Satirical thrash metal martians Gwar have responded to some pretty serious allegations levelled at them by William Brockie, father of the band’s late frontman and founding member Dave Brockie, perhaps better known as Oderus Urungus.
Yesterday it was reported that William Brockie had filed a law suit claiming the band has robbed his departed son of royalties, artwork, bass guitars and, worst of all, his cremated remains. Today, Gwar has issued a formal statement in response to Brockie senior’s allegations.
Not only do the band’s surviving members categorically deny all of the allegations brought against them, they’ve also shed new light on the difficulties they faced following his untimely passing, including organising his funeral service which they claim William Brockie did not attend.
The band also reports that Brockie senior is attempting to seize control of The Dave Brockie Fund, a charity kickstarted by Gwar to raise money to erect a monument to Dave in the Hollywood Cemetery. That project has been put on ice while the Brockie estate seeks to gain control of the money in the fund.
But Gwar have stated that, should they be unable to use the funds for the purposes for which they were raised, the money will be “returned to all contributing donors”.
Dave Brockie passed away on March 23rd, 2014, just a few weeks after touring Australia with Gwar for the Soundwave festival. His cause of death was later identified as a heroin overdose.
Read the full statement from Gwar below.
“We have not yet seen the actual lawsuit papers, and thus cannot comment on the substance of the lawsuit brought against GWAR by Dave Brockie’s father, William Brockie, but we can say that the claims in the Style Weekly article are false. We did not steal Dave Brockie’s ashes, or anything else that belonged to him. 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 accusation concerning Dave’s ashes is particularly troubling for us. Following Dave’s passing, the first thing we did was notify his father, who signed over Dave’s body so we could have him cremated. We were told by Dave’s father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave’s final arrangements. For this reason, Slave Pit [GWAR’s management company] assumed that responsibility, paying for his cremation, arranging two memorial services (one public and one private), and purchasing a plot for Dave in Richmond’s famed Hollywood Cemetery. Dave’s father did not attend either of the services held for his son in Richmond.
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’ while we worked. In the weeks following his death, we developed a plan for a memorial fund that would raise money to honor Dave’s memory with a statue in Hollywood Cemetery and work to continue his passionate support of the arts. We felt strongly that a portion of his remains should live at the site of his proposed monument in Hollywood Cemetery. 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.
Concerning the other allegations in the article, there was certainly no effort on the part of anyone in GWAR, including drummer Brad Roberts, to steal or hide Dave’s belongings and personal effects either from his home or office. Dave, like the rest of GWAR, was paid upfront for his final leg of touring with GWAR. The claim that we failed to pay his share of royalties from Slave Pit Inc. is false, and we have the records to prove that. We have been in correspondence with William Brockie and his lawyers for months. They have access to the band’s financial records, and Dave’s payments and share of royalties are clearly recorded. Likewise, William Brockie’s attorneys have an itemized list of the small collection of Dave’s art and belongings at Slave Pit. There was never an attempt on the part of Slave Pit to withhold these items from William Brockie. When his attorneys finally identified the particular things they wanted, we made arrangements to return them immediately. Dave’s remains, as well as his belongings, including the instruments and the gold record mentioned in the article were given to our lawyers, who in turn notified the Brockie estate that they could retrieve them weeks ago.
The Dave Brockie Fund did indeed raise money toward our initial goal of building a monument to Dave in Hollywood Cemetery. Unfortunately, its mission has been put on hold because William Brockie’s attorneys claim that the Brockie estate should have control of the Dave Brockie Fund and the money contained therein. If we are ultimately unable to use the funds for the purpose for which they are raised, the funds will be returned to all contributing donors.
Finally, our manager, Jack Flanagan has been unjustly accused of signing a bogus release. At the request of our attorneys, he signed some paperwork to make his position clear on what he thought Dave would have wanted, which is something that the law of Virginia specifically asks for, given Jack’s relationship with the band and with Dave. There is nothing bogus about this.
Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family. 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.
We trust our fans will see through this, and we will be able to get back to work on the one thing we all know Dave Brockie loved; Gwar.”
Watch: Interview – Gwar, Soundwave 2014
Gallery: Gwar @ Factory Theatre, Sydney 26.02.14 / Photos by Ashley Mar
Gwar Respond To Allegations Of Stealing Late Singer Dave Brockie's Remains - Music Feeds