No. 11

April 01, 2014

In a shock to the metal world, Dave Brockie, the lead singer and founder of the eccentric metal band Gwar, died Sunday, March 23, 2014 in his Richmond, VA. home. Brockie was known under his stage name Oderus Urungus. The news was first reported by Richmond outlet Style Weekly where according to the band's manager Jack Flanagan, one of the band members found him Sunday evening shortly before 7 p.m. Flanagan stated "It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician and lead singer of Gwar passed away." Brockie's next of kin were notified and Richmond authorities plan to conduct a full autopsy. More information regarding his death will be released as the details are confirmed.

Former Gwar bassist Mike Bishop called Brockie "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. He was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art". "I wish it was a joke," added former band member Chris Bopst. "Everyone is in shock."

"Dave was an amazing, smart, and funny guy and I will miss so much about him," Kelli Malella, publicist for Gwar's longtime label Metal Blade, told Rolling Stone Magazine. "We could talk business, we could talk like a couple of dumb teens, or we could talk tanks and WWII. Losing Dave has left a giant gaping hole in our universe and I donít see us recovering any time soon."

Brockie came from a punk band named Death Piggy that staged crude plays when he founded Gwar in 1984. After meeting band member Hunter Jackson, who had created props for Death Piggy, he began work on his film Scumdogs of the Universe. Brockie used the grotesque costumes in the film to form the joke group Gwaaarrrgghhlllgh. After numerous lineup changes and the shortening of the band name to Gwar, they released their debut album Hell-O in 1988. Gwar are noted for their eccentric costumes and lude material. Gwar has been nominated for Grammys twice during its 30-year career, receiving a best long-form music video nomination for their album Phallus in Wonderland in 1992 and best metal performance in 1995 for their album S.F.W. Gwar released its 13th album Battle Maximus in September 2013.

This is not the first death for the band Gwar. Guitarist Cory Smoot was found dead on the group's tour bus in 2011. He joined the long-running band in 2002 and had the longest tenure in the Maximus role. Smoot co-produced Beyond Hell (2006) and Lust in Space (2009). Following his death, the band subsequently retired his character, Flattus Maximus. He are left to hope that Flattus and Oderus have merely returned to their planet and will continued to rock on together in this universe.

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