In memoriam of legend Dave Brockie
By Taylor Pitt, Contributor
Dave Brockie has been an inspiration to people of all walks of life since 1986, when the band Gwar was formed, featuring Brockie as stage persona Oderus Urungus. Popular with metalheads, punks, and even regular kids, there seemed to be no place these intergalactic barbarians could not reach. Now the band’s future is in question after Brockie. 50, passed away in his home on March 23.
Known and popularized for over-the-top, satirical shock rock, Brockie as Oderus was at one time the poster-beast for how rock was made with a Satanic influence. During the cynical, strange, and socially conservative world of the late 20th century, Gwar struck fear in the hearts of prudent parents everywhere.
Although Brockie was compared to many other shock rockers at the time, he and Gwar weren’t there to offend for the sake of offending. He headed up a satirical theatre act that had a real socially conscious message behind it. Their music and performance satirized celebrity culture, politics, and the entire mythos of the metal scene itself. Their unique blend of psychotic thrash metal and crass performances not only granted them lifelong fans from many different scenes, but also two Grammy nominations for Best Metal Act and Best Long Form Music Video.
However, Brockie’s influence wasn’t just limited to the stage. He appeared on talk shows including Fox News’ Red Eye, The Jerry Springer Show, and even on The Joan Rivers Show. He made people laugh and did his best to convince the worried parents of his fans that he wasn’t there to offend, but was there to have fun.
Brockie’s passing hasn’t just marked the loss of a talented musical artist; we’re now missing one of the most beloved icons in subculture history—a comedian, a talented visual artist, and a revolutionary who held up a mirror to the whole of Western society. It’s no wonder that GWAR managed to survive 30 long years, with Brockie’s passion for music, art, and culture.
Gwar may manage to find a new lead singer, but it can never truly replace Dave Brockie.