Now that they're done cleaning up the beer bottles and and severed limbs after last month's annual meat-and-metal orgy known as GWAR-B-Q, the Scumdogs of the Universe are preparing for their next adventure, circling the globe next month in support of their forthcoming album Battle Maximus (be on the lookout for our review this week). But thirty years ago, before GWAR would rage larger-than-life across the stages of the planet, there was this weird, outrageous little band of creative types in Richmond, Virginia led by a guy named Dave Brockie... whom you may know by the more regal title Oderus Urungus.
The band's humble but dangerous beginnings are now chronicled in an exhibit of rare photos, artwork, production sketches, props, costumes and other historic curiosities entitled Let There Be GWAR, which kicked off last Friday at Black Iris Music in downtown Richmond, and runs through the 28th of this month.
Exhibit curator Benjamin Thorp told Rolling Stone that the show (which takes its title from the band's 1986 demo) will cast a light on the creative origins of GWAR, as well as “the incredible talent, skill, ingenuity, and craft” that goes into the band's performance and image. “From the costumes and character engineering, for them to come out and blow up and die... I think people often read it as chaos, but it’s really well scripted, orchestrated and rehearsed,” he said.
Thorp worked with the band members and their production outfit Slave Pit, Inc. to collect over 400 pieces for the exhibit, which also include rare images of Brockie heading pre-GWAR band Death Piggy (shown above).