The Virginia Medical Examiner’s office has revealed that a heroin overdose was the cause of death for Gwar frontman Dave Brockie. The 50 year old Brockie was found dead in his house in Richmond this past March. The autopsy report, which has taken months to run the necessary tests, found lethal doses of heroin in bloodstream. Ex bassist Beefcake the Mighty aka Mike Bishop has since taken over the role as lead vocalist.
Gwar grew in infamy for their outlandish and campishly grotesque performances involving heavy prosthetics and large puppets. The band can best be summed up by their comical appearance in 1995’s Empire Records which features the band killing one of their fans by feeding him to one of their giant demonic puppets. The greatest publicity Gwar ever achieved was its 1992 short film Phallus in Wonderland which bagged them a Grammy nomination for best long form music video. The band also benefited from regular appearances on the cartoon show Beavis and Butthead as well as other cult TV shows of the era.
Brockie’s stage persona was Oderus Urungus, a 43 billion year old intergalactic barbarian assembled on a planet called Scumdogia. Brockie, who in reality was born in Canada before moving to Richmond at a young age, remained the lead singer of the band throughout its constant rotation of members. Shortly after Brockie’s death, the band established the David Brockie Fund, which assists promising musical artists who are having trouble finding funding through mainstream channels.
Dave was one of the funniest, smartest, most creative and energetic persons I’ve known,” former GWAR bassist Mike Bishop told Style Weekly. “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.”
News of his death came right after the band had wrapped up an international tour through Australia and Japan. This is not the first death Gwar has faced. In 2011 lead guitarist Cory Smoot was found dead in the back of Gwar’s tour bus. The cause of Smoot’s death was later determined to have been a blood clot produced by his coronary artery disease.