The greatest achievement of thrash metal parody band GWAR was they they somehow conned bored suburban metalhead kids into watching performance art. Since 1984, the band’s been donning their costumes, playing some of the most amusing metal out there, and dismembering modern culture both literally in their lyrics and figuratively onstage. I got my chance to see GWAR on New Year’s Eve 1991 at The Rialto in Montreal with my friend Rob Strickler, whom I somehow managed to convince to come along for the show. They made their entrance by bursting through a fake brick wall at midnight, with frontcreature Oderus Urungus (played by Dave Brockie) yelling “HAPPY NEW YEAR, HUMAN SCUM!”, and then sprayed the front rows with fake blood and semen. It was one of the better ways to start a new year.
Dave Brockie, who founded and fronted GWAR, was found dead in his apartment in Richmond, Virginia, last night at 7 p.m. by a bandmate. The police do not suspect foul play, nor did they find drugs inside his home — he was just found dead, sitting upright in his chair.
The best way to remember Brockie is to enjoy his hilarious over-the-top performances. Here are a few musical selections…
They do more than music. So much, much more:
Here they are on Joan Rivers:
…and I can’t forget their appearance on Jerry Springer: