RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - The thrash-metal band Gwar fired back at the father of its later singer, Dave Brockie, who sued the group claiming it made off with everything from his son's guitars to his earthly remains.
The younger Brockie, a visual artist, formed Gwar in 1984 and performed as "Oderus Urungus" - whom he fashioned as an interplanetary metal deity - until his death following a heroin overdose in 2014.
William Brockie, who is executor of his son's estate, filed his complaint against the band last week in Richmond Circuit court accusing its members of stealing artwork, guitars, a gold record and the singer's cremated remains, a portion of which, Brockie says, were callously returned to him in a plastic shopping bag.
In his complaint, Brockie named Slave Pit Inc., the band's artist collective and multifunctional art space, as well as Glomco LLC and Gwar B Q Inc., all of which have been run by the band's drummer, Brad Roberts since Brockie's untimely death.
In addition, Brockie claims that the band did not obtain permission to use his son's image for t-shirts and promotional items distributed at Brockie's public "Viking funeral" memorial service at the band's annual Gwar B Q festival last summer, nor to raise money for the Dave Brockie Fund, whose mission is to support youth in the arts and construct a monument to Dave in his hometown of Richmond.
In their response to the lawsuit, Gwar says Brockie's father fabricated his claims, and that the items, "including Dave's ashes have been available to his attorneys for weeks."
According to Gwar, Brockie signed his son's body over to the band, who then assumed the costs of funeral arrangements, including cremation, two services and a plot in Richmond's historic Hollywood Cemetery. Brockie did not attend any of his son's memorials, the band alleges, and that his father was only named executor of the estate by default.
"We were told by Dave's father that he did not want to be involved in making Dave's final arrangements," Gwar said in a statement. "Dave left no will or instructions for final arrangements, and so we have done the best we could to honor what we believe Dave Brockie would have wanted."
Gwar also deny allegations that Brockie was stiffed for the band's final Far East tour. "Dave, like the rest of Gwar, was paid upfront for his final leg of touring with Gwar. The claim that we failed to pay his share of royalties from Slave Pit Inc. is false, and we have the records to prove that," the band says.
Since the monies raised by the Dave Brockie Fund are now under battle for legal rights, Gwar says, the monument to Dave, which the band planned to build in Hollywood Cemetery, has been sadly put on hold. If Brockie's father gains control of the funds, the band says, all contributions will be returned to vested fans.
"Dave Brockie was our friend, peer, co-worker, and our family," the band concludes. "We want to preserve the legacy of one of the greatest singers in rock and roll history. There is no "conspiracy," no bad faith, no theft, no graft and no ill will. We trust our fans will see through this, and we will be able to work on the one thing we all know Dave Brockie loved; Gwar."
William Brockie's attorney declined to comment on the suit and the band's manager could not be reached for comment.