The legendary shock-metal outfit GWAR, that has somehow stood tall for almost 30 years, have gone through a bit of trouble in recent months. Between the passing of their frontman and supreme scumdog, Dave ‘Oderus Urungus’ Brockie, and now, the remaining members seem to be caught up in a lawsuit involving William Brockie, Dave Brockie’s father. Lawsuits are always risky business, but it seems to get amplified by a hundred when it involves people as renowned as GWAR. On top of that, when the band is defined by characters that each member plays, it becomes a bit uncomfortable for fans when personal stuff begins to get involved; it just seems to ruin the immersion of the characters the band members portray. Either way, it looks like this is happening, so it’s about to get ugly.
The lawsuit was initiated by William Brockie, chasing after $1 Million for compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief on claims of conversion, breach of contract, and unauthorized use of David Brockie‘s image, as well as the return of Brockie‘s cremated remains. According to Courthouse News:
“The lawsuit says Roberts also made off David Brockie's cremated remains, and that when the singer's father attempted to retrieve them, he was made to wait across the street from Slave Pit Inc. until he was given a small fraction of his son's ashes, ‘delivered in a used plastic bag with Discover credit card logo on it.’”
“Brockie also claims his son was never compensated for performing on Gwar's 2014 Far East tour of Asia and Australia.”
“He also says that following his son's death, various members of Gwar and their lawyers, tried to wrest control of the estate from him, falsely accusing him of failing to accept responsibility for administering his son's estate.”
“After Brockie's death, his bandmates set up the charitable "Dave Brockie Fund" in his honor. According to their website, the charity is ‘a resource for artists in the fields of music, film, literature and all visual arts who cannot find funding through mainstream channels,’ and seeks to preserve "the legacy of Dave's body of works."
“Brockie's father alleges he never gave consent for his son's likeness to be used for the charity ‘at the discretion of Slave Pit Inc.’ or for memorial t-shirts and merchandise sold during the 2014 Gwar B Q concert last summer in Henrico, Va.”
These are some pretty heavy allegations, even for GWAR. All joking aside, even if you’re band is kind of a joke to begin with, it is never okay to hand over your bandmates ashes to a family member in a Zip Loc bag, Discover logo or not. Of course, it would be pretty daming for the band if they just let the allegations go uncontested, but the band isn’t that dumb. Almost immediately, GWAR released their official statement, which you can read here. Beware, however, it’s quite long:
It’s hard to know who to believe, now. Considering the absolutely amazing sendoff that GWAR gave to Brockie, it’s hard to imagine that they would ever do anything like the allegations suggest, but that just could be due to positive bias. For all the world know, GWAR could have commited the things that they’re being sued for, but in our hearts, it’s pretty clear that they would never do it. Hopefully, courts will get this stuff straightened out soon enough, and we can know for sure if anyone has done wrong in all of this.