Family and friends mourn death of GWAR founder

Published: Mar. 26, 2014 at 2:40 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 3, 2014 at 9:04 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The singer and founder of Richmond-based band GWAR was found dead at his home Sunday.

The band's manager says Brockie died just before 7 p.m. Sunday. His body was found by a bandmate at his home on West Seminary Avenue.

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Dave Brockie, who was just 50-years-old. There is no word yet on what caused his death.

Outlandish costumes and theatrics attracted many to become fans of GWAR. The heavy metal band rocked out for almost three decades.  On-stage, its lead singer and founder went by the name Oderus Urungus, but many people knew him as David Brockie.

"They were very creative and very ambitious," says Bob Schick who says he knew Brockie for almost 30 years, but over the weekend Brockie suddenly died, shocking the metal music scene.

Schick says GWAR started as a funny idea.

"They expanded on it and showed what could be done," he said.

The success includes two Grammy nominations, multiple TV appearances and a worldwide following.

On social media sites, there was an outpouring of grief.

Randy Blythe, the lead singer of Richmond-based band Lamb of God said on Instagram: "Dave truly was one of a kind.  I can't think of anyone even remotely like him... my band learned how to become a real touring band from GWAR. They gave us our first shot."

Fans say even if you didn't know the band, you had to appreciate their work.

"Even if you don't know quite what's going on, you just look around and everyone has a smile on their face because of all the crazy stuff going on," says Lindsay Benkel, a GWAR fan.

Fans say Brockie helped shape heavy metal music in the River City and there's no telling how his death will change it once again.

The next big event was supposed to be the GWAR-B-Q in August, but the band's manager says his focus is on the bandmates and Brockie's family.

Funeral details have not yet been released.

Foul play is not expected, according to police.

The Medical Examiner's Office will determine cause of death.

In 2011, GWAR's lead guitarist, Cory Smoot, was found dead on a tour bus.

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