The obituary of Oderus Urungus

Forty-three billion years after being assembled on his home planet of Scumdogia, the master of debauchery, the prince of nihilism most fondly known as Oderus Urungus–frontman of shock rock demigods GWAR–has passed on.

When he wasn’t adorned in his trademark meaty, hellish and utterly profane costume, Urungus was known by the decidedly less brutal moniker of Dave Brockie. On Sunday, March 23, Brockie was found dead at 50 in his apartment by a fellow bandmember.

The cause of death has yet to be determined, but at the time of this writing, foul play, drugs and suicide have been ruled out.

In an age where any number of mind-scarringly offensive material is only a few keystrokes away, it’s easy to forget a time when society was not so coarsened to the unruly, anarchic counterculture that was truly on the fringes of society.

Brockie first envisioned GWAR in the Reagan age where rigid family values and conservatism were at their peak in Cold War America.

Originally, Brockie teamed up with production company Slave Pit to create costumes for his thrash-metal band Death Piggy. His first costume consisted of a spiky, paper-mâché helmet, an incredibly modest outfit compared to his later incarnations.

His only formal definition was laid out in “Rumble In Antarctica,” GWAR’s official board game: “His flesh is visibly rotting, ravaged by flesh eating pestilence that he freely spreads to all those who come into contact with him… He loves to spray crowds with his vomit, but finds it even better to use his sword ‘Lick’ to hack his victims to pieces.”

On first glance, it might appear that this column is wasted on someone who pushes gruesome gimmicks to their limits, but somehow among the blood spewing, the fake vomit and the hellish codpieces, GWAR managed to create a community.

Their symbols may be wholly repulsive, but people found unity out of reveling in the obscene and having a way to physically identify with challenging the status quo. Their concerts would thrive off of shock value, bombarding the audience with such an array of clearly taboo acts that they seemed too ridiculous to attack.

GWAR has maintained their cult following not just because their concerts are shock fests, but because they provide brief entry into an alternate social dimension where norms are subverted and getting vomited on seems fairly normal.

There is an active GWAR website, numerous GWAR fanclubs across the Internet, and even common GWAR language. Fans meticulously track down the band’s legacy with the accuracy of a seasoned historian.

Brockie, more than anyone else, kept the gory, beating heart of GWAR alive for 30 years. He built a following out of every ideology designed to create dischord, but long before the Internet made the profane sacred, Brockie was slogging in the trenches, decapitating fake world leaders, spewing red-colored water and opening up another world no one ever though people wanted.