He’ll never play the superbowl now, sadly. Not that he really would have before, but it gave us something to dream about. At the age of 50, Brockie was found dead in his home.
Gwar, for those who don’t know, were a band born out of props for a an outrageous sci-fi movie that was to be maid by a couple of Virginia Commonwealth University students – instead, they evolved the concept of barbarian aliens from Antarctica into a performance art heavy metal band, becoming known for spraying so many fake bodily fluids on their fans that anyone entering the mosh pit in a white T-shirt would come out tie-dyed.
I never had the pleasure of seeing them live as Gwar, though I did see and meet their alter-egos, X-Cops, in concert. In the wake of the Rodney King riots and in much simpler costumes, the band played racist, violent LAPD officers, and in a weird bit of crowd psychology, got the crowd to cheer for them beating up several staged victims.
Though they seemed like natural contenders for action figures, the only time they got close were with Shocker Toys, a company known more for its founder’s aggressive online outbursts than for actually getting product onto shelves – which in a way was a perfect part of Gwar’s act. Together with Shocker, they held one of the most infamously unattended San Diego Comic-Con panels ever.
And in a match of absurd characters, one of their more frequent media outlets was Orange County, California’s “Hot Seat with Wally George.” George, an exaggeratedly combatative right-winger who also happened to be Rebecca DeMornay’s dad, was a genuine conservative, but liked to overplay his politics to the point of parody with deliberately outrageous guests he’d pretend to “debate” and get offended by, inevitably “winning” by yelling “You’re outta here!” and having security guards haul his guests away. If Gwar didn’t exist, he’d have had to invent them himself.
Gwar’s music, such as it was, was passable thrash metal – if they’d ever made truly memorable songs to match their performances, they’d have mastered the universe as they claimed to.
While the band has had many lineups, Oderus was the frontman and face of Gwar, and I don’t think they can sustain his loss. In person, Brockie and his band were some of the most laid-back, polite people you’d ever meet. I am certain he leaves behind many friends, and I am so, so sorry for their loss. A genuine original, RIP