Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

A meaning behind Oderus Urungus’ life?

Photo by Matt Radick

My Monday started off poorly. 

In an eight o’clock a.m. meeting with my boss, we read that Dave Brockie — or Oderus Urungus — had died. 

His legacy won’t be that of Philip Seymour Hoffman, but it hit me nearly as hard. 

I wasn’t a big fan of Oderus and his band GWAR — Oderus was the only member to be with the band since it was formed in the early 1980s. But I took a particular liking to the band’s character. They were “from” outer space; the stage shows included costumes, human slaves and giant fake penises that shot blood. 

They didn’t just wear costumes, they actually believed they were from outer space. At least that’s the way they portrayed it: on stage, in interviews and just about every where. 

And, I had the opportunity to interview Oderus back in the fall. It was one of the more interesting interviews I’ve conducted, and I never had a chance to post it. The interview was during this hiatus, in an effort to build up material for the relaunch — coming in May. 

But it didn’t work out that way, for two reasons. 1. I wasn’t able to record it, or write it down. I was driving when he called. 2. It was far too vulgar to post, even on a blog run by myself. 

There were so many F’ Bombs and rants about rape, I couldn’t believe my ears. He was incredibly rude, in his deep, raspy alien voice.

We made small talk focusing around the blogs focus, the meaning of life. The group of aliens were banished from their planet for some terrible act. Oderus said they messed up worse when banished to Earth by mating with apes and creating the scum of the universe that are humans. 

He talked about how although he came in and out of Grand Rapids on an interstate and only saw the inside of the music venue The Intersection, he knew there’s weren’t any grand rapids in the Grand River. He suggested the city be called, Rapids. Or Grand. But not a combination.

Despite his vulgar language and insinuations, terrible attitude and disgusting stage shows he said something that resonated several times in our conversation: mankind is the most vile creature in the universe. 

If something so vile could think humans are the worst, then what are we doing here? 

Oderus was a gimmick, but he rocked it so real for so long. Was there really a meaning behind that terrible makeup and awesome stage show?

Probably not, but now we’ll never know. 

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