GWAR, Me, and the Onrushing Grip of Death: Part 8

After a brief hiatus (during which he basically circled the globe multiple times) Dave Brockie picks up where he left off in the sordid tale that is his life. This time Dave gives us a glimpse into that most pivotal time of his life: when he discovered punk rock.


Alex Skolnick (Testament), an unidentified German fan,
me, and a couple of borrowed vests, at the Wacken Open Air Festival, 2009…

Wowsers. In the last few weeks I have been from Las Vegas (for the World Series of Poker) to San Diego (for Comi-Con) to Germany (for the Wacken Open-Air metal festival), to Cave-In Rock, Illinois (for the Gathering of the Juggalos), to Amsterdam (for the weed!), the whole time with my dick hanging out. Oderus has been slaying (and flying) non-stop in a series of promotional events all leading up to the release of our latest and greatest album, LUST IN SPACE, dropping (is that a rap thing?) on August 19th. And I’m glad to say my gig on FOX News is getting more attention all the time. I just did Red Eye again, and the next time I am on I am doing the whole show! How long can it be before Oderus gets his own TV show? How long can I keep this up without a dental plan? Could the success we have been chasing for 25 years be just around the corner? Being in GWAR has been like masturbating for 25 years and not getting off. If I don’t blow a nut this time around I think I might explode.

Which makes keeping this thing going more important… this is crazy shit going on, right in front of our eyes and deep within our nostrils. Its easy to forget what has come before when there is so much to the now. Yet we must not!

I have no doubt that people are going to look back on what we have done and mention us in the same breath as Carrot-top and Boxcar Willie. So lets get back to…

GWAR, Me, and the Onrushing Grip of Death:
Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll High School Part 2

I was ready to leave behind the cruel and destructive ways of my childhood and move on into the cruel and destructive ways of my teenage years. Punk rock was just starting—this was a chance to get in on the ground floor! To a completely self-obsessed, selfish and desperately insecure little shit such as myself it seemed the perfect way to express myself. Carefully I began to construct my brand-new punk rock personality. I didn’t have a lot to go on…just the TV (no MTV yet!) and the record shop up at the mall. They actually did a pretty good job bringing in the new music. I was listening to The Buzzcocks, the Dickies, The Clash and of course the Pistols in 1977. I was 15 years old. Then I found out about the Ramones, and read a review of their live show in Rolling Stone magazine. In a few days I had a copy of Rocket to Russia on my stereo…and it was over.

Much to my shame, my Ted Nugent records died in a blaze of betrayal and kerosene (years later I met him and he was a complete asshole, so I am not too tortured by my decision). He hadn’t put out a good album since “Cat Scratch Fever” and I craved new kicks. So I was a convert to punk. I was probably the first “punk” in Robinson High School, and considering this was just two years after my brother had proclaimed himself as the first gay student, threatening episodes in the halls of high school horror were commonplace.

My first crude fashioning of my punk-rock persona was fucking pathetic. I was kinda a mix between Johnny Ramone and Sid Vicious. I had long gay hair and the trademark leather jacket…except it wasn’t. I had saved up 200 dollars from my job at McDonald’s and went to the local leather store to claim my black motorcycle jacket, but they were all out. Always the impulse buyer, I instead chose a brown bomber-style one. Duh! It didn’t look as cool but hey, it was leather, and more importantly it was mine! A trip to the local pet store and an elaborate lie (something about a costume for a drama class production) got me a bunch of dog chains which soon festooned my new jacket, along with a bunch of homemade punk rock buttons. A pair of combat boots completed the outfit. I was a punk rocker! And in an 1980 hostile, high school environment, that could be downright dangerous…

It all came to a head one day in the smoking lounge. As unbelievable as it sounds, back then high schools actually had areas set aside for students to smoke in-between classes. Today that seems completely insane but back in the 80’s there was no doubt that we were Virginia—hell, one of the things you learn at school is how to smoke.

All the different cliques had their little areas that they hung out and smoked at in between classes. The break after second period was actually called “Smoke Break” by the school! Ahhh, those days… but I dither… our little gang of malcontents had our corner and our main rivals, “The Grits,” hung out in a outdoor staircase overlooking our spot at the end of the bench. From this strategically inferior position I often met the sullen glare of the groups cretinous leader, the dreaded Rusty. Rusty was a mutant mongoloid redneck type, short of stature and long of high school…because Rusty had failed his last three attempts at getting out of the 10th grade. With the short-billed biker cap, the denim vest and the biker wallet, Rusty was the picture of redneck menace, rumored to be at least 20 years old. And we were on a collision course with each other.

The war began as most wars do… for no reason. First with rumors, then then words… something like…

“Hey, Brockie, how’s that faggot brother of yours?”

Actually Andrew wasn’t doing all that well. His interest in academics was rapidly being replaced by his love of his new gay lifestyle and the pre-AIDS D.C. gay scene. Clubs and bathhouses… and, as I discovered with horror, hard drugs, had replaced his computer buddies and the Latin Club. It wasn’t too surprising as every time he showed his face in the halls he was the object of abuse. Courage only lasts so long.

What was needed was a gesture of defiance, so we decided to strike back. Late one spring night, I snuck from my parents house and met The Mantis and his VW bug, the Herbacious. I had a basement bedroom with it’s own door at the bottom of a stairwell. The frame was always swollen with moisture so opening it produced a loud groan I was sure my folks would one night hear… but they never did. Our midnight rambles were legendary.

So that night we scaled the roof of the school and ran furtively across it in the pitch darkness, our goal being the cement staircase the Grits called their own. Suddenly a great gulf yawned in front of me! I had run right to the edge of a 30-foot drop-off and only my instincts had saved me from tumbling head first into it. Aghast at this brush with death, with trembling hands I completed the rest of my mission—which I beheld the next morning.

I had purposely gone to “smoke break” with this brainy senior named Gabby I was trying to make-out with. With pride, I motioned towards my vandalism with which I had defaced the wall of the Grits sacred smoke-pit, around which they were now clustered, looking upon my handiwork with loathing and then at me with malicious intent.

The words “SID VICIOUS LIVES” had been marked with bloody red spray paint, for all to see. Beaming, I turned to my be-titted companion. I was gonna so get to second base!

“You misspelled “vicious”,” she said, snapping her gum, “it looks more like “vichyssoise”…” Her young, firm boobs were replaced by a vision of cold potato soup, and Rusty’s scowling visage, his dull eyes promising vengeance. It came later that afternoon in the form of a hurled paint balloon. It didn’t score a direct hit but its message was clear—it was the Punks vs. The Grits, after school, in the smoking lounge…

I geared up for my first gang fight.

NEXT TIME: The colossal showdown, Ian Makaye, sexy scenes, genital shaving, my first blow-job (whoops thought I was supposed to do that this time, just remembered), and finally NUCLEAR DOG SHIT.

Here’s an excerpt from the next episode… kinda a “excerpt-sode”.

“Still I wasn’t getting laid. I had accidentally discovered masturbating and was in the process of wearing great red holes in my still-growing member. But when I finally got a chance to actually have sex, my penis went inexplicably limp. Here I was, in the woods before a basketball game, pants down, penis in the mouth of a 14-year-old girl, and nothing was happening, even when I thought about my Mom. At the time I didn’t realize that jerking off eight times a day was sapping my potentcy to a certain extent.”

(Confused? Get caught up with Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 56, and 7)

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