I first saw GWAR when I was 13 years old. It was the first real concert I attended. (Not counting the time my mother took me to see Gowan and Zappa Costa). I first saw the band in a spread in Thrasher magazine and I remember buying their Scum Dogs of the Universe tape at Cheapies in Hamilton.
To a suburban punk kid with a vulgar sense of humor this was the equivalent of the White Album.
But even the audio majesty of double sided cassette couldn’t compare to seeing them live. I remember buying a cheap white shirt from Bi-way in the hopes it would get soaked in blood. I remember being worried about all the second hand pot smoke I might inhale and wondering if it would cause me to lose my mind
Yes I know today’s 13 year olds smoke 6 paper joints for breakfast but this was a different time.
But most of all I remember this:
Check the fat skin head owning the dance floor 57 seconds in. I love that guy.
I came out of that show with a sweaty pink t-shirt, an over-priced hat and a blood lust for all things GWAR. A week or so later I took the bus downtown to Loony Tunes records and bought Live From Antarctica on VHS.
(I still have it.)
I remember thinking I had something truly shocking and perverse. Although if the footage up there is anything to go by (and it is) maybe not so much. But still I kept it hidden from my parents and would only watch it when they weren’t around.
I did take it to school one day and when the teacher left the room I treated the class to a surprise discreet screening on the art room’s media centre.
The teacher came back into the room just as Oderus Urungus was unleashing his copious load all over the crowd.
I could’t have timed it better myself.
I think the only reason she gave me the tape back was because she didn’t want to have to go through the discomfort of having to show it to the principal.
Principal: Who is the deformed man masturbating again?
Art Teacher: Oderus Urungus.
Principal: I see. And who is the blood covered woman in the metal bra and hairy hot pants?
Art Teacher: ...sigh. Slymenstra Hymen.
I’ll admit that Flattus wasn’t my favorite.
I was more of a Balsac guy.
But he was still a great part of GWAR and GWAR will always be a great part of my youth. I’ve seen them numerous times over the years and they’re still one of the best live shows around. I’m glad they’ve decided to keep touring. I may have to go out and purchase a new white Hanes Beefy Tee and a ticket next time they roll into Toronto to pay my respects. And I’d like think that Flattus Maximus is up there in rock & roll heaven telling the Big Bopper how he smoked his entire home planet because it was made out of weed and then cutting one right in Jimmy Hendricks’s face.
So long old friend.
P.S. No Canadian GWAR tribute could be complete without Nardwar.
Smell you later human filth.