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This past weekend, the legendary alien overlords, GWAR,
played the Los Angeles House of Blues, and I was there to take part in all the
action and dismemberment. Having worked with these deranged monsters on a few
prior projects (including their most recent video, “Zombies, March!”), I was invited
to join them back stage for some pre-show merriment.
At 9 p.m., I met my friends at the show; a group that looked
like a cross-section of horror miscreants. In tow was Jack Bennett
(director of CAPRICE), well-known horror model Miss Katonic, horror director
Tammi Sutton (most recently known for ILSE OF DOGS), director John Stewart
Muller (FLING), Fango writer David Ian, horror genre actor Kyle Morris, and
Leslie Andrews who played Izzy in SICK GIRL. We began the night by chatting
while we caught the opening acts. I ran into a few of my friends from the GWAR
entourage who asked if Miss Katonic and I would like to be part of the show,
which means I’d probably end up in some way eviscerated on stage or suffocated
with gooey entrails, quite possibly my own. OK, I’ll do it!
We were lead backstage where the monsters were getting ready
for the show. Miss Katonic and I were informed we would be sacrifices to the
great World Maggot. Well, I guess if I gotta go, being masticated to death by a
giant maggot would be my first choice. I then noticed two familiar faces
standing nearby, Joe Lynch (WRONG TURN 2) and Adam Green (HATCHET). Green had
also been selected as a World Maggot sacrifice, and Lynch was there to capture
it on camera for the duo’s upcoming show HOLLISTON.
We were lead to the stage wings to watch the show until our
big moment came. It was fascinating watching not only from the band’s
perspective, but also so close to the action. The audience was a thousand
bloody bodies all intensely writhing and dancing and moshing and head butting
each other. It was miraculous to get a backstage glance at how much work goes
into GWAR’s stage shows, which I can know say with first hand knowledge, are
brilliantly orchestrated, meticulously organized displays that rival any of the
most complicated theatrical productions.
Then, my time came. I gave Dave my camera and asked him to
get pictures of my demise. Unfortunately, he decided to get rowdy and ended up
snapping pictures from the pit, some of them while crowd surfing. So my only
proof of my maggot interaction is blurry pictures full of sweaty bloody arms. A
slave grabbed me, and I was shoved head first into a giant writhing maggot
mouth. It was gooey and smelled like feet. I blacked out for a short while and
later found myself in a pile of tangled limbs on the floor covered in blood,
hairballs, and various other unpleasant fluids. Well, I guess I’ll go find my
After the show, we caught up with Dave Brockie, lead singer
of GWAR for some fun and drinks, which consisted of a tour of the House of
Blues Hollywood including some of the private bungalows and “secret rooms”. Let
me say, there is nothing cooler than being soaked in Maggot goo while having a
cocktail in a “secret” VIP room.
About 4am, we were joined by several additional GWAR
members, as well as Fear Factory drummer Raymond Herrara, for a really late snack
or possibly really early breakfast at Mel’s dinner in Hollywood. Our horror
crew may have been blood-soaked and beaten, yet compared to many of the late
night clubbing clientele, we looked great! Nothing could have ended this night
better than waffles and hot green tea; and then home to scrub the blood off my
body. Amusingly, it has been two days, and I’m still finding GWAR goo in my
ears and under my fingernails.
The biggest question on GWAR fans’ minds this week was how this
epic troupe would go on after losing Cory (Flattus Maximus). This was the first
show after Cory Smoot’s tragic death, and parts of the show were a beautiful
tribute to him. The show opened with a slideshow showing some of Cory’s
greatest moments and closed with Cory’s guitar being left on stage as Sinatra’s
“My Way” played. Watching this final moment happen from backstage, it was
remarkable to see the faces of the audience. Some were crying. Some were
cheering Cory’s name. But all of these blood-soaked fans were, as a group,
celebrating the life and achievements of a fallen rock god. It was breathtaking,
and a moment I will never forget.
Rock on, Scumdogs!
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