I’ve heard people say a lot of stupid things in my life. Some of them came out of my own mouth. I hear ridiculous things all the time like, “Can I save the internet at work to use at home?” “What happened to Pluto now that it’s not a planet anymore” and one of the most mind boggling: “I’m not racist at all, but Obama is a lazy nigger.”
One of the things that really makes me scratch my head is when people tell me “You know what, GWAR is actually a pretty good band.” No shit? I have about 10 of their albums, I never would have guessed. And even if I wasn’t a fan, they’ve still managed to stick together for 25 years and become one of the biggest underground acts of all time.
I suppose a few of my acquaintances live in an alternate universe where shitty, awful morons with no talent are able to sell hundreds of thousands of albums. Sure, there are a lot of truly horrible bands that grace the top 40 every week. But it could be argued that all of them possess some modicum of talent, strong will and/or hard work ethic. Even those tools who use auto tune and choreographed dancing have learned something I never have: how to be really good looking.
GWAR is actually one of the things that got me into writing about music. It’s been a dream of mine to write the authorized biography of the band. I’m pretty sure this would be the greatest book ever. Think about it: On one side you have the story of a bunch of dudes from Richmond, VA who got together, formed a band, released a whole bunch of albums, appeared on numerous talk shows and became legends in their own time, and the other story is that a group of intergalactic warriors came to Earth to enslave the indigenous population. Either way you slice it, it would be a great read!
I’m not sure if that dream died with Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus) last year. It’s sad that such a huge part of the GWAR team, their voice and their leader, is gone. But I give props to the band for continuing on. I haven’t seen their new show yet, but I hope to. A world without GWAR is not a world I want to live in. And if any of you guys like my idea of a biography I can be reached via the comments section below. (I actually pitched this idea to Todd Evans of Mobile Deathcamp who used to be in the band, but I was told he’s not really in contact with the GWAR camp any longer.)
I did manage to meet Oderus at Sounds of the Underground 2005 when he was signing autographs. I’ve never been so nervous about meeting a rock star. This was probably because he walked around the table and dry humped the girl in front of me while singing “White Wedding.” It also probably has something to do with the way he scribbled ODE on my album cover, tossed it aside and then tossed the table aside before retiring to the corner of his tent while merch people cleaned up the mess. It was definitely an experience.
I suppose the thing that really miffs me about the “GWAR is actually a good band” comment is that the people who have said that to me were in a band just like GWAR! They wore elaborate costumes and had an intricate back story. Their main goal seemed to be to shock. Yet, they had never looked at the kings of shock rock who lorded over the genre so high no one has ever been able to touch them, and likely never will. It’s like if a punk band never listened to the Ramones, a metal band never listened to Black Sabbath or GWAR had never listened to Alice Cooper or KISS.