Gwar’s Oderus Urungus Celebrated With Flaming Viking Funeral
Brockie passed away in March after what was revealed to be an accidental heroin overdose. He was the last remaining original member of Gwar, serving more than three decades with the group. His bandmates chose to carry on with their annual festival as a way to allow themselves and their fans to celebrate Brockie’s life.
In a Viking funeral, the deceased (or in this case, his famous costume) is laid in a boat along with offerings suitable to their earthly profession. Then the ship is launched into the water — and as as you can see above, often set on fire — in order to elevate the deceased in the afterlife.
The event was attended by Brockie’s family and fans of the band as well as Lamb of God‘s Randy Blythe and former Dead Kennedys vocalist Jello Biafra. Blythe also paid tribute to his late friend on his Instagram page, including the note below beside a photo of the burning Oderus Urungus costume:
Tonight we sent Oderus home in a fitting manner at the public memorial for Dave Brockie. A blazing Viking ship with Oderus laid out in it, the cuttlefish pointing proudly straight up. Watching my friend Dave’s costume go up in flames in front of a thousand fans was so much more intense for me than the private memorial for friends & family we had April Fool’s Day. I spoke at both of them, as GWAR asked me to, & both times as I spoke I was sad. But watching his alter-ego burn tore me up way more than the first memorial, maybe because there was Dave, the human who was my friend who just “left us”- I never saw his body- & then there was Oderus, who was something entirely else. To watch his stage gear burn was like watching part of my life literally go up in flames. I was sobbing my eyes out as I took this photo. It was just a super-intense moment. Very beautiful, but overwhelming. Fly free, Oderus- you are missed.
Gwar recently announced that in addition to an upcoming tour through Canada and the United States, they were rebooting the band’s lineup as a means to pay tribute to Brockie’s incomparable legacy.
Watch Oderus Urungus Read ‘Goodnight Moon’