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GWAR - Thrash Metal Band from Richmond, VA, Mourning The Loss of Lead Singer Dave Brockie


SeanMike
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Earlier this year GWAR was celebrating their 30th anniversary. This morning they are mourning the loss of Dave Brockie, aka Oderus Urungus, the lead singer and founder (along with Hunter Jackson) of GWAR.

Back in the mid-80s in Richmond, Brockie had a band called Death Piggie. They ended up sharing space with VCU art students doing a sci-fi film, such as Hunter Jackson, and so they combined forces to form the band that ultimately became "GWAR". No, it doesn't mean "Gay Women Against Rape" or anything like that, but instead started as a longer name that was more of a battle cry GWARRRLGLAGLAG kind of thing (not exact spelling). Over the years they also played out of costume as RAWG ("the ultimate GWAR cover band"), the Dave Brockie Experience (DBX with Brad Roberts, aka Jizmak da Gusha, and Mike Derks, aka Balsac the Jaws of Death), and slightly reorganized as X-Cops with Casey Orr on vocals instead of bass and Brockie playing Bass (as well as singing on "Cobb Knobbler").

In 1988 they released Hell-o!, their first CD. The band changed over the years as members and artists came and went. Around '96/'97, my friend Scott got me into the band. We discovered alt.music.gwar on USENET and the #gwar IRC channel. That's where I started using my long-time Internet handle of "Highway Star" after the X-Cops cover of Deep Purple's song. Members of GWAR, especially Derks, tended to interact with their fans online, so Scott and I started visiting "The Slave Pit" to hang out with them. Mostly we'd help with merchandise, work on the costumes, and putter around smoking weed and drinking copious amounts of cheap beer.

It was thanks to GWAR that I discovered hefeweizen (we thought it was a brand at first) and Abita Turbodog. It was thanks to us that GWAR discovered Milwaukee's Best Ice and Brockie made us promise never to bring that back into his building again.

Two things that always amazed me: one, they listened to ALL KINDS of music. For instance, they had a record of a high school choir teacher singing covers of heavy metal songs a capella. They were really big on new and smaller bands and would give them a chance to show their stuff especially at venues like the GWAR-B-Qs. (When Green Jelly went big briefly - and they'd even namedropped GWAR on at least one track - evidently they said they'd do cool things with them, and then disappeared. I have the Green Jelly CD from back when they were still Green Jello, and while it is GWAR-esque, it doesn't have, in my opinion, the fusion of the band as an entity that exists and a storyline that most GWAR CDs have.)

When we were there the line-up included (hoping I spell everyone's names right) Danyelle Stampe, as Slymenstra Hymen (I helped her with her naga-esque costume for the Carnival of Chaos tour, vocals and dancing), Brad Roberts as Jizmak Da Gusha (drummer, merchandise), Mike Derks as Balsac the Jaws of Death (guitar, main dude handling what we'd call now social media), Pete Lee as Flattus Maximus (guitar, not often as much), Casey Orr (bass guitar, great guy and his wife was cool as heck too), plus Scott Krahl (I think?), Matt Maguire and the other slaves (who primarily did art - Matt was the guy who dressed as Robo-Sleazy P. Martini and thoroughly drenched me with "toxic waste" at a show at DragonCon in '97).

A lot of us who met via the Internet at that time made various trips to meet each other and are still in contact today. My first trip to see GWAR was to Virginia Beach on the Carnival of Chaos tour, where another fan figured out that we knew them out of costume (pretty rare those days) and followed us around; there was the "Peace Treaty" visit to Cleveland after an epic flame war on alt.music.gwar where we almost got Derks drunk enough to fall of the stage; and of course Atlanta in '97 which involved tasers, puking out of cabs and buses, and a BJ incident that led to Brockie nicknaming one of our group "Kneepads". So, yeah, typical rock and roll stuff, I GUESS, if you ignored the giant latex covered zombie dinosaurs attacking a group of space barbarians playing heavy metal.

Dave was a huge WWII nut - we discussed playing Advanced Squad Leader a couple of times but it never worked out - and he worked for years on his book "Warghoul" which came out a few years ago. If you listen to GWAR you'll learn about his obsession with the Russian front thanks to the various references to it. He went to Stalingrad for the first time recently and was super excited about it on Facebook.

Typically when a new GWAR CD would come out I'd play it obsessively over and over and over again in my car until I basically had it memorized. When I heard the news today I first thought I'd do the same thing, but with the entire collection - and then I realized it made me too sad to do that yet. I will, and soon, after I put together my full Brockie playlist again, but instead (assuming Don is cool with me continuing to blather on in this thread) I'll work my way through each CD in chronological order (unless I get confused) and talk about them.

I'd been putting off going back to a GWAR show for years. Dammit all to hell.

ETA: Please remember that all "personal" details for me are tempered by the fact that typically a lot of booze and ... other stuff ... was consumed while those memories were being formed. And there's been nearly 20 years of booze after them. I've tried to double check the factual bits, but any errors, etc., are entirely my own fault.

---

Just a side note - I won't really be covering the movies, as I only really owned one or two of them over the years (and I didn't end up in the one they filmed around the time I was hanging out around there, because I wasn't in town, if I remember correctly). But they were also a big influence on me - for quite a while, Scott and I kept trying to figure out how to film our own movies partially thanks to them.

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Just a side note - I won't really be covering the movies, as I only really owned one or two of them over the years (and I didn't end up in the one they filmed around the time I was hanging out around there, because I wasn't in town, if I remember correctly). But they were also a big influence on me - for quite a while, Scott and I kept trying to figure out how to film our own movies partially thanks to them.

Your post was awesome, and I love that this forum puts GWAR side-by-side with 110-year-old ladies that play Bach. I would have never known about GWAR if it wasn't for you, and I suspect you could say the same about Alice Herz-Sommer. :)

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GWAR, Hell-o!, 1988

As mentioned, this is the first GWAR album released. You can also tell a lot by the cover art and the relative crudeness of the costumes compared to later efforts. To me, it has a lot more punk feel than metal, but it's definitely getting there.

1. Time For Death - This is one of those songs that probably wouldn't be much changed if released later. But like most of the album, it's a quick hit of a song, only 2:44.

2. AEIOU - Even faster at 1:25...to me, it has a definite 80s punk aesthetic to it, especially with the backup vocals and rambunctious ending.

3. Americanized - Another short song at 1:36 with the first sample used on the album (or sound riff from the slaves). Again, another more traditional punk song with political bits. I still agree with "DEATH TO ALL WHO WEAR PAISLEY". (Not really...) "Your world is full of hate and filth/I'm Americanized/I'll rape your dog with a plow."

4. I'm in Love (With a Dead Dog) - Okay, getting a bit longer here, with a bit more of a story to it. There's a couple of (and I hesitate to call them this) Oderus "love songs" on GWAR albums, so this is the first example of one. I'll have to admit the constant dog barking in this one annoys me a bit, but the giant uncontrollable weenie death machine makes up for it.

5. Slutman City - Now let's slow it down to more epic metal, though the production still leaves it feeling a bit thin compared to later albums. The first "mythos" song, really, on the album, as he rails against humans (really, that being the ongoing theme of GWAR, as they accidentally created humanity by having sex with monkeys).

6. World O Filth - So it's only 1:14 long and fairly incomprehensible. It is therefore more metal.

7. War Toy - The first line of this one (which I won't reprint here) always makes me laugh. I guess this could be considered another "love" song like I'm in Love (With a Dead Dog). Though on this track, he sticks more to the sex. "Let's all go kill and drink and fart/sure it's fun, but is it art?"

8. Captain Crunch - One of the kind of dissonant, tangled metal songs with fairly incomprehensible lyrics that show up more in the older stuff. (A side note: the musicians in GWAR are very, very underrated. Obviously I'm biased, but having hung out with them quite a bit and seen them just screwing around on their instruments, they're quite good at what they can do - they just choose to do some crazy stuff. However, this album was recorded about 10 years before I started hanging out with them.)

9. Pure as the Arctic Snow - More mythos, even if they mix up Antarctic/Arctic. Also a good first version of the stylistic versions of their music that they often user over the years.

10. Je M'Appelle J. Cousteau - The first arrival of the penguins (who will show up as adversaries on Carnival of Chaos) and a story of Jacques Cousteau falling in love underwater, why...uh...I don't know.

(Dissonance note: As I left the room to grab more wine while listening to Hell-o!, I realized my TV was still on the "Rhythmic Pop" station and Young Jeezy was on. Yuuuup.

11. GWAR Theme - I never heard them play this song anywhere. But it's catchy to see how many words can rhyme with "GWAR". Fortunately they never did eat my car, but a RAWG show once helped cause me to sideswipe a guard rail on the way home from Richmond to Charlottesville, leaving a nice long streak down the side.

12. Bone Meal - It's a 42 second long song. What do you want?

13. Ollie North - More fun with pre-recorded sound clips and incomprehensible lyrics.

14. Techno's Song - Like the "love songs" and "mythos" tracks, the "story" song becomes a tradition in the GWAR collection, often sang by one of their opponents. In concert, this kind of song is where the big climactic battle will typically take off, leading to copious amounts of blood and other bodily fluids sprayed into the crowd as the "bad guy" gets various sections of his or her body ripped/cut/torn off. (Obviously, there's other parts too where that happens, but let's not discuss those here.) This is Hunter Jackson's first song, too, and might be the first time Oderus is called "The Irish Kid". Also, there's plentiful use of pre-recorded sound riffs, some of which (such as the crowd cheer at the end and the screams) will show up for years.

15. U Ain't Shit - One of their occasional "rock n roll" songs. A lot of these could be sung by many bands as they're not GWAR-specific; I've always wondered if they were there specifically to try to make some radio-friendlier (ahem) tracks or just for fun. Probably the latter, given the title of this song.

16. Rock and Roll Party Town - This one goes a bit more into the "rock n roll song parody" they do at times. And most of it is not very quotable on here.

While I don't think this is a bad album, it's definitely one of the cruder ones given the time frame and budget it was made on. Typically, if I'm mixing up my music library, this album wanders more into the "punk" (and specifically, '80s punk) part of my collection, especially given the length of most of the songs on here. It's more of value to someone who is a GWAR completist or big fanboy. Of the songs on here, Time for Death and Americanized I think are the ones that have aged the best, mostly because they have the feel of some good '80s punk.

(And, as a side note: I wasn't allowed to listen to "modern" music until approximately 1989. My tastes got heavier through high school as I attempted to stay away from my parents' newly changing tastes, as we'd left our evangelical church around that time, and nothing is un-cooler to a teenager than having his mom ask to borrow his Pearl Jam album. I didn't get into GWAR until '96-'97 time frame when taking a semester off from UVA, and I didn't get into punk until after that. Fortunately for my punk education, one of my friends who helped me learn a good bit about was into the punk scene back in the '80s, so while I came into it 15 or some years late, I at least got a decent education on it.)

Don, I'll understand if there's any bits you feel you need to censor on here and I'll try to watch out for them in the future, or you might just want to note it in the title of the thread that some of the language will be NSFW. [Nope! Write whatever you want. DR]

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Scumdogs of the Universe, 1990.

Wikipedia lists this as the last one in their "punk/thrash metal" phase. When I was getting into GWAR, this was often considered THE album - if you thought any of the others were the best, it was at best thought you were weird. That being said, it still has some great songs on it. Also, it's definitely the definitive change from "punk band with art students" to GWAR, if you ask me. This is also when they started on Metal Blade Records, where things were cool at first.

1. The Salaminizer - What a lead-off song. If you ask me for a GWAR song, the archetypal song that defines them, this would be, in my opinion, one of the top choices. It's fast, it's heavy, it concentrates on the rock and roll lifestyle while also adding in the GWAR-esque elements that you couldn't pull off with another band ("slaughtered half the crew for eating my deli tray"). I miss the mosh pit every time I hear it.

2. Maggots - Unlike Hell-o!, the thrash metal elements are taking over for the punk ones on this album and Maggots shows that, starting with the sound riff of flies. When the heavy bass drums come in and Oderus starts singing about the sky of maggots and going Conan-esque on an unknown foe, you're hitting almost Scandinavian levels of metal. Perhaps due to the importance of this album to the GWAR collection, this is another song that just can't be done by anyone else, but also pulls into a bit of mythos and storytelling. Or maybe just hitting the person next to you in the mosh pit. I've done enough of that, after all.

3. Sick of You - Now we get back to the humor. One thing people miss a lot with GWAR is the sense of humor involved in the band - the whole thing really involves humor, albeit dark, twisted humor. Whenever I hear the Bloodhound Gang's One Fierce Beer Coaster's Why Is Everyone Always Picking on Me? (1996) I tend to imagine Oderus on the other side of that song. They work well together. Again, heavy, fast, great headbanging/mosh music.

4. Slaughterama - OH MY GOODNESS, it's Don Drakulich! He played GWAR's manager, Sleazy P. Martini! There's a whole story of how Sleazy is the guy who woke up them up in Antarctica. And this song gives some background for him ("There's nothing like hippie hunting/my dad always used to take me with Lee Harvey Oswald") and isn't really singing, per se. Side story: Don left the band for a while, which is why they made a robot version of him. I won't go into more about that then that, as most of it is rumor/innuendo, but I did end up pretty covered in green "toxic waste" thanks to Robo-Sleazy. Also, seemed like a good venting for the band on folks they didn't like (such as art students and Nazi skinheads).

SIDE NOTE: Had to take a break there, for reasons only other gwarriors/bohabs would find funny. When we get to The Ultimate Bohab on Beyond Hell I'll talk more about my thoughts on the "bohab" label for GWAR fans.

5. The Years Without Light - Long form (OKAY FINE IT'S UNDER 3 MINUTES), epic, heavy metal. Hard to understand lyrics. Yup. Just bounce around or something, I don't know.

6. King Queen - Another more in the epic form of metal. Do you like those metal songs where they go from around 90-ish beats to HUGE AND LONG AND SLOW? Yeah, those used to be cool. Also, by the standards of someone almost 25 years later, it can almost be a bit trans-phobic, but remember: this is GWAR. They make references to all kinds of things but were some of the most accepting folks of pretty much everyone. (Fans who didn't understand the difference were the ones *I* considered bohabs, but more on that later.) This is the same band that when I was hanging out with them, when the trial was still a "thing", made a "Jon-Benet Ramsey" doll and kept calling it by a ... very different name. They like making fun of things that make other people feel uncomfortable.

7. Horror of Yig - Bagpipes! Sound clips! HP Lovecraft references! Heavy metal! Some kickass drumming and bass guitar! At 5:20, this is their longest track yet. With the beat changes and vocal distortions, I'll be honest, it's a song I have to be in the mood for to listen to when I'm working through the album.

8. Vlad the Impaler - According to Wikipedia, this is based off history talking about Vlad the Impaler. While GWAR likes to do that - as I've said, Brockie was a huge history buff (god, it hurts to say "was") - this is another one of the heavier songs that's somewhat incomprehensible unless you really pay attention (which I rarely do). Though "He's so...glad...he's....VLAD!!!"

9. Black and Huge - Uh. Porno sound riffs. I'll let you guess subject theme. It's the kind of theme to some of their music I'd talk about more but ... errr, not here. Sorry. So many ways it can go wrong. Let me phrase one thing: while they called their "industry" the Slave Pit, based off the GWAR mythology, the neighborhood they were in back in the late '90s when I was there meant their sign was just "S.P. Inc." (And let me tell you about the hysterical "undercover" cops that used to watch their building...)

10. Love Surgery - Human stew and something? I don't know. I don't usually pay attention to this song. But: "Oooo, scary!"

11. Death Pod - DEATH POD COMES FROM THE SKY! HEAT SEEKING MOISTURE MISSILE! uh I need more beer. Great mythos song though! This is one of those kind of songs that has lots of quotable lines. Trivia question: What are the plasma cannons spewing, and on whom?

12. Sexicutioner - Hey it's Chuck Varga! A bad French accent, plus lots of sex-based puns, equals hysterical. Seriously. Sometimes GWAR just has songs for the LOLz, as the kids would say, and this is one of them. "Sexcuse me, but what good, is all the violence in the world, without limitless sex?!" and "I come to this place, to rearrange your face!" "I am from France, and when you are from France, you pull down your pants." "Nothing sexceeds like sexcess."

13. Cool Place to Park - ...and with the last song in the album, we've got Mike Bishop (Beefcake the Mighty, at this point) singing. RANDOM NOTE: my barber, an awesome punk woman at a redneck barber palace in Roanoke, VA, was friends with Bishop. I never met him, but I'd met Casey Orr, his replacement, at the time. I met Mike Bishop later when he was with Kepone and showed up to a GWAR-B-Q (I think?) and he was very cool. The song itself is...okay. I always expect it to fall apart like some of their other songs such as, ahem, the last track of This Toilet Earth.

ANYWAYS, I keep meaning to queue this song up every time I try to find a parking spot.

The funny thing for me is I constantly consider the next album, America Must Be Destroyed, to be the predecessor to this one. As I look at the songs individually, I think I know why that's the case, but I'll try to get into that on my next post.

If you're interested in GWAR albums, in my opinion, this is a must-own. Heck, if you like metal, I'd say the same.

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America Must Be Destroyed, 1992

For some reason, I always placed this album before Scumdogs of the Universe, mentally, in terms of chronology. It's not, and if you read Wikipedia or something, you'll see how it's all about Dave Brockie's stolen ... prosthesis ... the Cuttlefish of Cthulhu. On the other hand, I never really knew that (except for the track The Morality Squad, which is quite clearly about that, but whatevs). The album starts off strong then gets...I don't know, a bit weird...

Also, remember one thing: GWAR sings about horrible, horrible things. Nobody in the band or with them has ever actually DONE any of those things. One could get into a debate about whether or not they should've beheaded the PM of Australia on stage, or whether songs about defiling children is bad or really bad, but you don't listen to GWAR if you expect to be offended (and if you do, well, you did pick the right band). I won't argue their point, as I'm not the one who made those decisions, but I do listen to their music and find it funny and at times making pertinent points. If it's not your style - that's fine. Honestly. Just don't listen to it.

1. Ham On The Bone - 2:04 of Oderus screaming about genithralls and other things? Supposedly about his Cuttlefish, but yeah, it's a fast, hardcore song. Good for bashing people in the mosh pit.

2. Crack in the Egg - Now we get back into story mode. GWAR has decided to wipe out humanity, using a dinosaur, but man, those things take a long time to grow. What could help? (Hint: the "crack" does not involve a broken egg.) While Ham On The Bone is more reminiscent of the two previous albums, Crack in the Egg is stylistically indicative of the direction the band will continue taking. It's a bit slower, but still heavy metal, with a "slow epic" part that becomes commonplace. It also, as a story song, adds quite a bit on to the mythos, plus you have "cameo" lyrics from Beefcake and a slave. "Now bring me dead babies, let there be no slack/I've got a bunch of them here in my sack."

3. Gor-Gor - Side story: one of the first GWAR costumes I helped work on was the undead corpse of Gor-Gor for the Carnival of Chaos tour. At one point we found some extra foam that could give him the phallus that would remind people of a dog (if you get my drift), but unfortunately they couldn't work out the ... lipstick ... mechanism in time for the tour. But this song is stronger on the "epic story" as Gor-Gor rampages against the humans. On its own, it may not make that much sense (one may argue that on the album it also doesn't, but I say NO! and also SHUT UP!) and heck, with the recent rise in kaiju interest, let's get GWAR to re-do...oh. Sigh. Now I'm sad again.

4. Have You Seen Me? - Oh, god, how do you explain this song? It starts off as soft jazz with pre-recorded sound effects, goes into...horrible territory, to be honest, and then...yeah, no, I won't quote anything about it. The live version shows off a lot more of Brockie's improvisational humor, which I'll get into when I cover The Road Behind EP.

5. The Morality Squad - Ah, the bad guy song - this time with a bit of a country feel, and a ton of patriotic vitriol. Also one of the phrases that lived the longest amongst my friends: "necrobestialanalbutt sex?!" (Unfortunately, my friend who registered that as a domain name died a couple of years ago.) It's still a bit disconcerting to hear phrases like "just back from the war in Iraq" and remember they mean '90, not 2004-whenever. But all in all, it's a fight song, where Granbo, Tiny, and Corporal Punishment would get on stage to fight GWAR, and you can probably guess who wins - and the venue, similar to the one in Hell-o!.

6. America Must Be Destroyed - Now THIS song is so much different from most GWAR songs it basically doesn't fit. It's more techno/industrial, with tons of sound clips from various movies and other media, and ... well, I dig it, but I'd bet most people would never guess who made this song.

7. Gilded Lily - Let's go slow until it takes off at the end. All in all, a fairly forgettable track, for what it's worth. At least in my opinion.

8. Poor Ole Tom - I used to *HATE* this song - it's slow, and it's a long attack against some poor schmuck. (Say, versus Have You Seen Me?, which mostly talks about horrible things happening to children.) It may be the way it skips into second person at times. "You wake, you wake but you don't to wake/but look, poor ole Tom is coming/you kick him, you kick him in the teeth". Honestly, I tended to ignore/fast forward through this song until someone else mentioned they liked it and as time went on, it built up on me - not necessarily for subject matter (this is GWAR, after all, and most of their subject matter is pretty damn obscene) but for the fact that due to the change in style, it's an interesting song, if not the easiest to "rock out" on. Just call me Indie Pete, maybe.

9. Rock N Roll Never Felt So Good - It's a love song? Though he's not clear if she's a quadriplegic or quad-amputee. And that's honestly about as far as I'm going to go on this song, except saying if you don't listen to the lyrics closely, it could really be so many different "rock and roll" songs. OH THOSE SCAMPS! A well paced song, and I think one of the maybe two that has a cowbell in it.

10. Blimey - Starting with complaints about GWAR's touring, it's history lesson time! I'd wager the bits about humanity's greatest monsters is from Brockie - he was always the biggest history nut of the bunch (as far as I could tell). He was very interested in the worst of humanity (which may also explain his fascination with Stalingrad) but comparing what GWAR supposedly did versus what humanity did to itself.... Anyways, musically this is a slower, heavy song which is of the type that I don't remember them ever playing live, but seemed to be needed on the latter parts of various albums if just to show some intellectual diversity or just an excuse to make up new monsters and/or movie material.

11. The Road Behind - A meaningless (lyrics-wise) satirization of "rock ballads" from this time frame. This song slays me, but more on it when we hit the The Road Behind EP. "You know I snuffed a million planets, but I still find time to cry" "It doesn't really matter I deboned your parents". You remember when you were in college, and had to play music during "intimate" times with your SO so your roommates wouldn't hear? I only had one that let me play this, but yeah, it was worth it. (And I'm still friends with her.)

12. Pussy Planet - A bit of a duet - Slymenstra is in there and evidently she co-wrote it. I love the heavy bass beginning - as a note, this is Mike Bishop singing, not Brockie. I've never heard another version of it, but it seems like it could've made a decent enough track. However, the way it ends is pretty awesome, and ends the album on a positive note (and I'm not convinced it was entirely faked).

Thanks to the first four tracks specifically, this is one of those albums that's a most-own if you're a GWAR fan. If you're new to GWAR, I'd wager this is NOT where to start. On the other hand, going back through these albums chronologically is really showing me how the band evolved over the years, which means I'm excited for the next album, one of the more derided ones (but one I like), This Toilet Earth. After it, we'll hit The Road Behind EP, then switch to Ragnarok.

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This Toilet Earth, 1994

For me, this is really the first GWAR CD I encountered. I have fond memories of driving through Roanoke in my friend Scott's purple Chevy pickup truck, blasting this CD. This was springtime of 1996, when I was taking a semester off from UVA to get myself together at Virginia Western Community College - working two jobs (at Kroger where a number of my high school friends worked, and at American Drum, making percussion mallets) and doing my best to get booze underage (being 19 at the time). This was perhaps the ending to my on-going trend of listening to heavier and heavier music - without getting into the really bizarre stuff, GWAR is probably one of the raunchiest bands out there, but unlike the "worse" ones (I say hesitatingly, knowing that this could be taken a bunch of different way) they at least had a sense of humor about what they were doing. They weren't serious about it and you could tell.

I forgot where I got this CD, but it was one of the "censored" ones - it doesn't have B.D.F. on it (the first word is Baby, and the second two are four letter words) and the artwork on the inside is censored. At the time, it was A Big Deal to try to get one of the uncensored ones, but for better or worse I never really gave enough of a care to do so.

That being said, while Wikipedia says the album was released to moderate success, amongst the fans I knew it was never considered a great album. I remember people being shocked when Mike Derks said it was his favorite album (if I remember correctly) but my affection for it has grown over the years.

1. Saddam A-Go-Go - While I was busy getting into metal, a lot of my friends at school were getting into ska. When I came back, this song, with the blaring trumpets, was a good crossover song to work on introducing them to GWAR. GWAR wrote a few songs related to the first Gulf War, and they held up surprisingly well, I think, past the 2003 invasion of Iraq. This was also one of the videos on "Beavis and Butthead" which helped lead to a surge in popularity for GWAR.

2. Penis I See - Hey, a Krak Down reference! (Did you ever want to be a scene/in a Krak Down magazine?) Otherwise, this song is pretty accurately titled. It's also pretty catchy. I always end up thinking of Stone Temple Pilots' "Sex Type Thing" during this song. Huh.

3. Eat Steel - I believe this is Mike Bishop (Beefcake the Mighty) singing. It's definitely not Brockie. It's 88 seconds of thrash metal.

4. Jack the World - I've listened to this song for nearly 20 years and I have absolutely no idea what it's about. "I wanna lose a Grammy too/I wanna kick the teeth out of you", well I know what that is about ("Phallus in Wonderland", the movie based off America Must Be Destroyed and Brockie's Cuttlefish of Cthulhu being confiscated in NC, was nominated for a Grammy in 1993.)

5. Sonderkommando - Here we get into Dave's penchant for WWII history. Also, it's not necessarily a whole lot more coherent in singing as Jack the World.

6. Bad Bad Men - Fairly straight-forward song. Not particularly memorable except perhaps for the chorus. Not a song I'd fast forward through but not one I go out of my way to listen to...

7. Pepperoni - 101 seconds of, well, it's not actually pepperoni he's talking about...

8. The Insidious Soliloquy of Skulhedface - Again, if I remember correctly, this is is not Brockie singing but instead the bad guy Skulhedface, played by Jello Biafra. It's also the introduction to the idea of jizmoglobin, the material that makes a man who he is. In the movie "Skulhedface" they demonstrate what happens when you remove it by strapping down Sebastian Bach in his "rocker" clothes, extracting the jizmoglobin, and he emerges as a corporate tool in a suit. So yes, this is basically a fight song. My first time I heard this song I realized that this was a band I was doing to dig, because it was so weird.

9. Fight - 55 seconds of thrash and Bishop and Brockie singing.

10. The Issue of Tissue (Spacecake) - I have nothing to say about this song, really. I just listened to it and completely missed it. It's a metal song.

11. Pocket Pool - This song makes more sense if you've seen the movie "Skulhedface". I'd describe the character they're talking about here, but it's kind of hard to without being perhaps a bit too obscene for this website...

12. Slap U Around - Ha! Slap U Around is one of their absolutely terrible (in what happens) songs that's a hysterical parody of certain country/rock songs.

13. Krak DownKrak Down is one of the songs that GWAR would redo over and over again. It gets referenced constantly. At the time I was hanging out with them, they weren't happy with their record label, and joked that the next album would be called "Contractual Obligation" and be nothing but variations of Krak Down. It's a catchy tune, though. And I always like Brockie screaming at, I'm guessing, the producer at the end of the song.

14. Filthy Flow - Catchier than The Issue of Tissue (Spacecake), not as memorable as Krak Down or most of the other songs. Eh.

15. The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7 - Another song that hooked me on GWAR, and notable for having the rare audio of Derks (Balsac the Jaws of Death) talking (while Brockie is ranting/singing as the navigator - his first lines end with "a searing blast of nuclear hatred"). The story of how the Scumdogs of the Universe wiped out the wrong planet. "Little did we know we were undermining our entire value system..."

Of the various CDs, this is one of my favorites. I've always wanted a book or comic of The Obliteration of Flab Quarv 7 though, to be fair, I didn't read all of the "Slave Pit Funnies" comic books so it may have been in one. And, of course, Saddam A-Go-Go, Slap U Around, Krak Down, and Eat Steel would make any "Best of..." playlist I'd make for GWAR.

This has been the first one of these I've done sober, so hey, there's that. But yesterday was the service for Dave and today is Spirits in Black, so hopefully there will be some GWAR blasting tonight. I also picked up Battle Maximus last week, as I hadn't realized I didn't own it yet, and started playing it in my car on the way to work. It's going to take several playthroughs before I'm ready to talk about it, but fortunately we still have 8 full length albums and one EP before that happens.

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The Road Behind EP, 1992

Hey look! Another version of Krak Down! But first...

This is an interesting addition to the collection, as the first song on there is the single from America Must Be Destroyed. If you can, you should watch the video for it ( 

-- it's surprisingly safe for work, and has the lyrics, thought "it doesn't really matter if it bugs your parents" doesn't sound right, I still think it's "deboned your parents" and that's much more GWAR-ier but on this listen it seems I'm wrong). There are rumors that there are editions that have the song S.F.W. on it (from the movie of the same name) but I've never seen them. (I can't even recall if I'd seen that movie or the video they made for it; they don't seem to like it too much.)

1. The Road Behind - Like I said, particularly if you remember that spate of ballad rock around this time frame, the video makes it clear what the song is a parody of, and I find it hysterical (though not having seen the GWAR movie related, I'm not sure why Cardinal Syn and his troopers invade the release party, or why Techno Destructo (aka Hunter Jackson), who is more usually one of GWAR's enemies (still being loyal to The Master), is helping them out.

2. Overture in N Minor - From here on out, I think this is all live stuff, but I'm not sure. This short track is just a jumble of sound clips from various sources (mostly America Must Be Destroyed).

3. Krak Down - It's another version! To be honest, I like hearing variations of songs, but I think I prefer the version on This Toilet Earth - there's something about the first verse on this one that just feels like it gets dragged out in comparison. However, this version, in my opinion, also has a more punk sound to Brockie's vocals.

4. Voodoo Summoning - More sound clips on a random song. It flows pretty much non-stop into...

5. Captain Crunch - I'm positive this is a live version by the sound quality to it. And also with Brockie's random ramblings towards the end of the song. To be honest, this song just kind of drags.

6. Have You Seen Me? - Now, this is the kind of rambling that's hysterical. It starts off with a long diatribe by Dave Brockie, then into the song, then stops for more jokes before getting back into the song (which, evidently, ends the concert - including a short clip of a Ween song). Oderus is interrupted by Balsac the Jaws of Death ("Have you no decency?!") aka Mike Derks, and I believe it's Beefcake the Mighty (at this time Mike Bishop). And for some reason, due to this song, my friend Scott always went by "Fatty Arbuckle" in GWAR forums/etc.

If you're not a completionist, this EP isn't that necessary. But it's only $6.99 for an MP3 download from Amazon, so I'd consider it for Have You Seen Me? and Krak Down on their own...after all, Have You Seen Me? isn't available as an individual download.

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Ragnarök, 1995

Tonight I was supposed to be at Spirits in Black but unfortunately, my recalcitrant stomach made me reluctant to go somewhere when I might not be feeling well. Also, it is a school night, and despite the fact that I'd scheduled myself to be working from home most of this week, events have conspired against me, both in good and bad ways. (The bad being sick; the good being a project that might be one of the most profitable in terms of margins ever for our company. If I succeed with the latter, well, I'm going to be quite a happy camper.)

This was the "latest" album to come out when I got into GWAR. Despite the diversity of tracks on This Toilet Earth, this one goes even further with a diverse group of singers, as well as what's best described as "surf metal" - a track I used to hate, but now can't get enough of. (Are there other surf metal bands out there that can help satiate my lust for more tunes like this? Probably. Have I been too lazy to look for them? Most definitely.) In addition, it's the most "focused" album yet to have an on-going storyline involving the end of the world, including plagues, robotic Catholic alien invaders, and even a game show where the contestants are killed. So here we go...

1. Meat Sandwich - "I call out your god/Until before me he stands/but don't send me Jesus/he's only a man" - those lyrics got me in trouble with an old boss of mine when I used them as a .sig file back in the '90s because, oh, man, I was such an edgy college student! The video for this song is pretty hysterical (including GWAR and Jesus playing basketball and GWAR wandering Richmond). This is one of my all-time favorite songs - it keeps going at a decent beat and doesn't switch into "epic" mode as a lot of their songs seem to do (where it slows down and changes style), and it's pretty catchy. A good way to start off the album, at least...

2. The New Plague - Unlike most songs, Brockie sings this one as a person who gets AIDS. At least, Wikipedia claims that he's singing as a person - given that Oderus Urungus regularly claims a number of STDs, including AIDS, it's fathomable it could be him (that's how I always heard it) but I will admit it makes more sense the "human" way. The plague, in the storyline of the album, is infecting a large percentage of humanity, but it's set up by a conspiracy (brought up in later songs).

3. Whargoul - For years, Dave Brockie worked on turning the basis of this song into a book, and in late 2010 it came out. I read a draft back in the late '90s and when it came out it was definitely a read I enjoyed. But, like the previous song, it's Brockie singing as Wharghoul and not as Oderus, and talking about battles from Stalingrad through the first Gulf War. It's also the longest song on the album.

4. Rag Na Rok - Oh, the last appearance of Sexecutioner! A little bit less of a French accent this time, but an upbeat, fun song about partying while awaiting the end of the world. I hesitate to say Sexy "sings" in this song...but yeah, it works for me.

5. Dirty, Filthy - I don't understand a good bit of the lyrics on this one but it's still a fun song. "Damn, that's a hardass lyric."

6. Stalin's Organs - That was the nickname of the Katyusha rocket launchers the Germans gave the Soviet rocket launchers in World War 2. So we go back to Dave's love of WW2 history, especially the Eastern front.

7. Knife In Yer Guts - Your basic song about hating someone and how good it feels to stab them. Fairly straight forward if the band is GWAR.

8. Think You Outta Know This - This song is "sung" (spoken, really) by Sleazy P. Martini, GWAR's titular manager.  It's more of an "informational" song - this is where you find out about the conspiracies that started the new plague, for instance. Don Drakulich (who played Sleazy) left the band shortly after this album, though he came back later (he's on Live From Mt. Fuji in 2005).

9. Martyr Dumb - One of their diatribes against religion - kind of the theme for this album, as their enemy is Cardinal Syn.

10. Nudged - "We abhor you/we were sent here to destroy you" - to use a phrase again, kind of the theme for this song. Given the reference to fertilizer bombs, I have to assume they're talking about Oklahoma City, though that was earlier in 1995 (the album was maybe August? Can't remember excactly.)

11. Fire In The Loins - The most singing by Danielle Stampe (Slymenstra Hymen) so far! Well, it's more screaming. She gets better in Carnival of Chaos. This song is about how Oderus and Slymenstra are brother and sister and the tension in between them. And it's pretty funny, too, in the GWAR sense of humor ("I can have any woman that I want!/The fact that you rape them is nothing to flaunt./Oh, well, you got me there.")

12. Surf of Syn - Another singer! This is Matt Maguire, one of the slaves (who I'll talk about more later) singing as Cardinal Syn. But basically it's a surf metal ballad - and the singing is more robotic growling. Man, I could listen to this song all the time. I really should put together a good playlist of GWAR songs for driving, rather than just listening to BABYMETAL over and over and over and over...

13. Crush, Kill, Destroy - And another singer! This time we get Casey Orr, who replaced Mike Bishop as Beefcake the Mighty (the bass player). When we'd go to the Pit, Casey and Derks were the two guys we hung out with the most. Casey and his wife were both awesome, friendly people though one of my eternal memories of him will be him filling up milk jugs with warm, slightly flat Beast Ice out of a keg we brought to the Pit. ANYWAYS, like most Beefcake-sung songs, this is short, fast, and kind of screamed. You get a better grasp on Casey's vocals when we get to the X-Cops album You Have The Right To Remain Silent...

14. None But The Brave - I always take this one as a screed against thoughtless American patriotism, though it kind of wanders ("I have a midget following me everywhere I go now/he says his name is Joe now"). It's got a good heavy bass beat but is a bit melancholy (HA I BET YOU DIDN'T EXPECT ME TO USE THAT WORD IN THESE WRITINGS) as it goes on.

After the Ragnarök tour, with a bit of rearranging of instrumentation, the guys formed up a band called "X-Cops" which would sometimes open for GWAR. This featured the band members in various cop uniforms. We'll hit that album next, and then get into some more personal anecdotes about my time at the Pit before the release of Carnival of Chaos and when I was most involved in the #gwar IRC channel and alt.music.gwar.

Ahhh, nostalgia.

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X-Cops, You Have The Right To Remain Silent..., 1995

From how I understand it: after Pete Lee, Flattus the Maximus, was shot, they started thinking about an alternate band. After playing cops in a video "commercial" for GWAR, and when Derks got a uniform from a relative, they went for it. They only put out one album, with Casey Orr doing the majority of singing and Dave Brockie on bass, plus a vinyl single (which I still have somewhere, unplayed).

They had a set of t-shirts out that had the band on the front, with "X-Cops" in a military-esque stencil, and on the back it just said "You fucked up". I had that shirt for years, and I will shit you not, cops *LOVED* the back of the shirt. They thought it was HYSTERICAL. They weren't as thrilled by the front (I think perhaps because it was "X-Cops") but I got so many compliments on that shirt from cops, and one threatened write-up by a supervisor when I wore it to a work event (and we were crashing parties, but that's a random story...).

On the front is a GWAR fan murder scene, documented on the inside album. The victim is wearing GWAR shorts, skateboarder-style. SIDE STORY: When we were there, Brad Roberts (Jizmak Da Gusha, who handled merchandise) had two pairs of "GWAR" shorts they got as prototypes. They kept promising and promising to sell more of them and never did until finally one day, annoyed with me and Scott bugging him constantly about it, he gave us one clean pair and one pair he'd been wearing around (Scott got those). We typically wore them over top our jeans because, uh, I don't know, we thought it was cool? I thought I still had those around but no idea where if I did - the, uh, crotch wore out after a few years. I wore the HECK outta those shorts.

On the whole, the songs are very bass heavy, just very heavy thrash metal. And almost as obscene, if not as, GWAR.

1. Interloper - starting off with a bit of police radio about a shooting, it basically just sings that "hey, we don't care who you are". Sets the tone, as it were.

2. Barbells - One of my favorite songs on this album (next to Highway Star). I didn't realize until reading Wikipedia today that Brad sang it. I always liked hanging out with Brad. This song is mostly about how because you fucked up, you're in jail, and you better lift the weights lest you be raped a lot.

3. Cavity Search - Want to guess what this song is about?

4. Zipper Pig - Fun fact: the address mentioned at the beginning of the song for the potential meth lab is the address of the old Slave Pit off Chamberlayne Ave in Richmond. It was in a rundown, poor, mostly black neighborhood when we went there, part of the reason it was listed as "S.P. Inc" instead of the Slave Pit. Also, it was the first time I'd gone to a fast food join with my friend Scott (blond hair, green eyes, with a purple Chevy pick-up - us both wearing cut-off urban camo shorts and heavy metal shirts) and we were the only white people in there. It went quiet and we were stared at the whole time. ANYWAYS, this one is sung by Bob Gorman, and is just about a cop burned up in a Masonic conspiracy (something I find funny as a member of the Freemasons).

5. Welcome To New Jersey - "Until a sign on the side road looms from the gloom/the words on the sign are the words to your doom/they say Welcome To New Jersey". "They got the Giants/They got the Jets/they got it all but they get no respect". Basically, that explains the song.

6. Your Mother - Basically, your mom is trash, and let Sheriff Tubb Tucker (Casey Orr) tell you all about what she's good for...

7. The Party's Over - It's Cobb Knobbler (Dave Brockie) singing! He's the Satanic Nazi, Vietnam veteran, gay cop. No, it's not PC.

8. 5-0 - "Some may call me pig/but you can call me 5-0". Short thrash song with random "911" call in the middle.

9. Tune Up Time - instrumental. Just over a minute long. Stupid siren in this song used to get me EVERY SINGLE TIME DAMN THAT ADRENALINE.

10. Third Leg - Not, perhaps, the "third leg" you'd expect but what Tubb Tucker loves more - his guns.

11. Paddy Wagon Rape - Really? Do you need to ask? Do you want to know?

12. Highway Star - A cover of the Deep Purple song, this is the one that I took my online handle from for a long, long time (I just changed my Twitter handle away from it a month or so ago). It changes the lyrics somewhat, but it's a great nearly 6 minute song. Obviously, I'm biased.

Side story: Derks told me one time that he was walking through the crowd at a show in uniform, as they tended to do so they could screw around with the fans. Suddenly, a couple of cops came running up to him in a panic, and he was certain he was about to get arrested. Ends up the uniform he had was from that city and was especially high-ranking, so the cops thought he was a superior officer...

Unfortunately, nothing much more came from X-Cops. However, we're coming up to the time when I started going over to Richmond with them (and later other cities), so next will be some anecdotes about the early days going there and then we'll hit Carnival of Chaos, which was the tour I saw the most shows.

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I'm a bit buzzed, my ankle is killing me thanks to rolling it earlier, and I just read a number of tributes to Dave, so I'm feeling a bit melancholy - in other words, perfect timing to write about some anecdotes. Now with added Ray Bradbury!

(I am dead serious about that.)

1. After getting to know mostly Derks via the Internet, we were invited to the Slave Pit to visit. We showed up too early (unknowingly) but couldn't find it since, as mentioned before, it was labeled S.P. Inc. and not "The Slave Pit". That trip to Richmond in the late '90s was the first time I'd ever driven through a stop light without stopping because I was honestly scared of the neighborhood I was in. Finally, we found the place, and showed up right as most of the guys were just getting going. We'd brought the requested hefeweizen (Pyramid, in this case, which sold in Charlottesville for a while (like Abita) and nowhere else on the East coast for a few years, it seems, that we could find). We helped show Casey how to download USENET porn, took a tour, didn't act like bohabs, and mostly drank beer and smoked some pot. Brad was handling catalogs for an upcoming mailing and they had a copy machine that was very temperamental. We volunteered to help, so one of us would fold things while the other would...as we phrased it...."caressed the clit" of the copy machine. If you did that, it made copies.

Brad was so happy with our help that we got pre-release copies of Carnival of Chaos. The big difference in copies was that this had a version of The Private Pain of Techno Destructo that riffed off the Star Trek theme and Paramount had sued, so it was taken off the release version.

After that visit, we were told we were always welcome, especially if we brought beer.

2. I was helping Scott Krahl with the undead version of Gor-Gor the dinosaur for the tour. We found some roughly cutout foam (at the time, most of the items were foam, cheesecloth I think, and latex, in layers) that we roughed up into a dog-like phallus for Gor-Gor. Unfortunately, we couldn't figure out a good mechanism for it in the costume in time. (Scott also wore Gor-Gor's costume - he was well over 6' tall, and it was on stilts.)

3. Fortunately for us, we usually had a designated driver picking us up from the Slave Pit, a nursing student at VCU. Once she took us to the Wal-Mart SuperCenter to buy food. The sheriff's deputies standing by the doors leading out laughed their butts off at how stoned and paranoid and hungry we were.

4. We went to a lot of RAWG/other shows during that time. One had a mostly female band, and when three clearly drunk and amorous fans came to their merch booth, the female lead singer told the first to buy something (he did), the second to buy her a drink (he did), and the third to kiss her ass. She did that without thinking, and couldn't figure out why the third kept hanging around until someone reminded her...

Later that show RAWG played. I stood mid-crowd, upfront, as Dave hit wiffle golf balls into the crowd. Things I'm not proud about: I drove home that night. My car took a lot of damage and I'm goddamn lucky I didn't get hurt, hurt anybody, or get arrested.

5. DragonCon, 1997. Maybe a week before I turned 21. Their first show was at a small club in Atlanta. As I walked through the crowd to get into the tour bus (to, uh, "warm up"), I laughed at the complaints I heard (as it was sold out):

"Hey, let me in!"

"Hey, I know Flattus Maximus!"

"Hey, I *AM* Flattus Maximus!" (It was.) (We got him in.)

On the way down to Atlanta from Charlottesville we had stopped to pick up a woman we'd met on the Internet. I will call her A. We didn't know this yet, but she was stone cold insane as hell. What we did know was she was a busty brunette.

Walking into the club the first night, the large bouncer looked at me as I showed him my ID and pleaded for me to get the over-21 stamp. He looked at her and asked if we were together. I said she showed up with me, but was single. I got an over-21 stamp, went to the bar, and got HAMMERED with Scott, who couldn't wear his Gor-Gor costume due to the size of the stage.

Going back to the bus, we hung out on there as A and I were supposed to stay with the band. Sitting on an idling bus, smelling diesel fumes...I had to puke. I left the bus, puked, and went to get back on. The driver stopped me. "No way you're getting back on."

"I puked over there! Not on the bus! I'm okay now!"

"No."

Brockie and Derks showed up. "This is our bus, let him on!"

"No."

Finally, I said I'd take a cab to their hotel. A offered to come with me, waving her stun gun in the air - we were not in a good part of Atlanta. Everyone shrugged and off they went and off we went.

To the wrong hotel.

There, we tried to find a cab to the right hotel, but we were about broke. Finally a cab driver took us. We had to stop in the middle of a festival so I could puke. We got to the hotel, somehow got to the room, and I fell asleep on top of the air conditioning unit.

A got up at one point, evidently, to give Dave a blow job. Later in the morning, as everyone (there were probably 6-8 people in there) she managed to change into a bathing suit in front of everyone. Even later in the morning, when we went to DragonCon and to the GWAR booth, Dave called her Kneepads, and she retained that nickname until her behavior got her much, much worse ones.

After the events of the night before, I rallied (being 20, after all), and GWAR played the con, with Beefcake thanking all the fat chicks in tiny outfits. While down in the mosh pit, I looked up at Matt Maguire, who at the time was dressed as "Robo-Sleazy P. Martini". On his back was a big tub of "toxic waste" (water, flour, food coloring...) that ran through a line in his finger to spray the crowd. We made eye contact and I knew I was screwed. He picked up the entire tub and drenched me and probably a solid yard radius around me from head to toe in green "toxic waste".

It took *years* to get that out of the clothes I wore, and the Georgia Tech student whose bunk I "borrowed" that night was *pissed*. (Also the night I found out A had herpes, so at least I'd stopped hitting on her.)

6. That wasn't the only DragonCon. At one other, I was hanging out with BuzzBomb, a self-described North Carolina redneck whose usual outfit was a GWAR hat, GWAR t-shirt tucked into tight jeans, a rough beard, and no, he was not skinny, and a bottle of whiskey. He liked to do his Belushi impression and chug a fifth of Jim Beam. Also with me was Casey, a tall, buxom brunette from Arkansas who had...known...a lot of bands. Me, at the time, I typically wore cut off urban camo shorts and a GWAR shirt, usually with a Confederate flag bandana. As we entered the elevator in the main hotel, I had a six pack of PBR tall boys (BEFORE THEY WERE COOL HIPSTERS I WAS JUST BROKE) hooked to my belt.

We got on the glass elevator and it was packed. I noticed I was right by Ray Bradbury, who had a large award in his hand. I offered him a beer and he demurred, indicating his hands were full. I chugged the beer for him.

At this point, for some reason, Casey revealed to Buzz that under her leopard print miniskirt she was wearing no underwear, and combined with the fact that she had slept with a number of band members, couldn't get off on the floor where GWAR, the Misfits, and some other bands were.

Buzz, of course, just yelled at the top of his lungs "CASEY AIN'T WEARIN' NO PANTIES!"

While we were in a glass elevator, going up.

Everyone below us looked up.

Ray Bradbury got VERY interested.

The trio of Scottish highlander type guys, on the other hand, got pissed.

"Ye insulted the lass' honor!" they screamed, reaching for their replica broadswords.

Casey and I both laughed at that. Honor?!

Buzz was under a fifth of Beam, and scared. The doors opened and he bolted. The highlanders chased him. The doors closed and we watched the chase around the open middle area as we went to our floor.

7. Last one for now. Another DragonCon. I was walking around with my friend Dan (a 6'2" redhead) and his mom (a barely 5' tall multiple black belt holder). Dan had been wearing this giant tall "top hat" type hat that Troma had paid him in movies to wear ads on. He knew I knew the guys in GWAR, but even as an old friend, kind of wondered how much I did know. We went to one of the main auditoriums for a big event (costume contest, maybe?).

We're sitting in the front row of seats in the middle section (ya know, with a huge open row in front of us, before the really up close seats) and Dave comes walking by, obviously half dead, in typical outfit - shorts, t-shirt. All I said was "Hey Dave, what's up?"

He gave us a huge grin, "Hey SeanMike!" and sat down with the three of us and shot the breeze for probably 15-30 minutes, just hanging out. He told Dan and his mom to swing by the booth the next day so they could try on costumes (which they did) and off he went.

That's the kind of guy Dave was. He always had time for everyone. He remembered a helluva lot more than you might expect. He was irreverent to everyone, he gave lots of shit (and he didn't take any bullshit), but in my experience, if you were good with him, he was good with you.

(Even, I think, when I criticized one of his early drafts of his Wharghoul book. I didn't see a lot of intermediate drafts between, say, '98/99 and publication, but if he didn't take my advice, he took someone's similar.)

Okay. Time for bed. Next time, Carnival of Chaos.

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Carnival of Chaos, 1997

I'm biased on this album - it's the one that I came into when we first visited. My version of it is the preview version with an unedited version of one song, but still, this album is one of the least covered. I remember them having a lot of animosity with their record label at the time, it was around when their popularity was at its nadir, and to top it off, they were being asked to endorse shoes - which they had to wear first, which had no padding, and the Slave Pit was all concrete floors.

This was also Pete Lee's and Casey Orr's last albums. While I spent most of my time with Casey, Derks, and Brad, Casey - perhaps due to his Texan-ness - was by far the most friendly and effusive. (Derks and Brad are also great guys, as was Brockie, but only Derks really got online at that time, and every bohab and GWAR fan went for Brockie immediately.)

On this tour was when Matt Maguire was doing Robo-Sleazy, as well, and there was an undead Gor-Gor. This was also the tour I saw the most GWAR shows on - my first was in Virginia Beach with friends, my first time on a guest list period for a show, and led through my Dragon*Con experience, Cleveland for Halloween, and random other shows.

1. Penguin Attack - One of the few they still play, and kind of a stereotypical GWAR song that leads off well. There's a reason it's one of the few still played, from what I understand, and the band had always signed off to let fans make their own versions of a video for this song which I think is cool.

2. Let's Blame The Lightman - I have no idea about this song. It sucks.

3. First Rule Is - Ditto.

4. Sammy - Almost 7 minutes of Sammy Davis Jr.?

5. Endless Apocalypse - Let's take the sucky songs, and make them long and slow. Huh?

6. Billy Bad Ass - Falls apart at the end, but I take it as an ode against a certain type of fan (different than a bohab, mostly more towards "angry redneck fans" which I might have fallen into at that point).

7. Hate Love Songs - Sung by Casey Orr aka Beefcake the Mighty. Kinda pop-y, but funny ("I love puppies/when they're roadkill"), and one of my more favorite GWAR songs.

8. Letter From The Scallop Boat - Supposedly from a felon in prison. I take it as mocking, and honestly, kind of boring.

9. Pre-Skool Prostitute - "Have You Seen Me?" did it better, funnier, etc. etc. This is the sole "they weren't trying to NOT get a parental advisory" kind of song on here and really, it sucks. I always think of Sublime's "Wrong Way" in a GWAR version when I hear it.

10. If I Could Beat That - Catchy. I don't care about it at all.

11. In Her Fear - Ditto.

12. Back To Iraq - Remember this is 1997, so before 9/11 and the Iraq invasion. I do think their critiques of the Gulf War were well done, and a good artifact of their punk rock origins.

13. I Suck On My Thumb - Reference tracks 10 and 11. I don't know the reasonings here.

14. The Private Pain Of Techno Destructo - The return of Hunter Jackson! This version got edited due to a guitar solo stealing from Star Trek and so Paramount sued. But really: it's a typical fight song for GWAR songs where the "bad guy" (come on, "worse than GWAR") and GWAR fight it out. "We each have our own private pain/We must pass this pain onto our brother/a never-ending cycle starts again!"

15. Gonna Kill You - Possibly one of the slowest GWAR songs ever - kind of country, and all about what the title says. I think the format saves it from being like some of the other songs (cough cough 10 11 13) on this album.

16. Sex Cow - Country/surfer song about bestiality? I guess? I love it.

17. Antarctican Drinking Song - Let me just say I copied the first word of the song title verbatim. I tried to make this a drinking song at UVA but it didn't work. I consider this a flashback to Hell-o!.

18. Don't Need A Man - Hey, you remember in the '90s when they would put hidden tracks on CDs? Yeah, everyone no one loved those. But this is Danielle Stampe (Slymenstra Hymen) doing a slow jazz song. In concert, she wore a naga costume that I got to help her with. (Also, evidently, in the VA Beach show, she flashed her tits to the crowd, and I missed it.) Her voice is unmatched on this track, as, to be honest, it was usually not this good on other tracks/in concert. Also, this is a nearly 12 minute track so that it can have a bit of other stuff in there that no one really cared too much about...but I'd seriously suggest playing this song for random folks and have them guess who made it...

Okay, now we're into the nadir (I like that word) of GWAR albums...the next one or two will be short, then we'll get into some fun again, I promise (errr, hope) if I can keep my eyeballs out of HBOGo.

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We Kill Everything, 1999.

If the fact that the official GWAR forums back in the day claimed bringing up this album would lead to you being banned, well, you can guess how folks think about it. It's said it's the worst performing (financially) album they did.

Honestly, it's a mostly forgettable album with a stupid "bad guy" character and even stupider songs for the most part.

1. Babyraper - It's catchier than it should be, like many songs on this album, but there's little to no redeeming value. Much like the next song.

2. Fishfuck - A lot of these remind me of the crap punk songs on Death Piggy's album, which are catchy in a way but stupid and short.

3. The Performer - For some reason this song reminds me of Carnival of ChaosSammy, but more personalized to the band. I like the horn flourishes to the song, but otherwise...meh.

4. A Short History of the End of the World (Part VII (The Final Chapter (abbr.))) - Hey, an instrumental. Yay? Actually, yay. It shows off some of their musicianship and it's much better than most of this album.

5. Escape from the Moose Lodge - This starts the "storyline" part of the album. A hint: it's fairly dumb, even for a GWAR album. This song isn't THAT bad, because we don't have toilets and a shitty "bad guy" character yet. No, wait...it keeps going. Dumber, and dumber...time to crank up the booze. To be fair, it's not that much worse than some other songs, I just don't like this album much.

6. Tune from Da Moon - Great, now we have Scroda Moon. It's kind of a typical "bad guy" song, so if you like them, which I typically do, it's okay. Honestly I want to dislike it more than I actually do, but that's mostly because I don't like Scroda Moon. I'm okay with this song.

7. Jiggle the Handle - I'm not okay with this song. It's so dumb. So, so, dumb. Usually I listen to these songs as I write these but...no. Not this song. I Just. Don't. Care. It's stupid. It's not funny. It's not catchy. It's a mess. I'm not wasting 5 1/2 minutes of my life on this song.

8. Nitro-Burnin' Funny Bong - Evidently I like this song more than the band, though DBX played it occasionally. I think it's just a fun song. Though "In the twilight of my years/I am still a drug addict" makes me sad.

9. Jagermonsta - I have absolutely no reason to feel like this is a "screw you for not sponsoring us!" song but that's the feeling I always got from it, especially as they talk about driving drunk, killing people, and getting away with it.

10. My Girly Ways - It's the return of Danielle Stampe as Slymenstra Hymen. I actually think this is one of her better vocal performances.

11. The Master Has A Butt - Just the title of this song makes me embarrassed. It just started playing and it has the psuedo-country feel to it and I remember, oh, you know what, just ignore this song. Really. It's dumb. It's not worth it. Screw it.

12. We Kill Everything - One of the longest GWAR songs out there. Woo. Less then two minutes into it, I'm already bored.

13. Child - Think this song is underrated. But also doesn't stick out too much.

14. Penile Drip - This is a very Death Piggy/DBX-esque song in my opinion. Catchy backbeat. Incomprehensible lyrics.

15. Mary Anne - A rare Derks singing example! I actually like this song quite a bit.

16. Friend - Uh. Yeah. Not sure of anything about this song.

17. Fuckin' An Animal - This song is very catchy. Do you *really* want more details about it?

After this album we move on to Violence Has Arrived, which returns to more thrash metal and while not one of my favorite albums, I do think has some good tracks on it - including one of my all-time favorite ones.

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1. Babyraper - It's catchier than it should be, like many songs on this album, but there's little to no redeeming value. Much like the next song.

I don't understand.  How can a song with the name like "Babyraper" not have any redeeming value?

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I don't understand.  How can a song with the name like "Babyraper" not have any redeeming value?

No humor to it, really, doesn't advance a story line on the album, overall it's just a meh song, like most of the album. Most of the time their more - ahem - risque' songs are quite humorous, but this one, like Pre-Skool Prostitute, just isn't. It is catchier than the latter, though.

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Of particular import to this board, the GWAR-B-Q has been announced for 2014, in support of the Dave Brockie Fund and a Pit Bull rescue fund:

Also, Mike Derks aka Balsac, the Jaws of Death, will be DJ-ing at Eat the Rich on Thursday, May 22nd, also in support of the Dave Brockie Fund. I haven't seen the guy in over a decade, so let's see if he remembers me!

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Sorry that I'm just seeing this thread.  GWAR was never my favorite, though I did enjoy "Scumdogs" back in the day.  This is a tough loss.

While living in Richmond almost 15 years ago, I ran into Brockie in the produce section of Kroger in Carytown.  I said, "Whats up, Oderus?" And he replied, "Hey."  And then we both continued shopping.

It was a close-knit little heavy metal town back then.  I remember listening to demo versions of "As the Palaces Burn" with Randy Blythe above the Commercial Taphouse.

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Violence Has Arrived, 2001.

I'm back! Sorry for the delay. Life has been...life.

So let's get out of the abyss. While Violence Has Arrived features an "intro" (which you'll see in later albums) it doesn't have an overarching story. According to Wikipedia, this was the last Metal Blade album, and there were a number of member changes during this era. The album art is done by an artist who worked with Games Workshop and their Warhammer games, which I think is cool. Given all that, just looking at the track list - I don't recognize most of the songs, and this will be the first time listening to it in a while. Though, as I said, it has one of my favorite songs on here...

1. Hell [intro] - However, unlike other intros, this is mostly instrumental. Whatevs.

2. Battle Lust - We're back in thrash metal, ahhhh. This is a nice flashback to Scumdogs of the Universe. Actually as I listen to this song - as distorted as it is on my computer due to some off settings I'm hunting down - I forgot how much I like it. I just didn't remember the name or the album.

3. Abyss of Woe - Another good song, another good flashback to listening to it - and not having any idea which album it was on. More of an epic song, kind of like Maggots or one. Man, now that I have the audio fixed a bit I forgot how much I like this album. There's a great story mid-song on here featuring huge battles with "posses of trolls" and...it's the epic, gory, kind of song that you listen to GWAR to hear.

4. Anti Anti-Christ - Despite a lack of overarching story to the album, several songs are kind of "story in one song" and while you might be consider the previous one the same, this is much more clearly that kind of story. There's a general anti-Catholicism specifically in a lot of GWAR's work, and this works with that, with GWAR wanting to feast on the Anti-Christ for dinner just...because.

5. The Apes of Wrath - Big, one of the more "epic" feel songs, not necessarily bad, just not one I focus on (though I like the spoken part of it around the 2/3rds mark).

6. Immortal Corrupter - Yes, it's misspelled. Also, the only video from this album, and the longest song on here. Kind of reminds me of some of the better Metallica songs in term of structure and feel. God, I forgot how much this song rocks. I am literally having to hold myself back from jumping out of my chair and flailing around my room as we hit the last third of this song.

7. Beauteous Rot - I love how the background vocals work with the main part here. Gives it a good, novel feel as it just thrashes along. Kind of feels a bit gothic.

8. Licksore - The shortest song on here (leaving out the intro). Oh I forgot this song! 101 seconds of thrash that reminds me if Hell-o!. Rock on guys. Rock this song when lifting at the gym, folks.

9. Bloody Mary - A dirty, filthy, rambling story song about a character named, well, Bloody Mary. I've never understood enough of the lyrics when listening to know anything more than it's about personal hygiene and rabies, and I haven't bothered to look up the lyrics.

10. Biledriver - So they built a "Biledriver" for their shows, which still goes around. "I want to murder everyone/in the entire world/death is the cycle/driven by your hate"..."I slay with a new efficiency/.../as I slaughter millions/with no reason". Ahhh, this is a GWAR song! "We are possibly too dumb to live" - my old .sig file!

11. The Wheel - Let us talk about torture. Thrash that slows down a bit so we can talk about putting people on the wheel. Uhhh...if you don't know what that is, don't look it up. Seriously, waterboarding might be torture, but the wheel - NO. NO NO NO NO NO.

12. The Song of Words - ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE GWAR SONGS EVER. It's mostly "talking" over a beat/music. There's claims it's inspired by "The Song of Roland" but whatevs. It's about GWAR battling the forces of the Black Pope, mostly represented by the celebrities (including OJ and Regis Philbin) and how they kill them. Also it's great how it gets into the characters of the various members of GWAR in a way...

13. Happy Death Day - Another underrated song (IMHO about me) -- to me, this is less the area of the first two albums and more like Ragnarok. But I like that album a lot, and I think this song is not only a very good GWAR song, but also an important one to them, kind of wrapping up the post-Carnival of Chaos/We Kill Everything era back into thrash/generally heavy-ass metal.

TL;DR: This is a good album, and I need to put it back in my rotation.

PS - Pledge to the GWARbar! 

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Dave Brockie Experience, Diarrhea of a Madman, 2001. (Technically, I believe, before Violence Has Arrived.)

So GWAR used to play out of costume occasionally as RAWG, "the ultimate GWAR cover band". Eventually (it seems like to me), they just said fuck it, let's play as a three piece. It's Brad (the drummer), Mike (the guitarist), and Dave. Also to note: most of this songs are less than 2 minutes.

1. 40,000 Times - Honestly, I think anyone who has come out of a relationship that was mostly sex might like this song. Yes, you've had sex a bunch. "Sex with you/really wasn't that great/40,000 times".

2. Too Much Stuff - I love how Dave lists all the random things that lead him to have "Too Much Stuff". But it also talks about how you get addicted to stuff, and has random Derks lyrics.

3. You Want To Suck My Dick  - Clearly, no matter how slow it starts, it's a bit confused about who is sucking who. But remember: he's not gay.

4. Pants - Uh, his pants are falling down.

5. Faggot on Fire - Bilbo Baggins? Anyways.

6. Helium Creed - I think they pretty much admit this song makes no sense.

7. Beat Stall - And uh yeah, do you need more info?

8. The Dance of Europe - Given that Dave's Irish, it's a bit funnier, it's how Europe is different and how we "laughed when the Concorde fell down". Also, more about Bilbo Baggins. Also, I don't know what it's really about other than Europeans hating us, and random brass instruments in the song. "We love them for their beer and their weed/they hate us for making them bleed". .... ("They hate us for the bombs they use/but they're to blame for gassing the Jews")

9. Iranian masturbator - Uh. Yup. At 4+ minutes, a bit more "epic" of a song...

10. Washing yourself - No, really, I have no goddamn idea. Another 4+ minute song that starts off weird, and then it just sucks. No. it's just awful.

11. Servant of Death's head - A song about WW2. And kind of awesome, while not glamorizing anything. it's also an awesome 2 minutes of thrash.

12. Two smart guys fight (about Michelangelo) - An accurate title, scarily enough. 40 seconds of thrash, 30 some seconds about Michelangelo and gayness, then a few seconds of thrash.

13. The Pennington Lark - It has been flat out said this song is meaningless and means nothing. Yes, I meant it that way.

14. I clean up real good - HAHAHAHA. "Insert self-deprecating imagery here."

15. Great news - If you get past the voicemail - actually kind of a fun thrash song. (FYI: talk about NSFW when it comes to the voicemail!)

16. Masturbate - "I'm going to think about my mom!" http://www.cstone.net/~highway/exgf/16%20-%20Masturbate.mp3

17. I saw three forms - Okay this one is over 5 minutes long about a dude in Vietnam. Dave does long form something or another.

18. Calling Dr. Fong (+Lady died) - And something else kinda like that, 18 minutes. Yeah.

Next: Uh, the next GWAR album.

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It was often to play in smaller venues that didn't have room for the whole show, and also to avoid the overhead of costumes, fluids, etc.

I wish I could remember the name of the club in Richmond I saw them the most in. It was tiny, and the smoke would get so thick that we'd break off filters from cigarettes to breath through at times. At one show Brockie had a golf club and wiffle golf balls he was hitting into the crowd...I was front and center, so I never got hit. :D

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:blink:

Entirely agree with Don.  That is a terrible connection.  I sort of know from a real life story that has a too close connection to that title.

As a broker we represented a well known food retailer.  Long ago they wanted downtown sites besides their mall stores.  It was a food retailer...but I better leave out real names.

The national Real Estate rep visited DC.  He'd been touring East Coast cities.   My colleague and I had 3 great locations for him and his group.  On the day he showed up it was a beautiful spring day;  the first nice day of the season.  I remember the day well.  Its my mother's birthday.  My norm at that time was to send a gift/flowers and call her.   This was in the early 1980's.  No internet/no cell phones.

On day 1 we had planned a walking tour with this guy.   It didn't take but a few moments to realize this was going to be a waste.  This was a horny fellow.   All he could discuss was women:  women's features, women, women women.   He had no interest in space, window lines, walk around traffic etc.

I think we saw the first piece of space but recognized this was a lost cause.  Okay...we still wanted to "bond" with this new client.  We tanked the rest of the walking tour and took him to Camelot, the Strip Joint on M Street.

Now I was having severe problems.  Thinking about your mom and looking at strippers just doesn't connect.  In fact its sort of sickening.   I was struggling at the Strip Joint.  I could add a lot of details and funny parts of the story...but lets just say my spirit, psyche and mental conditions were at a low.  I finally got out of there after a couple of hours, got home, was reasonably sober, called my mom....and felt infinitely better.  Strippers and moms....Those two concepts just don't mesh in any way whatsoever.

On the next day we had this "rush schedule" planned with 3 meetings with 3 landlords;  an early, a midday, and a late day meeting.   My colleague showed up at work.  He told me he stayed with the guy till about 11 or 12.  Holy cr@p.   That would have been about 6,7, 8 hours at a strip club.   My colleague left.  The client was still there...and freaking hammered.

Time for the first meeting--> no client.  Again;  no mobile phones or internet.  We didn't know where the guy was staying.  We called the first landlord;  lied about the client changing plans and cancelled the meeting.   A couple of hours later...--> still no client.  We cancelled the meeting w/ the 2nd landlord.  A couple of hours later:  same thing.  Cancelled the 3rd meeting.

Later the client shows up:  disheveled and a sh!p eating grin on his face.  He closed the bar, went to his hotel w/ a dancer...and missed all his meetings.   The guy, though, was happy as could be.   He promised us he would make deals.....and he did.

As for me....let me tell you.   Your mom is on a higher plain.  Don't mix anything having to do with your johnson and your mom!!!!!!!!!!!!

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That's kind of hysterical. BTW, did you actually listen to the song? At one point we almost made this a drinking song at UVA in the Pep Band.

Next up is Beyond Hell, one of my favorite albums. Debating if I have the oomph to get it done tonight after the day I've had.

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That's kind of hysterical. BTW, did you actually listen to the song? At one point we almost made this a drinking song at UVA in the Pep Band.

@ SeanMike:   Sorry...no.    I saw Don's comment.  It brought up that incident.

Here is a part I left.  We got to the strip bar probably around 3-4 in the afternoon.  The place was empty.  There was an available table out front immediately next to the dancers' stage.  Of course that is where our client wanted to sit.

My conscious was ripping me up inside.  I was in mental/emotional/spiritual turmoil.  Somehow I convinced this guy we needed to get a table more in the back.  (big deal for me.  --bouncing boobs and moms is enough to make one an emotional basket case no matter where one sits)

A short while later some gentlemen came in and take that table.  Our client was outraged.  He turned to me and said something along these lines-->   "F**c face.  You have a terrible sense of marketing and location.  I don't want you working on my deal.  -->  Ha ha.  Not only was I in major emotional distress the horny SOB just "fired me".  That joker had no idea how much work we had put into uncovering killer locations that weren't obviously available.

But the nutcase shortly forgot he fired me.  He was too horny for thinking about business.  A little later he turned to me and said "Buy me cigarettes".   So I did.  That dude was nutso and on fire.   He put 3 butts in his mouth.  Lit them all and gave each of us one of them, telling us to smoke them.  That guy was nuts that night.

In any case, the internal turmoil was something I've never forgotten.  My experience suggests don't mix mothers and "johnsons".  It will destroy your emotional being.

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For various reasons I haven't been able to update this. The GWAR-B-Q is on Saturday, so hopefully that'll inspire me more.

Now that I can go to bed without being horribly depressed about our world, you'll see something different soon though in another thread...hopefully...:-)

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Entirely agree with Don.  That is a terrible connection.  I sort of know from a real life story that has a too close connection to that title.

That's kind of hysterical. BTW, did you actually listen to the song? At one point we almost made this a drinking song at UVA in the Pep Band.

@ SeanMike:   Sorry...no.    I saw Don's comment.  It brought up that incident

I hate to say this, but ... I thought it was funny as hell. I'm not saying it was on an elevated intellectual plane; just funny like The Three Stooges are funny when they poke each other in the eye.

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They had a set of t-shirts out that had the band on the front, with "X-Cops" in a military-esque stencil, and on the back it just said "You fucked up". I had that shirt for years, and I will shit you not, cops *LOVED* the back of the shirt. They thought it was HYSTERICAL. They weren't as thrilled by the front (I think perhaps because it was "X-Cops") but I got so many compliments on that shirt from cops, and one threatened write-up by a supervisor when I wore it to a work event (and we were crashing parties, but that's a random story...).

I printed those shirts.

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