Some very sad news came in late last night.
Reports were popping up everywhere that David Brockie, better known to us as Oderus Urungus~Scumdog Of The Universe, was found dead by his room-mate Sunday evening at the age of 50.
Reported first in his hometown of Richmond, Virginia by StyleWeekly early this morning, it has since been confirmed by several close friends and band members.
David Brockie has died.
Gwar is no more.
Dave Brockie was 50 years old at the time of his death, but as we all know, the legend Oderus Urungus was 43 billion years old, and was assembled on a planet called Scumdogia in “Syntho Womb 5″ after pieces of his moldy war frame were found scattered throughout the galaxy.
He has survived vicious penguin attacks, raining maggots, sleazy music business honchos, and an ongoing cosmic battle with his arch-enemy, Techno-Destructo. The ever-expanding mythology of Gwar and their adventures out there in the universe have entertained the weird masses for years, spanning 13 albums and many low-budget feature films. They were nominated twice for Grammy awards for Best Metal Performance in 1995 and Best Long-Form Music Video in 1993, losing out to Nine Inch Nails and Annie Lennox, respectively.
Oderus even showed up recently as the next door neighbor in Adam Green’s web-series, Holliston.
Aside from fronting the relentlessly-touring band, Brockie was also a prolific painter.
His artwork has a chaotic and rough style, and he has consistently produced new and interesting work over the years.
Gwar was the first “shock rock” band that really made an impression on me in those young formative years. As much as I wanted to get into the other scary bands at the time, the serious Satanic schtick always turned me off. Then came Gwar.
These were guys who didn’t take themselves so fucking serious, and played some heavy songs to scare the parents, dressed in ridiculous costumes and claimed to be from outer space. Now this was something my teenage self could get behind!
Songs like “Sick Of You”, “Sexecutioner” and “Meat Sandwich” helped alleviate the boredom of algebra, and I became a full-blown super-fan after seeing the band live for the first time, at the age of 18.
I will never forget it.
It was in the middle of summer in Ybor City Florida, and the show was outdoors in the courtyard of an old historic theater. Until that point, I never knew how many weirdos there were out there. The show was a loud, obnoxious spectacle and we all left there covered in sweat and fake blood and wearing huge grins.
One of my favorite memories, to be sure.
It seems that Brockie was acutely aware of his own mortality, especially following the shocking death of Cory Smoot, aka “Flattus Maximus” back in November of 2011.
In a January 2012 interview with Full Metal Jackie, Brockie stated about Smoot’s passing: “I think Cory’s death is a big wake-up call for all of us. We all breathed a big sigh of relief when we found out it wasn’t a drug overdose, to speak quite frankly. But then to think that he was 34 and died of a heart attack — it’s really scary.”
He continued: “Everybody out there needs to take care of themselves, especially you guys who are playing in bands and starting to get up into your 40s and you’re all sitting there just like me saying, ‘Holy shit, this is still going on and I can keep doing this probably for the rest of my life?’ Yeah, you can, but you have to take of yourself. You really, really, really, really do. So I’m trying to quit smoking right now.”
Whether you loved him or hated him, David Brockie made his mark on the world, to be sure. These are my favorite people, the ones who get away with it.
A prolific and creative entertainer who delighted in obnoxious subversiveness and over the top theatrics, his voice will be sorely missed.
In the words of another late cult hero, Hunter S. Thompson, “He was a high-powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, too rare to die.”
Rest in peace, David Brockie
August 30th, 1963 – March 23rd, 2014