David Murray Brockie, known by his stage name Oderus Urungus as the frontman of fantasy thrash-metal band Gwar, was found dead in his Richmond, Virginia apartment Saturday night. The cause of the death is currently unknown, though no foul play is suspected. Brockie was 50.
As Urungus, who Brockie described as being 43 billion years old, the singer appeared live as a horned, intergalactic humanoid barbarian, always wielding a long sword named "Unt Lick." According the Gwar lore, Oderus was "assembled" on the planet Scumdogia in "Syntho Womb 5," using moldy fragments of himself that had been scattered across the galaxy. Oderus claimed his father was a supercomputer, and that his mother was a petri dish.
Ex-Gwar bassist Mike Bishop commented that "Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I've known. 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."
Gwar's video for "Let Us Slay":
Brockie was the only member of Gwar who had existed in every incarnation of its lineup since 1984. The band made a name for itself with science fiction/horror fantasy-inspired costumes, obscene lyrics and graphic live sets, which feature satirical enactments of politically and morally taboo themes.
Lamb of God singer Randall Blythe commented on Brockie's passing via 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"- most of these people no idea of what they are talking about- they obviously had never met Dave. Dave TRULY WAS ONE OF A KIND - I can't think of ANYONE even remotely like him. That's VERY HARD TO SAY."
Former Gwar guitarist Steve Douglas wrote on his Facebook wall, "I have had a few bad days in my life but this one truly ranks right up there... Dave Brockie, I do not know what happened to you yet, but I know you are gone and it is hurting very badly!"
Image via Wikimedia Commons