Gross-out metal band GWAR enjoyed a brief time in the sun during the early ’90s, mostly for being disgusting and controversial. They released albums with titles such as Scumdogs of the Universe, This Toilet Earth, and We Kill Everything. Band members boasted names like Balsac the Jaws of Death, Flattus Maximus, and Oderus Urungus.
If you ever attended one of their live shows, you not only got to witness elaborate costumes made of latex, spikes, and overall hulking nastiness, but there was plenty of sex, violence, and sociopolitical satire, including simulated mutilations of celebrities and politicians. Oh, and as an added bonus, you got to be pelted nonstop with fluids of all sorts…fake blood, vomit, and urine, to name a few.
GWAR’s “backstory” is unique. As the band’s bio states, they were an elite group of chaos warriors who ravaged the galaxy with a boundless hatred of all things alive. They were called the Scumdogs of the Universe, and they grew in might and fury. But they became too powerful, and too defiant, and for their cosmic crimes were banished to the most insignificant planet in the universe: the seething mudball known as Earth. Millions of years passed while they slumbered, until the pollution of our world thawed these creatures from their ageless coma. Now they stride the Earth, living gods, dedicated to the destruction of the human race and the eradication of existence itself.
Need a visual? Check them out here:
Sadly, lead vocalist Oderus Urungus, or Dave Brockie as he was known off-stage, passed away in 2014 from a heroin overdose. We all know how death often gives way to lawsuits, and this situation is no different. Dave’s father, William Brockie, is now suing the shock rock band for the return of his son’s ashes and is seeking $1 million for breach of contract and punitive damages for the unauthorized use of his image.
The suit accuses GWAR of “trying to capitalize on the death of Dave Brockie” and claims that when William requested Dave’s remains, he was only given “a small fraction of his son’s ashes, which were delivered in a used plastic bag with a Discover credit card logo on it.”
For their part, GWAR issued a statement saying, “There was certainly no effort on the part of anyone in GWAR to steal or hide Dave’s belongings and personal effects. The accusation concerning Dave’s ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave’s passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave’s body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave’s father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave’s final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit (GWAR’s production company) assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond’s famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave’s father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond. Dave’s ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks.”
Hopefully, everything will be resolved quickly, so GWAR can get back to their day jobs and the destruction of the human race.