Last Saturday was the art show MF Gallery had in tribute to the late Dave Brockie, vocalist from the band GWAR. The exhibit was titled ‘ALL HAIL GWAR! Dave Brockie Memorial Art Show.’ It was an open call for all artists, trying to raise money for the Dave Brockie Foundation.
I had contributed a piece. It was an illustration titled “Shock Rock” based on GWAR’s televised appearance on the Jerry Springer show back in the late ’90s.
In a way, hearing about Dave Brockie’s death was sort of like an end to my youth. Cause ever since I graduated high school, GWAR has always been in the background. The funny thing was, they were the type of band I always thought would be around forever. Right before I left Kansas City, MO, someone offered me a chance to see GWAR live for free. She even got me in on the guest list, no questions asked. Wow, I thought, what luck. That’s cause the majority of the time being in Kansas City, my luck was rather on the shitty side. Alas, right as I was psyching myself up to see the show, something happened. True to form, my good luck turned to bad. So bad, it was straight to the airport back to NYC. Seeing GWAR live wasn’t meant to be. I told myself that one day I’ll catch GWAR live. After all, GWAR will always tour again, right? Many years later, especially after taking part of this art tribute event, missing GWAR was something I later regretted.
Before I started my own illustration of Oderus Urungus, I went online looking for references. After my piece was done, I dug deeper into who this man really was. The more I learned about this guy, the more I kinda got inspired, and eventually the more sad I became. You have to give Dave Brockie credit. He lived the life he wanted to lead. Most people don’t get that far. They don’t even become close. Dave Brockie lived day by day with his own set of rules, living among his GWAR creation. An art student who didn’t get disillusioned after he graduated. Instead he formed a band and made a living for himself going on thirty plus years. Along the way, he also did performance art, drew, wrote, did ‘political’ commentary and even acted in a Troma film. Not a bad life to have. GWAR wasn’t as big as let’s say, Slipknot, or Marilyn Manson. So what? Sometimes it’s better to carve that niche for yourself rather than sell out arenas, only to be forgotten five years later.
It all goes back to that monologue Dennis Leary had in “No Cure For Cancer.” Where Leary talks about the good musicians always dying, while the crappy ones live on. Guess Leary should know. He swiped his whole stand-up act from comedian Bill Hicks, who now – take a big guess – is dead. Takes one to know one.
But you didn’t stumble upon this blog to hear me rant. You wanted to see photos from the GWAR tribute art show. So here they are. It was an amazing show, packed full of people. My art was hung near where the drinks were being served. I’ve said this before, but it’s been a while since I did an illustration I was truly happy with. Even if it felt as if it was saying goodbye to a part of my youth.
Without further a doo-doo, here’s photos from that night.