Better known to legions of fans as his onstage alter-ego Oderus Urungus, an intergalactic barbarian and “undying chaos-demon,” Brockie helped form Gwar sometime around 1984, and over the next three decades , the band’s theatrical, profane and downright dirty live shows — no one ever escaped without some form of “fluid” staining their skin — would become a rite of passage for young punks and comic-book obsessives alike.
Gwar’s second album, 1990’s Scumdogs of the Universe, was a conceptual affair about the band’s reign of terror on earth that earned them national attention, and certainly helped bolster the budget for their concerts, which featured elaborate, Sci-Fi inspired costumes (as Urungus, Brockie would don makeup, a rubber “meat” mask and comically-oversized spiked shoulder pads), special effects — including a worm monster that would devour members of the audience — and gallons of fluids of all hues and viscosities, which would shower the crowd from the opening notes.
Gwar not only carried on the theatrical tradition of rock acts like Alice Cooper and KISS, but they also didn’t shy away from (not-so-subtly) addressing social and political issues as well, often decapitating or disemboweling effigies of George W. Bush or Paris Hilton during their shows.
Brockie was found dead by his roommates on Sunday, and Richmond police would subsequently confirm his death, adding that “detectives do not suspect foul play.” The Richmond Medical Examiner’s officer will determine the official cause of death.
The news of Brockie’s death was met with sadness by both fans and his fellow musicians, including Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe, who also formed his band in Richmond, and remembered his late friend as “truly one of a kind … I can’t think of anyone even remotely like him.”
According to reports, Gwar will release a statement about the passing of Brockie on Monday afternoon. Gwar’s last album, Battle Maximus, was recorded at Gwar’s own Slave Pit Studios and released in 2013.