It is with heavy hearts, at a seriously late hour, that we report to you that Dave Brockie–who the world has known as Oderus Urungus the lead singer of GWAR–has died. Reports and rumors have been circling around the Internet today that Brockie was found in his apartment by his roommates yesterday, March 23rd sometime in the afternoon. The news was broke initially by Style Magazine from their source Chris Bopst, a former bassist for the band himself. The news has also been picked up by Blabbermouth and Punk News, both outlets citing Style Magazine and social media updates from members of Lamb of God and Municipal Waste apparently confirming the news as well.
As of press time, there has been no official comment from the band, their management or their long-time label Metal Blade Records confirming this news. Additionally, there has been no report yet as to the cause of death. Dave Brockie was 50 years old.
Further confirmation has come in from Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe who confirmed the news via his Twitter and Instagram feeds. He had the following to say:
I got a very sad call tonight from my buddy Chris Bopst, who was one of the original members of GWAR- my friend Dave Brockie, AKA Oderus Urungus, the singer of GWAR, has left the building & taken off back to his home planet. He was 50 years old. I do not know details of why he died yet, just that he passed away at home & his roommates found him. When someone dies, a lot of the time people will say “Oh, he was a unique person, really one of a kind, a true original”- most of these people no idea of what they are talking about- they obviously had never met Dave. Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND- I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That’s VERY HARD TO SAY. My band learned how to become a real touring band from GWAR- they gave us out first shot at this thing. I learned many things from Dave, many of which I am eternally grateful for, and some of which I am deeply ashamed of. I took this picture at his birthday party a few months ago- Dave kissing his Oderous birthday cake. Right now, if I were to truly honor Dave in the way HE would do it if it were ME that had died, I would make a completely tasteless joke about his death. But I do not have the stomach for that- Dave would, but not me. He never put much stock in “limits”. Richmond, VA has lost one of its most creative people. This is a crying shame to me. Thank you Brockie, for all the crazy shit you did- thank God you existed, so you could do it and I didn’t have to. It was an honor to know you, to be your Shaky Slave, to serve in the Blood Vomits along side you (let’s ride!), and to be soaked by your sweet cuttlefish. RIP Dave Brockie. Oderous, enjoy your trip back home.
Another friend of the singer, Tony Foresta of Municipal Waste also confirmed the news via his Twitter and Instagram feeds. He made the following statement:
I’m so devastated right now. One of the most fun, brilliant, inspirational and creative people I’ve ever had the privilege to call a friend has passed. I’m going to miss you so much pal.
Whatever the cause, the band had seemingly lost none of their steam, this being the year of the 30th anniversary of the group. The band had only days ago announced their annual mini-festival, the GWAR-B-Q would be returning to Hadad’s Water Park for it’s 5th year. Additionally, the band had just concluded a tour in Australia as a part of the Soundwave Festival and had just made their first-ever visit to Japan.
The news will no doubt be devastating to the band, as Brockie (usually in character as Urungus) was the group’s most prominent public center piece, his wit and abrasive sense of humor as famous as the band’s onstage antics. Furthermore, Brockie was the band’s longest running–and depending on how you define it–only remaining original member. He had voiced the character Urugnus since as far back as 1986.
This isn’t the only tragedy to hit the band in recent years. Also tragically, guitarist Cory Smooth, who had long played the character Flattus Maximus passed away due to coronary artery thrombosis while the band traveled towards Canada in their tour bus late one night back in 2011.
If you’re a frequent reader of mxdwn, you know that GWAR has always been one of the magazine’s favorite bands. We’ve covered them endlessly over the years, both for their artist quality and unending talent at taking their larger-than-life characters to render hilarious comedy. We’ve also covered them live numerous times, both at SXSW and in Los Angeles. Needless to say, we are completely devastated and send all our love and support to Brockie’s friends and family, all his bandmates in GWAR and all our dear friends at Metal Blade Records.
We’ll update you here as more details are announced.
UPDATE: Jack Flanagan, manager of GWAR has made the following official statement:
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 PM EST Sunday March 23,2014. His body was found Sunday by his band mate at his home in Richmond, VA. Richmond authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. 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 band mates and his family. More information regarding his death shall be released as the details are confirmed.
For now, we’ll leave you with one of our favorite Dave Brockie moments captured on video, That Time Oderus Urungus Got an Internship at FUSE…