But they're wearing all black most days so it's not that different from most other days. However, because so many of my friends are metalheads, I woke up to find out that Dave Brockie died yesterday.
Hi. I'm rotting now.
It's strange to think of a man who wore a giant, multicolored, prosthetic dick as a "consummate professional," but GWAR was one of those bands that always had their shit together. I worked for nine years at a 1000-capacity concert venue in Charlotte, and there were literally hundreds of shows. The most memorable, however, were GWAR.
Dave Brockie was an imposing figure to begin with. He was a loudmouth ginger, covered in tattoos, and often under the influence. He could often be found wandering the crowd during opening bands' sets, without any makeup, in gym shorts and a Redskins jersey.
I'm pooping right now. My pants are literally filling with this morning's burrito and your mom's pubic hair.
Brockie and GWAR were good to Tremont. They were there about once a year, and I was there for six or seven of their shows. Their last Halloween show was at Tremont and I was working. It was just like any other GWAR show — the barricade broke and the crew had to hold back 1000 screaming, drunken fans to avoid dying. They played this, which was amazing:
GWAR saved Tremont back in 2010. The venue was losing money on nearly every show because it was the height of the recession and people didn't want to go out and spend money on little rock shows. The crew was on call because management didn't know if there would be enough money in the coffers to pay the band and keep the show going. But they loved Tremont and they loved Charlotte. So they ended up working out a new contract in a matter of a few days. The agreement in that contract ended up making more money for both the venue and the band because it wound up selling out.
GWAR had a history with Charlotte. They were basically run out of town in the mid 90s after breaking an indecency ordinance. Something about a six-foot animatronic singing penis didn't sit right with the city council. A year or so later, they were allowed to come back after they took out parts of their show that would have offended people who would never go to a GWAR show anyway.
Who's really offended by dinosaurs?
It really says something about him, his cast and crew that the Tremont crew excitedly volunteered to work their shows despite the fact that it was always a late night and a big mess. Their fans are often drunken shitheads, but so are many fans of many bands.
I remember plenty of shows where he would hang out with fans afterward, running around in his underwear. I remember plenty of times that he was willing to jump into the load-in fracas because there was a job to do. I remember the broken barricades. The first time it happened — 2008 or so — He stopped the show and yelled, "The only people we want to kill are here up on the stage!" On one tour he threw the singer from Municipal Waste into the barricade to help.
He was always ready to do something crazy and shocking.
He will be missed and I'm glad that I had the chance to work so many GWAR shows.