Gwar Responds To Lawsuit

While the late Oderus Urungus rocks out in the afterlife, his father is suing Gwar and its management over monies allegedly owed to the frontman’s estate, and other matters.

The man behind the mask, Dave Brockie, died March 23, 2014 at his home in Richmond, Va., of what the local medical examiner’s officer later described as “acute heroin toxicity.”

Photo: Erin Williams /
Sonar, Baltimore, Md.

Brockie’s father, William Brockie, who is also the administrator of the musician’s estate, filed suit in the state circuit court in Richmond, claiming breach of contract, unauthorized use of his son’s image, alleged theft of the younger Brockie’s instruments as well as failure to return his remains, reports Richmond’s Style Weekly.  Gwar and its management company, Slave Pit Inc., are named in the suit.

The lawsuit claims that following Brockie’s passing the remaining members of Gwar immediately “set on a course of action to capitalize on the death” of their fallen comrade and that the band stole his guitars, artwork and other items.  The legal action also claims that Brockie was not paid for the band’s 2014 tour of Asia and Australia.

In the filing the elder Brockie claims that when he traveled to Slave Pit HQ to acquire his son’s ashes, he was not allowed entry and that he eventually received a small portion of the remains enclosed in a “used plastic bag with [a] Discover credit card logo on it.”

The suit also alleges that members of Gwar and their attorneys have tried to take control of Brockie’s estate, and that drummer Brad Roberts, known to Gwar’s fans as Jizmak Da Gusha, led the “conspiracy.”

Now Gwar has issued a response to the allegations.  Saying that it has yet to see the actual lawsuit, the band commented on the Style Weekly report, saying the claims made within the article “are false.”

“We did not steal Dave Brockie’s ashes, or anything else that belonged to him,” Gwar said in its response.  “In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave’s ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks.  At all times, and under very trying circumstances, we have acted in good faith to honor the wishes of our dear friend.  Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave  Brockie would have wanted.”

The statement goes on to say that Brockie’s father “did not want to be involved in making Dave’s final arrangements” and that Slave Pit took on the cost for the cremation, arranged two memorial services and purchased a plot in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.  The statement notes that Brockie’s father “did not attend either of the services” held for his son.

The band also stated that the accusation that they refused to relinquish Brockie’s ashes is “particularly troubling.” 

“Over 30 years of working and living with Dave, several of us had heard him say that he wished for his ashes to be kept at Slave Pit, so he could ‘keep an eye on Gwar,” the band said.  “When William Brockie later approached us, we released a portion of the ashes at his request, so he could spread them in the location where Dave’s brother and mother’s ashes were dispersed.”

Gwar’s rebuttal to the lawsuit claims that Brockie’s belongings, including “the instruments and the gold record” were given to the band’s lawyers “who in turn notified the Brockie estate that they could retrieve them weeks ago.”  Gwar also denies the accusation that its manager, Jack Flanagan, had signed a “bogus release” regarding use of Brockie’s image.

“Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family,” Gwar said in its response.  “We want to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history.  There is no ‘conspiracy,’ no bad faith, no theft, no graft, and no ill will.”

You can read Gwar’s complete statement on the band’s website.