Pop Culture

Metal Band GWAR Sued for Allegedly Stealing Late Singer Dave Brockie’s Cremains

Gwar In Concert - Seattle, WA

Guitarist Brent Purgason performs as Pustulus Maximus of GWAR on November 12, 2014 in Seattle. Suzi Pratt / FilmMagic

The father of Dave Brockie, the late lead singer of the outlandish thrash metal band GWAR, has sued the band's surviving members, accusing them of having stolen his son's cremated remains, bass guitars and artwork, court documents revealed Monday.

Dave Brockie — better known as Oderus Urungus in the gory, science fiction- and fantasy-inspired band followed obsessively by millions around the world — died March 23, 2014, of acute heroin toxicity.

In the lawsuit, filed Thursday in state circuit court in Richmond, Virginia — where GWAR was formed in 1984 — Brockie's father, William Brockie, the administrator of his estate, seeks $1 million in compensatory damages plus punitive damages for alleged breach of contract and unauthorized use of Dave Brockie's image, as well as the return of Brockie's cremains.

The suit names the band's surviving members as defendants, along with their management company, Slave Pit Inc., and an affiliated company.

"Immediately after Dave Brockie's death, the remaining active members of GWAR ... set out on a course of action to capitalize on the death of Dave Brockie," the lawsuit charges.

IMAGE: Dave Brockie in 2004
The late GWAR lead singer Dave Brockie in character as Oderus Urungus in 2004. Getty Images — file

The suit accuses the band of failing to pay Brockie's estate what it was owed for its last tour with Brockie in February and March 2014; stealing his bass guitars, artwork and other personal effects, including a gold record; and trying to take control of Brockie's estate from his father.

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The goal, the suit suggests, was to cash in on Brockie's likeness and effects without permission. The suit says the effort began the very day after Brockie died, when the band's manager allegedly signed bogus releases allowing the band to use his name and likeness for merchandising.

But the most GWARish accusation is that the band's surviving members pilfered Brockie's cremated remains, which it keeps under lock and key at Slave Pit headquarters, for reasons the suit doesn't make clear.

When Brockie's father went to retrieve his son's ashes last May, he was denied entry, the suit says.

Eventually, a staff member turned over "a small fraction of his son's ashes which were delivered in a used plastic bag with Discover credit card logo on it," the suit says.

Since then, the band and its managers "have retained the vast majority of Dave Brockie's remains and failed to return the ashes of Dave Brockie to his grieving father."

A phone number listed for Slave Pit, the management company, was disconnected.