The thrash metal frontman, known by his stage character Oderus Urungus, was found dead at home last night. No cause of death has as yet been reported.
Manager Jack Flanagan says in a brief statement: “It is with a saddened heart that I confirm my dear friend Dave Brockie, artist, musician, and lead singer of Gwar, passed away at approximately 6:50pm EST, Sunday March 23. His body was found by his bandmate at his home in Richmond, VA. Authorities have confirmed his death and next of kin has been notified. A full autopsy will be performed.
“My main focus right now is to look after my bandmates and his family. More information regarding his death will be released as the details are confirmed.”
The Grammy-nominated SF/horror-inspired band formed in 1984 and have been through many line-up changes, with Brockie the only member to be present in them all. They released their 13th album, Battle Maximus, last year.
The band’s former bassist Mike Bishop told Style Weekly: “Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic people I’ve known. He was brash sometimes, always crass, irreverent – hilarious in every way. But he was also deeply intelligent and interested in life, history, politics and art.
“His penchant for scatological humour belied a lucid wit. He was a criminally underrated lyricist and hard rock vocalist. A great frontman, a great painter, writer, he was also a hell of a bass guitarist. I loved him. He was capable of great empathy and had a real sense of justice.”
Gwar had just completed a tour of Australia during which they decapitated an effigy of the nation’s Prime Minister, Tony Abbot, resulting in an outburst of anger from pressuthat their annual Gwar-B-Q event in hometown Richmond, Virginia, would take place on August 16.
The band was hit by tragedy in 2011 when guitarist Cory Smoot died on their tour bus while travelling through Canada. His stage character Flattus Maximus was retired as a mark of respect.