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From Jp – Oderous: The Grunge Generation’s Shakespeare

May 5, 2014

Alright, I know my last blog was about two recently departed super talents, but at the risk of making my blog contributions feel like an ongoing obituary column, I need to give a shout out to a man that, while satiating my adolescent lust for heavy metal and destruction, taught me a lot about what art was all about.

Meet Dave Brockie, or as you may know him, Oderus Urungus:Brockie

To be honest, I had never seen or heard of Dave Brockie till the news came out that the frontman of Gwar was found dead. I only knew Oderus. For those that have never seen a Gwar concert imagine… well, imagine just the craziest thing you’ve ever seen. The musicians wear giant costumes taking on the persona of millions-of-years-old space monsters who have come to rape, enslave, and pillage earth. In doing so, they encounter world political elites, religious leaders, celebrities, and arch nemesis aliens from their home world, all of whom manifest themselves on stage in equally over-the-top costume puppets and who are effortlessly dispatched and eviscerated by Oderus and the other members of Gwar. These brutal puppet killings leave the audience drenched in the bodily fluids of Gwar’s victims. Picture a Gallagher show, but instead of watermelons, it’s fake blood and guts. I remember in the early nineties, hearing about Gwar for the first time, still not being able to drive, and thinking that I would never get to see them. I went on to see them over a half dozen times and still even in my late thirties attempt to see them whenever they are in the area.

When I was young, I saw Gwar as rebelious and chaotic (and replete with potty humor), but what I was being offered was one of my life’s first satirical revealings. I got it, the world is a messed up place, and it’s good to make fun of it this way. We weren’t here to worship the devil (as my mom thought), we were here to hold up the sins of mankind– our lies, perversions, greed, misdeeds– and mock them. How to mock them best? The way that every generation has done since the beginning of time: turn it into a show, a spectacle, entertain people.

To reflect on Gwar now, I see a creative vision fully realized. Sure, Gwar is incredibly disgusting, but that’s the point. That’s what they are going for. There is such brilliance and creativity in every moment of a Gwar performance, every costume and set nuanced to such a fine level in its design and conception, a script… a backstory… a world completely created, and I haven’t even mentioned the virtuosic level of musicianship and songwriting in the band. Gwar offers a totality of vision which few ever come close to pulling together. Some write Gwar off as a disgusting goof, but if that’s the case, the goof has set the bar quite high. To me, Dave Brockie epitomizes the word “Artist” and helps set the standard of artistic inclusion I strive for everyday.q0gi-976x1024

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill permalink
    May 5, 2014 4:28 pm

    How’d he die?

  2. joe permalink
    December 12, 2014 12:38 pm

    Well said. Alot of people don’t realize that Gwar came out only 1year after Metallica. This band has carried their weight and outlasted so many other great bands. Brockie, to anyone that has actually listened, will be greatly missed, and highly respected, for a long time to come

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