From the main room, we hear, "Check. Check One. Check One.... hey, sound guy? Can we get a little less Middle-Aged White Guy on Mic One?" You will be missed, scumdog.

posted by Appropriate Username at 11:42 AM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

He was a visionary.
I'll never forget my stint painting and guts at the Slave Pit during my teenager years around 1990. Gwar was a truly original phenomenon.
posted by Liquidwolf at 11:49 AM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am proud to say I was at the show in Charlotte in 1990 where Brockie was arrested afterward. I missed the riot because I had to work the next day and left right after the show ended. I remember reading a story about the his trial, the presiding judge was named Richard Boner. Swear to god. After his trial where he was fined $350 Brockie naturally said, "Judge Dick Boner made a hard decision."
posted by zzazazz at 11:50 AM on March 24, 2014 [6 favorites]

I saw GWAR in Norfolk, VA in 2008. I still haven't managed to completely wash the blood out of the jeans and t-shirt that I wore to the show.

I've always admired GWAR for their consistency -- very few bands manage to have 20-year careers, and not get stale. They never dropped the facade, and always knew exactly how seriously to take themselves.

He will be missed.

posted by schmod at 11:57 AM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I think I've told all my Gwar stories elsewhere. I'll just say that Dave Brockie was a great, creative guy both with Gwar and with numerous side projects and on the few occasions I met and spoke to him he was always nice.

(Except for that time he kept drunkenly slamming into me at an Oghr show. I think he was just impressed that I didn't fall down.)

posted by JoanArkham at 12:03 PM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

A good friend went to a GWAR show in North Carolina on the Scumdogs tour -- it might have been the infamous Charlotte show, I'm not sure. He came back at 3 AM and knocked on another friend's door, who opened it and screamed loudly thinking the concertgoer had been in a horrific car accident.

The next day, he went to his mid-terms. Without showering.

There are those in this life who dabble in the mundane, and those who create art. Dave Brockie created art.

posted by delfin at 12:26 PM on March 24, 2014 [3 favorites]

Yeah - never really got into GWAR, even though I had some friends that were into them, and the gorey/jokey element seemed to be right up my alley, but I have total respect for them.

My friend's band (Droids Attack) got to open for them at RiotFest in 2012, so here is a little pic from backstage of them performing.

8======0~~~~~~ indeed
posted by symbioid at 12:59 PM on March 24, 2014

As a guy from Richmond who also happens to play in a band that wears costumes, I can say that this news hit my local musician friends hard.

posted by emelenjr at 1:13 PM on March 24, 2014

They came in to the store where I work about 6 years ago and I helped them. They put me on the guest list for that night. At the show that night they cancelled Christmas that year which was great news.
posted by sourwookie at 2:31 PM on March 24, 2014

I used to see them occasionally back in the mid-nineties when I lived in Norfolk, VA, and my partner saw their early shows, including at the infamous City Gardens in NJ. This is hard news.

At the end of December last year, we took my teenage niece to see them in Richmond -- she and I got ourselves way up front and stayed there for the whole goddamn blood-soaked show and had a blast. She hasn't stopped bragging on the aftermath pics and schooling her friends on GWAR since. I loved that I got to be the one to take her to her first show, but it wasn't supposed to be the last, dammit.
posted by desuetude at 2:48 PM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

A bit of creative weirdness has gone out of the world. Even if Dave Brockie were an asshole, that would be worth mourning- how much moreso that nobody had much ill to speak of him?

posted by Pope Guilty at 3:48 PM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

That's one of the things I like about GWAR. It seems that for all intents and purposes, they were all pretty cool folks, Dave Brockie especially.

posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 4:02 PM on March 24, 2014

GWAR at City Gardens ... 2 icons that have passed on.
posted by tribalspice at 4:27 PM on March 24, 2014

posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:41 PM on March 24, 2014

posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on March 24, 2014


For some reason, I'll always remember a lyric from a blurb about GWAR in Factsheet Five, it was:
We are GWAR
we'll go far
we've got guitars
we'll eat your car
I never got to see them live, but I was convinced I'd seen them in the Seattle Pride march until I just now googled it and nope, just some awesome cosplayers (scroll down to 2000).
posted by drinkyclown at 9:23 PM on March 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bring back the bomb - featuring a decapitated Dubya.
posted by 445supermag at 9:29 PM on March 24, 2014

I think I may have been tricked into seeing Gwar for the first time. Working at a record store where some Gwar folk were in costume for pictures and autographs, it was my duty and privelege to bring them some beer for refreshment. Slymenstra Hymen suggested that I bring my camera to the show and offered me and Nate a spot on the guest list. I had heard the gist of what they did live, but wasn't really prepared for what I would witness. I don't remember if anybody said it would be sort of a gamble to combine it with a first experience on a hallucinogen but that's how we did it. It really jarred me out of a deep depression that I was trying hard not to acknowledge up to that point. Also, holy fucking shit, if I may say so.
Thanks, Oderus.
posted by current occupation: at 9:31 PM on March 24, 2014 [2 favorites]

I have meant to see them for about 15 years now and kept putting it off. I suck.

RIP, Dave, Oderus. You were too great for this toilet Earth.

posted by ignignokt at 9:31 PM on March 24, 2014

There are those in this life who dabble in the mundane, and those who create art. Dave Brockie created art.

That's my buddy Bob Gorman in the background of that pic, member of the band who serves as prop-builder, archivist, slave, etc. My heart goes out to all my richmond friends who are missing dave.

My only brockie story was when my band practiced in the back room of the slave pit. Bob had the unenviable task of collecting rent from us and the other bands who rehearsed there. He was complaining to Bob about one band that had been repeatedly late on rent when they looked out the window and saw the band arriving at the practice space. Brockie threw open the window and bellowed something like "HEY ASSHOLES!!! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO PAY THE FUCKING RENT!?!?!?", scaring the bejesus out of them - then fell back in the room laughing.
posted by gorbichov at 4:47 AM on March 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by ghostbikes at 8:38 AM on March 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

posted by Joey Michaels at 1:56 PM on March 25, 2014

posted by itwasyou at 2:39 PM on March 25, 2014

There is hope in this YT comment:

He's not dead, he's just entered a comatose state as a preliminary phase of metamorphosis in which he will become a Godzilla sized erection growing out of the Earth's crust and spew irradiated pus which will flood the planet and kill all life ...

posted by telstar at 12:18 AM on March 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

I just heard this news today. Normally, I am right on top of news like this so I was half convinced it was a miprint when I read it in Portland's Willamette Week. Figuring that they were talking about the death of Flattus Maximus (guitarist). I am inconsolable. GWAR were never any sort of groundbreaking act, and owning albums of theirs almost seemed pointless since ninety eight percent of their appeal has always been in their live performances. But their boundless love for what they do, relentless touring, and sense of humor in what is all too often an overly self serious genre made them legends in their own time. I am grateful that I was able to see them twice live, since I do not imagine that they will be continuing now.

My personal favorite GWAR concert anecdote is from the last time I saw them in the early 2000's. I had gone to the show with a couple old friends, one of whom was singularly the most humorless feminist I have ever met. I almost hate to even talk about just how much of a caricature of a humorless feminist this woman was, but when people met her they almost universally were either turned off immediately from her pointing out every little thing that could possibly be interpreted as offensive or thought the extremity of her beliefs were some sort of joke. And she had decided to go see GWAR with us. She did not appreciate the show. She liked seeing George Bush decapitated, but then became a volcano of indignation that raged into the night like the mighty phallus that ejaculated all manners of goo into the crowd at just about everything else.

I would say that GWAR were achieving their goal if she was offended so, but it was more difficult not to offend this otherwise perfectly pleasant woman. Half of me thinks she went only to chaperone my friend slash her boyfriend [name withheld] since about six months previous I had drunkenly called someone a stupid bitch. An act she never forgave me for.
posted by mediocre at 6:25 PM on April 9, 2014

GWAR at City Gardens ... 2 icons that have passed on.

More on City Gardens: ‘No Slam Dancing’: Black Flag, Dead Kennedys and… Jon Stewart?
posted by homunculus at 1:54 PM on April 10, 2014

in case anyone is interested, here are some links to video from the dave brockie memorial in Richmond. Several friends of mine spoke, it was pretty nice.

Part 1 (Chris Bopst)
Part 2 (Adam Green)
Part 3 (Mike Bishop)
Part 4 (video montage)
Part 5 (Randy Blythe from Lamb of God)
Part 6 (Eddie Oertell)
Part 7 (Bob Gorman)
posted by gorbichov at 3:59 PM on April 10, 2014

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