Dave Brockie: 1963-2014

Shocking news: band management has confirmed the death of Gwar mastermind Dave Brockie, the brash Virginian who under the guise of barbaric alien Oderus Urungus lead rock music’s most infamous horde of interstellar invaders for three riotous decades and through thirteen studio albums. Although his character was allegedly 43 billion years old, Brockie was a mere fifty.

Gwar (GWAR for maximum effect) could only have been spawned in the mid-eighties, a bizarre, bombastic mutation of the Sam Raimi horror movie aesthetic and Judas Priest. Part of the reason they lasted so long was Dave Brockie’s charm. He made this hulking pig-like creature named Oderus a fun and funny character, a robust yet occasionally confused conqueror who could make you chuckle even as he threatened to disembowel all of your relatives. Brockie excelled as ringmaster during Gwar’s live performances (think “Krofft Superstar Hour” meets Dante’s Inferno); his quips were often just as impressive as the giant foam rubber penis spraying fake ejaculate.

I feel exceptionally fortunate that Dave Brockie let me interview him “out of character” for This Music Leaves Stains. He proved just as rollicking and comical as himself, and out of all the people I spoke with he probably had the greatest passion for the Misfits. Dave was emphatic in his love for all the Misfits albums, everything the band had ever done, and seemed to just marvel at their very existence. This was the only point of the book process where I wished I was making a documentary, because I knew there was no way I’d be able to convey Dave’s special brand of enthusiasm via print.

Dave Brockie’s death is more surreal than any other in a long time. I hope he’s at peace. My condolences to his family, friends, and every other Gwar-lovin’ scumdog on the planet.

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