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Gwar Responds to $1 Million Lawsuit From Late Singer's Father

Gwar
Mat Hayward/Getty Images

Gwar perform at Showbox Sodo on Nov. 12, 2014 in Seattle, Washington. 

Today (April 7), news broke that William Brockie, father of deceased Gwar frontman Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus), was suing the metal band’s surviving members for allegedly stealing his son’s remains and possessions, in addition to unpaid concert earnings and unauthorized use of David’s image. Gwar has responded to these claims, steadfastly denying the lawsuit’s claims.

“We did not steal Dave Brockie's ashes, or anything else that belonged to him,” the band says via press release. “In fact, all of the items mentioned in the article, including Dave's ashes, have been available to his attorneys for weeks.”

Gwar says it cannot comment on the “substance of the lawsuit” since it has not yet seen the actual papers, but it claims to have done everything in its power to adhere to the wishes of Brockie’s father, following his son’s death via heroin overdose March 23, 2014, in Richmond, Va.

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The lawsuit claims Gwar had illegally held onto many of Brockie’s possessions (including bass guitars and a gold record) in addition to a sizable portion of his cremated ashes at its management company headquarters. To that, Gwar maintains, “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.”

Gwar says Brockie’s ashes were split up because a portion of them were meant to be buried with his monument in Richmond's Hollywood Cemetery, while some were left to be kept at Gwar’s headquarters, per Dave Brockie’s wishes. 

The elder Brockie also claims Gwar withheld earnings from his son’s last tour; the band's statement says he was paid upfront. 

Finally, the band addressed William Brockie’s claim that the band’s manager, Jack Flanagan, signed a “bogus release” following his son’s death and proceeded to use his son's name and likeness for merchandising:

“At the request of our attorneys, he signed some paperwork to make his position clear on what he thought Dave would have wanted, which is something that the law of Virginia specifically asks for, given Jack's relationship with the band and with Dave. There is nothing bogus about this.”

Furthermore, Gwar says William Brockie “did not want to be involved in making Dave's final arrangements” and did not attend any of his funeral services in Richmond. 

The details of the case were obtained from lawsuit documents, filed April 2 in state circuit court in Richmond, Va.