Gwar at Riot Fest in 2012

I first heard that Gwar front man and founder Dave Brockie had died late Sunday night via handfuls of comments from fans on Twitter shocked about the then-unconfirmed news that the man better known as Oderus Urungus had passed away. That sort of reaction is common when someone dies unexpectedly, but considering Brockie spent three decades touring as part of a monstrous intergalactic metal outfit that slaughtered countless earthlings and how easy it was to fall under the spell he cast during Gwar’s graphic, theatrical performances, it was therefore difficult to think that Brockie wasn’t the invincible, ferocious warrior he played so well. I took the news pretty hard too.

I rarely listen to Gwar, but I love them, and not just because Brockie and company nailed their roles so well and could deliver entertaining performances with more reliability than many bands whose music I like a whole lot more. It’s also because they’ve been part of the glue for many of my friendships through the years—whenever I meet anyone who shows a vague appreciation of Gwar, I’m just a little more eager to connect with them. On Monday I received a text from a childhood friend who lived a block away from me for most of my adolescence and currently goes to grad school in Miami—we saw Gwar for the first time together about a decade ago, and our first communication in months was about Brockie’s passing. “Feel like I should pay homage by using Sharpie to draw on abs next time I hit the beach,” he wrote. I’m doing my part by posting one of my favorite Gwar songs, “Sick of You,” as today’s 12 O’Clock Track. Watch the quasi-NSFW video below.