Farewell To Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus)

Oderus Urungus has gone back to his home planet which sadly, as you all know by now, means that Dave Brockie has died. While I admit my immediate reaction, after “what the fuck!” was to look at the date to check if it was April 1st, reports from the police, the bands management and ex-band members have made it all too real. Though we can always hope it is a dark joke, it’s becoming clear that metal has lost one of its most entertaining voices.

I’ll not spend time writing about him like I knew him, I won’t begin to guess what his friends and family are feeling for example, I don’t know what sort of guy he was in his home life, but I do know that he was a gift to interviewers. There are interviews with the man where you suspect that the reporter is just there to hit the record button. One question was enough to make him talk, or rather shout, an answer for as long as he saw fit.

I only spoke to him once but that one time was one of the most entertaining half hours of my life. Fluctuating between his normal speaking voice and sudden bursts of volume I struggled to hold it together at times, though when you’re speaking to a 43 billion year old alien, professionalism is out the window.

He also soaked us from the Queens breast blood one rainy Sunday morning

I enjoyed Oderus because he was different. Loud, offensive, brash, pretty much all the metal stereotypes taken to a unique extreme. Half satire, half who knows what the fuck was going on, he carved a niche no one can come close to filling. In a brilliant self double act though, Brockie appeared, in out of character interviews, to be a calm, intelligent guy with a love of art and the whole creative sphere.

As one of the few shock rock bands to feature blood in a goofy manner opposed to the “look how brutal we are” way, an absence of GWAR on the stages of the world would be painful, even if it just served to remind us all not to take this metal thing too seriously. I don’t know if I would like an Oderusless GWAR, but I think I’d like a GWARless world even less.

It’s only been three years since Cory Smoot died and the band retired Flattus for good, time will only tell what happens with Oderus and it’s not my place to speculate. All we know is that the death of Brockie, in music terms, is a major blow for metal, GWAR, reporters and for Richmond.

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