The Onion‘s AV Club has has a feature called Undercover for several years now. In the feature, they invite bands to cover a list of songs, and once a song is covered, it’s crossed off the list. For the last three years, they’ve only invited back one band, and that band has been GWAR. The first year, they covered Kansas’ “Carry On, Wayward Son,” while unveiling new guitarist, Pustulus Maximus. It was far and away the most popular cover of the year, with Oderus Urungus urging his wayward son to get off his ass and get a job. The following year, they came back and covered Billy Ocean’s “Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car” (with some Who towards the end). Of course, the tragedy of Dave Brockie/Oderus Urungus’ passing still looms over the band, but now that they’re on tour, they were invited back for a third time.
This time, they were playing with new members Blothar and Vulvatron, and were tasked with covering the Pet Shop Boys’ “West End Girls.” Thankfully, they don’t try to emulate the new wave of the original. In fact, it’s a much punkier sound for GWAR. They acquit themselves nicely with the song, but what they do with the second half of the song is what not only redeems their cover, but makes it amazing. They cover the Jim Carroll punk song “People Who Died,” and it’s truly touching. They rework the song to be about Dimebag Darrell, Slayer’s Jeff Hanneman, Peter Steele, Rigor Mortis’ Mike Scaccia, former GWAR guitarist Cory Smoot, and of course Oderus. It’s really kind of genius, and will likely be far and away the most popular song in the Undercover series once again. Check out the lyrics to their version of the song after the video.
“People Who Died” (GWAR version)
Robin slashed his wrist and then he hung from a rope.
Peter’s heart gave out after he’d kicked dope.
Jeff, bit by a spider, died of toxic shock.
Ryan drove his car right into a rock.
Cancer brought down Castleman.
Damn it, David. I miss you, man!
Those are people who died, died. (X4)
They were all my friend and they died.
Sean was beat to death by the Boston PD.
Drunk in his cell, no more Death Piggy.
Dimebag was shot by a lunatic fan.
Mike Scaccia died with a guitar in his hand.
Those were three more friends of mine.
Three more friends that died.
Crazy White Sean, how crazy could it get,
That he choked in a chat on the internet.
Cory died in his bunk at a border crossing,
The gap in his teeth still in need of a flossing.
Cory, I miss you my brother.
You left little Cory without a father.
Dave died alone in his chair in his room.
He had just turned 50, it was way too soon.
Oderus’ boat went up in flames,
Now all of Vallhalla chants his name!
Oderus, I miss you more than all the others.
I salute you my brother!
Oderus died, died. (X4)
He was all of our friend and he died.