GWAR Sued: Metal Band Speaks Out On Theft Accusations

GWAR has been sued by the father of Dave Brockie, who was the front man of the band up until his death in 2014. According to NBC News, William Brockie has sued the surviving members. His lawsuit was filed on Thursday, and the court documents reveal many shocking claims against the remaining band members. Brockie is suing the band for $1 million, plus punitive damages.

Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose on March 23, 2014. After his death, William Brockie claims that the band not only tried to use Dave Brockie’s image and name to make money, he also has accused the band of theft.

“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.”

That is not all William Brockie has accused the surviving members of GWAR of stealing. The man has also accused the band of taking his son’s ashes. The lawsuit revealed how that occurred.

“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.”

GWAR was initially silent about the lawsuit, but they have now released their own lengthy statement defending the band against the accusations made by William Brockie. Loudwire shared that statement in full. The statement was shared on the band’s Facebook on Tuesday.

“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 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.”

Dave Brockie was the front man of GWAR for 30 years, and fans of the group loved him. Since his death, fans have started a petition to have his likeness of his stage character, Oderus Urungus, included in Mortal Kombat X.

In February, the petition had over 25,000 signatures, according to Tech Times. At this time of this article, that number has jumped to 29,000. The petition shares why Brockie’s character should be included in the game.

“Oderus was as hilarious as he was viscous, and also one of the most colorful and creative characters not only in rock history, but also history in general. Though his music will live on, what better way would there be to further immortalize (toasty) Oderus Urungus then to have him be a playable character on Mortal Kombat X.”

Mortal Kombat X is set for release this month, and there is no word on the inclusion of Brockie’s stage persona in the game.

Brockie’s death has not stopped the band from performing. According to Mail Online, GWAR released an album last year, and they recently wrapped up tour dates in Japan and Australia.

The band will celebrate their 30th anniversary with a 2015 GWAR-B-Q. The event will be held in the band’s birthplace of Richmond, Virginia, in August, according to Loudwire.

However, GWAR fans will have the chance to see them in Arizona later this month. The band will perform at the Nile Theater in Mesa, Arizona, on April 18. The performance will be a special event to celebrate National Record Store Day. The band will perform under the name RAWG, and they plan to release new material as well, according to MXDWN.com.

Fans of GWAR have expressed their feelings about the lawsuit against the band on social media. Some fans have even showed the metal band support if the allegations against them are true. The band has made it clear in their statement that the accusations are not true.

I’m sad to read about the recent GWAR legal battle. I hope both sides can come to a peaceful resolution.

— Jim Boy Star (@jimboystar) April 8, 2015

GWAR plans to continue to entertain their fans. They have dealt with the loss of Oderus Urungus in their stage shows, and they have added new singers as well. The band has no plans to stop with their music.

What do you think of GWAR being sued by the father of their former front man?

[Photo by Roger Kisby/Getty Images]