Just over two weeks ago, an old friend of mine passed away. This is one of my favorite stories involving him. It seemed fitting as today revolves around the letter “G” in the A-Z Challenge.
I’d like to preface this post with the fact that a few of you may get offended with that I’m writing if you’re unaware of Gwar or their existence.
If you do, you may be in the wrong place.
It’s just a bunch of metal / punk rock, art school dudes in rubber costumes that they make themselves, putting on a fake bloody show in a brilliant, scenic world of props that they’ve also built and created themselves that is intended to offend the masses. Those of us with a decent grasp of the world know how to take this all in stride and find the humor behind it all. Those of you who tend to take yourselves a bit more seriously, will likely not be too impressed.
For more LITERARY information on Gwar the Wikipedia way, and for the latter described, click here. They’ve done a splendid job of explaining the facts of who they are, so that I don’t have to.
The year, was a long time ago. Likely 1995, possibly 1994. The year isn’t important. What IS important, is Gwar were in town and supporting them, were the X-Cops, who were Gwar and extended Gwar family, but in cop uniforms with a bit of instrument swapping. X-Cops were going to be on my radio show.
I picked four of them up from the Trocadero in Philadelphia and we were on our way over the bridge to my college radio station. Somehow, they all managed to pile into my sweet ride at the time, a red Geo Storm which at this point, now resembled a clown car.
I had met Dave (the brain behind Gwar) a year or so prior, at an industry event where we drank. And then drank some more. I was no stranger to his sense of humor and was prepared with a slew of ridiculous questions for the X-Cops, including their association with Gwar, while keeping in character. This was anything but a serious interview as we all played off of each other’s sarcasm and dug ourselves deeper into the bullshit of the story.
After the interview, we drove back over the Ben Franklin Bridge and headed towards the venue for soundcheck.
During this time, they asked me if I would be interested in being in charge of the “Maggot Food”, to which I wholeheartedly agreed.
I’m attaching a live video here, that you can watch of what actually happens during this song if your interest is piqued after I explain. I am NOT in this video, and if you are easily offended by funny things that are meant to be funny, and you don’t think you will think this is funny after I explain this funny scenario, then you shouldn’t click on the link, because you won’t think it’s funny. I’d like to add, that I’m a bit of a feminist, and realize that some may find this offensive, but that as a feminist who tends to take things a bit more in stride, this is still funny. So if you don’t feel like you can watch this and “lighten up” and get why it’s funny, then please, do not bother. I understand that it’s a matter of taste.
But it really is funny.
I was to go into the audience, and pick out ladies who would be fed to the maggot. There was no discriminating. Women of all ages, shapes and sizes were welcome to join in the fun and did so quite willingly.
I gathered the already blood soaked ladies and took them to the side of the stage and explained to them what would go down, for those who had never experienced a Gwar show.
“Basically one of the slaves will throw you over his shoulder and carry you on stage. Pretend to struggle and pretend to be resisting with everything you’ve got. He will then throw you into the maggot’s mouth, which you will crawl through, leading you under the drum riser. We’ll meet you on the other side.”
But something was bugging me.
I realized that I had never actually had the chance to be maggot food. After most of the ladies had been fed to the maggot, I took my place, last in line of the maggot food.
The slave, whose name escapes me now, threw me over his shoulder. I kicked and pounded his bare ass with my fists as that was what I was faced with being slung over his shoulder, and whipped my hair around in a struggling frenzy.
That was the last thing I remembered before it went black.
I’m told this was only seconds, but when I came out of my short blackout, all I saw was the gigantic prosthetic penis from the otherwise naked slave in my face and him reaching his hand down to me saying, “Are you ok? Please tell me you’re ok!!”
Poor guy had slipped on some of the Gwar blood and dropped me right on my head.
It took me a second, but I then realized, I was flat on my back and on stage with Gwar. I saw Dave look behind at me through his mask as I grabbed the hand of the Gwar Slave and allowed him to guide me to the maggot.
“Jump in, sweetie…you need to jump in.”
I kept trying, but I was pretty dizzy.
I looked at him and said, “Just throw me in.”
And he did.
As I was crawling through the maggot, I felt something in my mouth.
“Dear f*#k, please don’t let it be a tooth,” I thought.
When I jumped behind the stage, I spit out what was in my mouth, and it was the barbell of my 3 week old tongue piercing.
Well, this was NOT going to fly. I didn’t suffer through a week of tongue swelling and mouth callusing to have this baby close up on me.
I ran to my faithful Geo Storm and began frantically driving around South Street, hitting all the tattoo shops in search of an all night piercer.
It must have been after the third shop that I realized I was covered in multi-colored Gwar blood. And I mean soaked through…completely drenched. That might explain why no one was over-anxious to help me out, and why people were going out of their way on the street to avoid me.
When I accepted defeat that the piercing would likely close and I’d have to go get it re-pierced the next day, I headed back to the Troc to catch the rest of the show (this was not my first Gwar show, and definitely not my last).
We all had a laugh about this after the gig, and after everything was packed up, we headed to my local hangout to meet some friends of mine for some post-concussion drinks.
Once there, my friends who had also been to the show, came up to me with giant smiles on their faces.
“Holy sh#t, E, that was amazing!!! Did you guys plan that fall or did you just make it up on the spot?? It looked so real! That was THE BEST Gwar maggot eating EVER!”
When the place closed, we jumped back in my Geo Storm, and my buddy Matt’s car, respectively… I believe it was a blue one (yeah, I’m not good with car brands), and headed back to the venue.
We didn’t get far, when I could see Matt flashing his lights behind me, and I could see that he had stopped. This was before cell phones. Oh, the humanity of high beam flashing SOS communicating! How we ever made it through those dark ages, I’ll never know.
I got out of the car and headed over.
“Ummm… you’re not going to believe this, but I ran out of gas.”
And here’s how great my friend Dave and the Gwar dudes were…
They started to push his car to the nearest gas station. But then I pointed out that I could just go and buy a gas can and bring some gas back. No concussion was going to stop my common sense. We all agreed, this made the most sense.
This was one of several amazing memories and stories I have of someone I was proud to call my friend.
I’ll miss you, Dave.