Richmond, Virginia CBS affiliate WTVR has posted a video report on the passing of Dave Brockie, who founded and fronted the theatrical shock rock band GWAR under the name Oderus Urungus. The three-and-half-minute clip features those closest to Brockie that were members of the extended GWAR family — from store managers to costume designers to former members of the band. Ex-GWAR guitarist Greg Ottinger states in the piece, which can be seen below: "Dave was a comet hurtling through space and pulling a whole collection of craziness behind him. And that's what we were — the tail."
Brockie was found dead in his home in Richmond on Sunday night (March 23). Brockie was 50 years old and the cause of death has not been determined. Police on the scene did not suspect that foul play was involved.
GWAR manager Jack Flanagan released a statement saying, "It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of GWAR, passed away at approximately 6:50 p.m. EST Sunday, March 23, 2014 . . . A full autopsy will be performed. He was 50 years old, born August 30, 1963. My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family."
Former GWAR bassist Mike Bishop told Style Weekly, "Dave was 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. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art."
Bishop added, "A great frontman, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice."
Brockie is the second member of GWAR to die within the past three years. Guitarist Cory Smoot, who played the character Flattus Maximus, died of a heart attack on the band's tour bus in November 2011 at the age of 34.
Brockie said at the time, "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."
According to The Pulse Of Radio, Brockie was the last remaining original member of GWAR, which was founded 30 years ago. The future of the band at this stage is uncertain.
Brockie had been in 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 a film called "Scumdogs Of The Universe", Brockie used the outlandish costumes created for the film to form the joke group GWAAARRRGGHHLLLGH.
After numerous lineup changes and the shortening of the band name, Brockie dissolved DEATH PIGGY and led GWAR, which released its debut album, "Hell-O", in 1988.
The satirical metal band quickly earned a following for its macabre, over-the-top costumes, offensive lyrics and graphic, gore-soaked shows, in which the band members performed as the descendants of alien warriors who arrived on Earth to enslave and slaughter the human race.
The band released its 13th album, "Battle Maximus", last year.