UPDATE: Gwar has responded to William Brockie’s lawsuit.
Troubling news has emerged from Gwar’s camp, stemming from the 2014 death of frontman Dave Brockie. According to NBC News, Brockie’s father is 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.
According to documents from a lawsuit filed April 2 in state circuit court in Richmond, Va., William Brockie is suing the band for $1 million in compensatory damages, plus punitive damages for breach of contract and unauthorized use of his son’s image.
After Dave Brockie — aka Oderus Urungus — died March 23 in Richmond of a heroin overdose at age 50, the lawsuit claims Gwar and its management company, Slave Pit Inc., immediately began to take advantage of his estate. William claims the band failed to pay his share of its final tour with him, stole bass guitars, artwork, a gold record, other personal effects, as well as his son’s cremated remains.
The lawsuit says William Brockie tried to retrieve his son’s ashes in May 2014, but was rejected, before eventually receiving a small portion of them at a later date.
Since the death, Gwar has continued to perform, playing dates across North America in late 2014 on the Eternal Tour. The elder Brockie maintains the band signed bogus releases following his son’s death and proceeded to use his son’s name and likeness for merchandising.
Lawsuit or not, Gwar shows no signs of slowing down. On April 18, they’re set to appear at Mesa, Ari.’s Asylum Records for a Record Store Day appearance, and on Aug. 15 they’ll play the sixth annual Gwar B-Q in Richmond, Va.
In April 2014, Gwar launched the charity fund the Dave Brockie Foundation as “a resource for artists in the fields of music, film, literature and all visual arts who cannot find funding through mainstream channels.”