Throughout the past week I have been labeled as obsessed, crazy, foolish, and most offensively as a stalker. The truth of the matter, as any person with the slightest insight into the universe of GWAR would know, is the journey I have taken over the past week shows nothing but the common behaviour of a dedicated bohab.
Bohab: Devout fan of the band GWAR
The past week has seen me drive solo from Newcastle to Melbourne, from Melbourne to Sydney, from Sydney to Brisbane and finally from Brisbane back home to Newcastle. That’s near 4,000km’s in roughly five days just to see one band play three 40 minute sets at a festival full of bands I could care less about; crazy and foolish I may be.
Contemplating why I would perform such a stunt deserves context, and I believe that context can be found in 1996 when a friend and I followed the reformed Sex Pistols for three shows down the east coast of Australia. The thing is, I had never contemplated the idea that I would get my chance to see the band perform live so when that opportunity arose, it had to be exploited.
For twenty-seven years now GWAR have been terrorising audiences with their Grand Guignol style performances. Over the years their music has evolved from simple punk rock ditties to complex aggressive metal mayhem, but their tongue in cheek and black humoured approach to entertainment has always been the bands modus operandi; and for twenty-seven years the band has never stepped foot in Australia.
In September 2010 it was announced that this injustice would be rectified as the band would be performing as part of the No Sleep Til festival touring Australia in December. Finally, after sixteen years of consuming everything the band could throw at me I would get my chance to see GWAR in their most brilliant latex flesh, and of course this had to be exploited.
Not satisfied by simply getting to see the band perform live, I was determined to get some time with GWAR one on one. After sixteen years of slavery to this band I had so many questions and damn it, if I’m spending this much time and energy following this circus half way around the country surely it wouldn’t be too much to ask for a quick Hell-O, handshake and a few words concerning their first Australian tour… would it?
Back in ’96 bands toured as their own entity, if the Sex Pistols wanted to reform they would do it on their own merit. These days everything is relegated to a festival and it breaks my balls. Back then it was simple to meet your favourite act, you simply hung around the back of the venue after the show and eventually you could pretty much count on someone from the band being bothered to come shoot the shit with the minions. Now with festivals you’re hoping to bump into your favourite band amongst thousands of other festival goers. The problem is, what if your favourite band wear masks that conceal their identity? I didn’t stand a chance.
So I went legit. I got myself an angle and prepared myself to write about my journey and attempts to meet the unstoppable GWAR. I emailed the band, their publicist and promoters, I was embarking on a journey of epic proportions and without a doubt I would have a tale to tell on my eventual return, to meet the band would be the climax of both the story and my sixteen years of dedication to the band. I was blinded with enthusiasm.
Melbourne came and went without a meet. Then Sydney offered little more…
When I finally arrived in Brisbane for the final show I received a message from Oderus Urungus himself: Today we will get a chance to sit down and talk some GWAR.
As I stood in the rain waiting for my phone call I was thrilled to see the band perform one more time. With or without my meet I was still ecstatic about finally seeing the band I had invested so much of my life into… at the same time I was feeling like a cold and soggy bohab.
And the phone call never came.
Fortunately the shows were everything I had hoped for and more. Unfortunately my questions remain unanswered… but I am not deterred.
This isn’t over GWAR!!!