Last March, the members of the groundbreaking metal band GWAR said their final farewells to lead singer Dave Brockie, most commonly known as Oderus Urungus. The Virginia State medical examiner’s office verified that Brockie passed of acute heroin toxicity.
This past Thursday William Brockie, the father of the late lead singer, filed a lawsuit in Richmond, Virginia—the birthplace of GWAR—seeking $1 million in compensatory damages. The suit claims that the band allegedly violated contract through the unsanctioned use of Dave Brockie’s image, and also urges for the return of his cremains.
In essence, the suit insinuates that the band has made profit off of Brockie’s likeness without permission. It also details how Brockie’s father was rejected from claiming his son’s ashes last May. The ashes were later sent in a used plastic bag, but the suit plainly states how the band is still in possession of the majority of his remains.
GWAR later issued a statement regarding the matter, affirming that the claims are inherently false.
“We have not yet seen the actual lawsuit papers, and thus cannot comment on the substance of the lawsuit brought against GWAR by Dave Brockie’s father, William Brockie, but we can say that the claims in the Style Weekly article are false. We did not steal Dave Brockie’s ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave’s ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks. At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend. Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted.”
The press release discusses how Dave’s father signed over the body to be cremated and was absent during both memorial services held for his son. They also explain how Dave wished to “keep an eye on GWAR” after his passing, telling his bandmates that he wanted his ashes to remain at Slave Pit.
“Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family. We want to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history. There is no “conspiracy,” no bad faith, no theft, no graft, and no ill will. We trust our fans will see through this, and we will be able to get back to work on the one thing we all know Dave Brockie loved; GWAR.”