GWAR, Me, and the Onrushing Grip of Death: Part 4
Join Dave Brockie, “the foppish dandy of ye olde Richmonde Towne”, and lead throat-thing of rock-group-band GWAR (the biggest blot on Richmond history since 6th Street Market), as he desperately tries to cash in on the sordid story of his life . This episode: Take Off From the Great White North
Join Dave Brockie, “the foppish dandy of ye olde Richmonde Towne”, and lead throat-thing of rock-group-band GWAR (the biggest blot on Richmond history since 6th Street Market), as he desperately tries to cash in on the sordid story of his life . This episode–
Take Off From the Great White North
Brockie, circa 1986, showing off his tiny nipples.*
I am four. In the frozen wasteland of suburban Toronto, the snow piles so deep that we shuffle through tunnels to school, the crossing guards waving flashlights to mark the way. I befriend a local badger named Violent Kenny, and a Mountie comes to my house to question me about it. Even at this tender age, I don’t snitch, and Kenny goes on to bite the Prime Minister right in the ass.
On a sidebar—it’s a peculiar phenomenon that many Mounties are being murdered. Canada wonders: why are so many Mounties getting shot? Are you kidding? It’s a wonder every single one isn’t dome-ploded as soon as they leave the training school—I mean, have you seen those uniforms? Solid blood red, with a giant, stupid hat! They are just screaming, c’mon and shoot me!
My parents take us (me and my older brother Andrew) to the World’s Fair in Toronto. We go on a ride into the center of a volcano. Inside the volcano is a giant Cyclops, which lays beneath us, clutching and grasping towards our roller-cart. This is life! I am unknown, alone, balanced on a track, above a maw, populated with fiends!
Yes, childhood is terror. Another problem I had was clowns. Any time I saw one I would break into hysterical fits of crying. One day my folks took me to a parade that featured tons of them and I freaked out so bad they had to remove me from the area. They sat me down and had a Mountie came up with his horse to try and calm me down. It probably would have worked if his horse hadn’t shit on me…remember, I was only three years old, not very large, and a horse shits A LOT.
Around that time my dad had been working on the design and development of the Avro Arrow, a jet fighter for the Canadian Air Force. The project went belly up and he went looking for a new job—and found one in a new country—the good ole’ U.S.A.! Dowty Rotol was a international aeronautical firm with a modest plant in the suburbs of Washington D.C. I didn’t know a lot about the states, and was told, “it rained a lot” there. After snow tunnels and wild animals, that sounded pretty dull. But nevertheless my dad packed up the family and off we went.
So the Brockies (William and Marion, eight-year old Andrew, and me…) moved south and settled in Fairfax, Va. I was enrolled in Kindergarten at Oak View Elementary. There are many memories that come back in a confusing jumble, and almost all of them involve violence or weeping uncotrollably.. Within days of starting school, I had been separated from the class for threatening a classmate with a pair of scissors. Not content with eating paste and stealing milk, I launched myself into a one-man campaign of lies and destruction. Discovery of any offense would usually lead to me balling hysterically until snot exploded from my nose. I had to be the center of attention and if I wasn’t I basically would scream and cry until I was. In the meantime I discovered my life-long love for stealing and defilement. Yup, I was a bad kid.
But what was it that led me into this life of sin? And was sin even wrong? My parents weren’t religious so I never had the church as a guide. Or rather I never had a priest guide me into a shadowy alcove and make sure I was “developing the right way”. Thank god my parents didn’t believe in that stuff. And of course the Ten Commandments were just silly.
I’m not gonna sit here and blame my assault on society on the fact that my parents lives were deserted by religion and ruined by war. I’m going to sit here and try to remember every horrible thing I did in elementary school. I warn you, you may not like me very much after this section…but hey, a lot of you don’t like me now!
I was a bully and like a lot of bullies I started on helpless targets. Like…oooh…better not start using names. Lets just call her “Punching Bag”, a girl I used to beat so mercilessly that they moved me out of class. One day I barged back into my ex-homeroom, ran up to her, and socked right in front of the teacher, all the while proclaiming it was “for old times sake.” My next target was a male. Poor “Accordion Head” was wedged skull-first into a folding wall under a fusillade of blows. My violent rampage grew until like most bullies I picked on the wrong guy. Old “Fish-Lips” was a target of extended abuse, until he beat the living shit out of me.
Ahhh…my first ass-beating. After that my crimes became more surreptitious, more creative, and finally more destructive. My hatred was no longer focused on things that could hit back. Structures became my bane, flame was my weapon. Around this time I met “Slop-Mouth”, a similarly twisted kid from up the street, and together we formed our first gang, the “Rat-Race-Zero-Messers”. We had hours of fun beating each other senseless with his Dad’s sole pair of boxing gloves (we took turns wearing the right-handed one). How I remember him, old “Slop-Mouth”, as he rolled on his back in a puddle of mud, pants down, inserting his tiny penis into the barrel of a toy machine gun as he repeatedly screamed the words “Tommy Gun! Tommy Gun!”.
Finally he moved away, but the cessation of the R.R.Z.M. did little to quell my twisted desires. I was a Prince of Liars, and would stand up at show at tell and make shit up that was considerably more interesting that listening to their crap (to me, anyway). Around this time I met “The Preacher”, called so because of the station he eventually grew to attain. This kid was way sicker than I was, and in a way his hideous rampage finally put an end to my own. “The Preacher” was so crazy that a typical day would involve him running around the neighborhood stark naked, occasionally returning to his house to shoot his Dad’s gun out the window. It all came to an end the day he decided to show me his Dad’s 45. What an ugly brute it was—the Colt. 45 was designed to knock down a Moro tribesman with one shot (the 38’s just put holes in ’em) and I watched in awe as he pointed it at my head and pulled the trigger. You see, it wasn’t loaded, and thats why a jet of flame leaped across the room, propelling the heavy slug towards my head, missing it by mere feet, ricocheting off the dresser and bouncing back across the room to shatter the mirror we were standing in front of.
Wow, I think this part of my life is worth a couple more episodes!
Next: NUDITY, DEATH, AND 7TH GRADE…
*only tiny in comparison to his huge head
(Confused? Get caught up with Parts 1, 2, and 3.)
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Thanks for the insight into the mind of one of the most creative musicians of our day, Dave. I have loved these little tales you’ve been putting out and would love to see you include it in a book or some such stupid thing for me to waste money on. Keep rockin, and tourin, for as long as your ancient bones can sustain you!
Good article, Thanks. my name Philip.
I still like you
hi Dave. We met before a couple years ago in worcester, ma. I was also part of two of your shows over the years. I am really enjoying reading your life story..I admire your creative self keep it up..see you soon…happy 25 years.
oh iv done some shitty mean stuff in school too. and what where you boys doing with guns anyway. crazy!!
i still love you.
been a huge fan for 20 years. they got me through some tuff times. i have seen them live several times and dave came and stood right next to me i couldnt believe it i was so excited to meet my hero that had inspired me for so many years so i said hello to him. he turned to me , gave me an eat shit look said nothing and walked away. i couldnt belive he would be such an ass. man i was so dissapointed. still listen to scumdogs acasionally but lost interest in them after that experience.