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March 25, 2014

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50

GWAR frontman Dave Brockie aka Oderus Urungus dies at age 50

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

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Brockie as Oderus Urungus onstage in 2010.
Image: Stuart Sevastos.

Dave Brockie of rubber-costumed metal act GWAR was found dead in his Richmond, Virginia home late on Sunday. Better known by stage name Oderus Urungus, Brockie was 50.

Founder, singer, leader, and occasional bassist of GWAR, Brockie’s career stretches back to 1984. He and fellow Virginia Commonwealth University art students formed what they dubbed “Earth’s only openly extra-terrestrial rock band”, growing famous for satirical and obscene lyrical themes, and live shows featuring the defilement of effigies and plenty of fake blood.

Fellow founding member Don Drakulich, who still makes props and costumes for the rockers, said he was “very sad” and “shocked”. He said Brockie’s roommate found the corpse. GWAR members changed frequently and the band recovered from the sudden death of guitarist Cory “Flattus Maximus” Smoot during a 2011 tour, but the New York Daily News notes “it’s hard to envision their saga going further” after Brockie’s death.

The band ran with the backstory of crashing to “the most insignificant planet in the universe” 43 million years ago before creating humans by having sex with apes. Becoming encased with ice, the legend ran that upon thawing out in 1984 the members decided to form a band.

Cquote1.svg I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living Cquote2.svg

—Brockie in 2009

Manager Jack Flanagan announced the death via GWAR’s website, adding a post-mortem will be conducted. “My main focus right now is to look after my band mates and his family” he said. Flanagan said another GWAR member found the body.

Brockie said in 2009 “I am one of the blessed people that gets to do what I love to do for a living.” GWAR received a Grammy nomination in 1993, with Phallus in Wonderland up for Best Longform Music Video.

Fellow Virginia rocker Randy Blythe, vocalist for Lamb of God, paid tribute online, writing on Instagram “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’ […] I can’t think of ANYONE even remotely like him.”

Cquote1.svg He never put much stock in ‘limits’ Cquote2.svg

—Lamb of God singer Randy Blythe

Blythe also took to Facebook. “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’.”

Ex-GWAR guitarist Steve Douglas said on Facebook “I have had a few bad days in my life but this one truly ranks right up there. […] you are gone and it is hurting very badly!” “I wish it was a joke” said another ex-member, Chris Bopst. “Everyone is in shock.”

Former bassist Mike Bishop paid tribute in an interview with Style Weekly. “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” he said. “He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent, he was hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.”



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August 17, 2007

Two die from overdoses and 83 arrested at New Jersey Ozzfest

Two die from overdoses and 83 arrested at New Jersey Ozzfest

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Two men died and 83 were arrested at the New Jersey PNC Arts center, Holmdel the scene of this year’s New Jersey Ozzfest, an annual travelling hard rock and heavy metal show. This year’s Ozzfest includes Lordi, Static-X, Lamb of God and the show’s namesake, Ozzy Osbourne.

Raymond Guarino, 26, of Forked River, New Jersey collapsed at around 3:15 p.m. and went into cardiac arrest, following which he was resuscitated. He later died in a local hospital. It is believed his death was the result of his consumption of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol. An autopsy will be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Patrick Norris, 24 of Coram collapsed around 10:00 p.m. and was transported to the same hospital in cardiac arrest; he was pronounced dead on arrival. Police believe he too had consumed a combination of cocaine, marijuana and alcohol.

In addition, New Jersey police arrested 83 people on various drugs and alcohol charges, including underage drinking, as well as charges of drug possession, assault, resisting arrest, defiant trespass and lewd behavior. The arrests are the result of a crackdown started after 13 youths were hospitalised at the venue, the youngest being 11 years-old. The crowd at today’s event was too large for the 17,000 seat venue to accommodate, due mainly to the decision to make Ozzfest a free event this year.

The New Jersey Turnpike Authority, who owns the venue, has imposed a permanent ban on consuming alcohol in the car park of the site. Previously, patrons had been allowed to bring their own alcohol and consume it there.

Police arrested over 90 people on Saturday at an O.A.R concert, and 54 on Friday during an Incubus show. A Velvet Revolver concert is scheduled for later tonight. Over 300 people have been arrested at the site this week.

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