GWAR vs. the Beach Boys 

For a good number of you, Prince and the Pauper fantasies go no further than switching places with Nick Lachey so you can shtup his wife while he trashes your day job like it’s a second singing career. But let’s be altruistic with our “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” imaginings and consider two bands that might greatly benefit mankind (and GWARkind) if they swapped out angry lead singers. Belligerent Beach Boy Mike Love has fought for the right to perform the same goddamned 30-song set for nearly a half a century, and although he’s been vindicated in the greed department when securing the rights to the band’s tarnished name, he could probably use a change of scenery that doesn’t involve firing original members and longtime sidemen.

Ditto for GWAR’s lead throat Oderus Urungus, who has spent two of Earth’s decades fronting a novelty heavy metal band and has been through more Beefcake the Mightys and Flattus Maximuses than you’ve had hot lunch ladies. He’s been wracking his spike-encrusted brain all that time trying to find lowest common denominator taboos that Dr. Phil hasn’t already browbeaten to death. So what’s more outrageous or scarier than a rock band being fronted by a Republican fundraiser who has been known to sing “I’m pickin’ up Bush vibrations,” which in turn actually could give GWAR fans excitations? By now, with as many original Cowsills in the touring Beach Boys as original Beach Boys, or original GWARs in GWAR, a Urungus/Love switcheroo would be less noticeable than ever before, and it might spark even fewer ticket refund demands than finding out there’s no Al Jardine on board. Or Slymenstra, for that matter.

Maybe if we hope and think and wish and pray it might come true.

With both bands’ tours booked at the Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre in Sterling Heights on successive nights, this would be the ideal time to make our wild imaginings a reality. We’d have to dupe Love and Urungus into thinking they’re participating in a new NBC reality show to air next fall entitled Meet Your New Lead Singer. It’s plausible enough but we’d have to be prepared for Love, ever the sniveling bastard, to demand some financial convincing as well as wanting to know what Urungus’ fee is. If told that Urungus is happy being paid in virgin entrails, Love’ll back down. What will really impress Love is telling him that once the chippies behold him with a big latex penis, he’ll get more backstage pussy than Enrique Iglesias and the Indigo Girls combined.

What Mike Love Can Bring to GWAR:

1. Mike Love is a man who truly loves to accessorize. Look at all he’s done for turbans, kaftans, cowboy hats and sun visors — just think of what he could do with a three-prong scrotal mount.

2. For years Brian Wilson has accused Love of being a bully and a “mind gangster,” so what better way to keep the mental cruelty shenanigans going than to stage a GWAR show so that it zeroes in on Brian’s childhood traumas? How about a new GWAR set designed to look like the empty socket papa Murray Wilson used to take his glass eye out of and force his sons to stare into? Sure, you could just call it a time portal, but Brian — he’ll know.

3. You haven’t really heard “Biledriver” until you’ve heard it rendered in a pinched-nosed Hawthorne whine.

4. Before his death in 1983, Dennis Wilson used to delight in sneaking up behind Love and Frisbee-throwing his baseball cap into the audience, causing onstage fisticuffs. Eventually both members went to court to obtain restraining orders against each other. Just imagine the fun-fun-funk Love could get into the first time the Sexecutioner rips off his prosthetic penis and tosses it into the Slave Pit.

5. It’s common knowledge that Love’s objections to Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics single-handedly eighty-sixed Brain Wilson’s masterwork Smile. So it’s not hard to imagine Love stopping the show to ask what “The cherub screams ‘No!’ as I move to defile/our bodies entwine in a puddle of bile” actually means.

6. He could use the “Reaganator” portion of the show to stage a mock execution of Reagan’s secretary of the interior, James Watt, who banned the Beach Boys from playing a Fourth of July concert on the Mall of Washington because he thought it would attract “the wrong element.” Must’ve meant GWAR fans.

7. GWAR always brings “special guests” onstage like “Osama” and “Jacko” and “George W.” Love can capitalize on the Beach Boys’ past links with such terrifying luminaries as “Charles Manson” and “John Stamos.”

8. In the band less than a day, and already Love is demanding songwriting credit for “America Must Be Destroyed.”

9. Totally missing the irony of “Morality Squad,” Love will use it as an opportunity to take up a collection for the PMRC.

10. Flashing the peace sign during “Vlad the Impaler” sends a neat mixed message to kids.

11. He has 20 years of pent-up rage playing to state fair cotton candy eaters and casino losers. Now he gets to call audiences “human filth” and not have people throw crap at the tour bus.

What Oderus Urungus can bring to the

Beach Boys:

1. A horned head, a battle ax and some chain mail goes a long way in breaking up the sea of Hawaiian shirts and white pants onstage.

2. Love’s bizarre 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction speech where Love challenged fellow inductees the Rolling Stones and presenter Billy Joel to an on-the-spot Battle of the Bands could be re-enacted. With papier-mâché effigies no less.

3. Anyone who says anything bad about Transcendental Meditation is getting their kneecaps split.

4. If there’s a rude rhyme for “Bahama,” “Aruba” and “Key Largo,” Oderus’ll find it.

5. “Kokomo” is greatly improved by spraying the audience with washable bodily fluids.

6. Bringing “Fat Slut” and her fetus onstage adds a whole new dimension to “I Get Around.”

7. He’ll make sure no one goes to the bathroom during “Come Go with Me” unless it’s in their pants.

8. That Manson song is now back in the set! Yeah!

9. Remind the audience that Bruce Johnston, the only other “official” Beach Boy member in the current lineup, wrote “I Write the Songs” and then call for his head on a spear.

10. Fun-Fun-Fun Blood-Blood-Blood is a win-win-win on any stage.


GWAR appears Tuesday, June 28, and the Beach Boys Wednesday, June 29, at the Jerome-Duncan Ford Theatre (14900 Metropolitan Pkwy., Sterling Heights; 586-268-5100).

Serene Dominic is a freelance writer. Send comments to

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