According to NBC News, the surviving members of the theatrical shock rock band GWAR have been sued by the father of Dave Brockie, the group’s late founder, accusing them of stealing Dave‘s artwork, bass guitars and cremated remains, and refusing to return them to his family.
In the lawsuit, filed Thursday (April 2) in state circuit court in Richmond, Virginia, William Brockie, the administrator of Dave Brockie‘s estate, states: “Immediately after Dave Brockie‘s death, the remaining active members of GWAR, led by [drummer] Brad Roberts [a.k.a. Jizmak Da Gusha], set out on a course of action to capitalize on the death of Dave Brockie.
“Mr. Roberts and-his cohorts took certain steps to attempt to wrongfully secure Dave Brockie‘s property and legacy — items that rightfully belonged to his Estate.
“Shortly after Dave Brockie‘s death, Brad Roberts contacted Mr. Brockie by telephone in an attempt to convince Mr. Brockie to relinquish his authority to administer his son’s estate.
“Following up on this phone call, Slave Pit, Inc.‘s lawyer sent Mr. Brockie a letter on April 25, 2014 for the purpose of wresting control of the Estate of Dave Brockie from Mr. Brockie.
“That letter falsely represented that Mr. Brockie had ‘expressed that [he) cannot, take on this responsibility right now’ and asked that Mr. Brockie accept Michael Derks and Jamison Land, two of the current band members of GWAR, as the co-administrators of Dave Brockie‘s estate.
“At no time did Mr. Brockie express the desire to not serve in the capacity of Administrator of his son’s estate.
“While Slave Pit, Inc. was attempting to usurp Mr. Brockie‘s authority to act as Administrator of the Estate, Mr. Roberts was simultaneously taking steps to take possession of and abscond with Dave Brockie‘s personal effects and legacy.
“Dave Brockie‘s housemate at the time of his deathwas GWAR band member Jamison Land.
“Upon information and belief, promptly after Dave Brockie‘s passing, Mr. Land was contacted by Brad Roberts and Jack Flanagan, GWAR‘s manager, to gain access to Dave Brockie‘s residence.
“Upon information and belief, sometime after Dave Brockie‘s death but before May 22, 2014, Mr. Roberts, Mr. Land, and Mr. Flanagan, and others affiliated with GWAR took possession of and removed certain of Dave Brockie‘s personal items, including but not limited to his bass guitars, artwork, gold record, tour posters, antique firearm, and computer from his residence.
“Upon information and belief, these items were removed from Dave Brockie‘s personal residence and brought to Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters where they were comingled with Dave Brockie‘s other property, including original Art that he had kept at Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters.
“Dave Brockie‘s personal items were then padlocked in Dave Brockie‘s old office at Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters.
“Mr. Roberts controlled access to Dave Brockie‘s former office and thereby access to Dave Brockie‘s personal belongings.
“After Dave Brockie was cremated, Mr. Roberts was also able to secure possession of Dave Brockie‘s remains.
“When Mr. Brockie visited Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters to retrieve Dave‘s belongings and remains on May 24, 2014, he was denied admission to Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters.
“Having been denied access to his son’s remains and property, Mr. Brockie was callously made to wait across the street from Slave Pit Inc. headquarters at the restaurant En Su Boca.
“Eventually, Mike Derks, a member of Slave Pit, Inc., came out of Slave Pit, Inc. headquarters and walked over to En Su Boca to give Mr. Brockie a small fraction of his son’s ashes which were delivered in a used plastic bag with Discover credit card logo on it.
“To date, Mr. Roberts and Slave Pit, Inc. have retained the vast majority of Dave Brockie‘s remains and failed to return the ashes of Dave Brockie to his grieving father.
“Slave Pit, Inc. then proceeded, without permission from Mr. Brockie, to set up the Dave Brockie Memorial Fund which used and, as of the date of this filing, continues to use Dave Brockie‘s name and image, to raise funds to be used at the discretion of Slave Pit, Inc.
“Slave Pit, Inc. also produced t-shirts with Dave Brockie‘s name and image on them which it sold both on the GWAR website, www.gwar.net, and at the 2014 GWAR BQ — the annual music festival held at Hadad’s lake in Henrico, Virginia on August 15-16, 2014.
“The first day of the 2014 GWAR BQ was in fact advertised as a Dave Brockie public memorial. Several thousand people attended. In addition to Dave Brockie t-shirts, GWAR merchandise as well as food and beverages were sold at this ‘public memorial’ for Dave Brockie.
“Neither Slave Pit, Inc. nor any other, entity related to GWAR has ever sought or obtained permission from Mr. Brockie to use Dave Brockie‘s name, image, or likeness.
“Instead, Slave Pit, Inc. has attempted to justify its use of Dave Brockie‘s name, image, and likeness by having various current and former members of GWAR, as well as its manager, Jack Flanagan, execute ‘releases’ in which they purport to be the ‘consort’ of Dave Brockie.
“Conveniently these purported ‘releases’ were dated March 24, 2014 — the day after Dave Brockie‘s passing.”
William Brockie seeks $1 million in compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief on claims of conversion, breach of contract, and unauthorized use of David Brockie‘s image.
Dave Brockie was found dead in his home in Richmond, Virginia on March 23, 2014. According to Virginia’s State Medical Examiner’s Office, he died from acute heroin toxicity by accidental means.
Dave Brockie, who fronted GWAR under the name Oderus Urungus was the band’s last remaining original member.