The Passing of the Codpiece


Okay, so news of the passing of GWAR member Flattus Maximus broke six days ago. I haven’t mentioned it here yet because…

Well, I’m still reeling.

I probably never knew Cory Smoot. After all, my days hanging around GWAR happened back in the early 1990s (ouch. How’s THIS for dating myself?) and Cory had only been in the band since 2002. That’s a big time gap.

I’ve been fond of GWAR since I first heard of them. I mean, how can you NOT be a fan of a band where the members (heh) dress up in elaborate costumes that look like they were ripped off from Oakland Raiders football fans? Add in the blood, the pee, the … other male bodily fluids of questionable taste that would be spewed into the crowd, creating the world’s most slippery (heh) mosh pit and the only time tough guys would revel in wearing a pink t-shirt, and really. It didn’t matter what GWAR sounded like. They could have no clue what a guitar was and they’d still rule the Earth.

It was about attitude. Showmanship. Escape from reality.

And GWAR delivered.

I remember hanging out with Record Label Folk (back in the days when I aspired to be one. Along with a best-selling author. All at the same time). I can picture the dude at Metal Blade but darn if I can remember his name…

Even more important, I remember his story: Weeks after a GWAR show, he was wearing the leather jacket he’d worn that night. It was a rainy night. Rivulets of pink, remnants from the show, ran down him, alarming the people around him.

That is truly my favorite GWAR story. Even better than the night I hung at the converted roller rink and got to meet the men and women underneath the makeup and costumes. Even better than the fact that I may possibly own the only white GWAR t-shirt in existence.

Even better than the shows I was present for. And let me tell you, if you’ve never seen GWAR, check your sensibilities at the door, put your prude cap aside, and let yourself go. They are offensive, loud, in-your-face, wrong, shocking, horrifying… and so, so good.

So… we say goodbye and Godspeed to Cory Smoot, a guy who died before his time but at least got to live his dream.

May the rest of us be so lucky.



  1. Anna

    November 9, 2011 1:48 pm

    GWAR scared me when I was a kid! Sorry to hear of his passing.

  2. Alice Audrey

    November 9, 2011 11:28 pm

    I get the feeling I’m missing out on something. I’ve never come close to seeing them.

  3. carol

    November 16, 2011 3:26 pm

    My husband was a GWAR fan back when. This was his tweet on hearing the news: RIP Flattus Maximus.(cue maggots falling like rain)

    I personally never really got them, but I’m a bit of a prude.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *