As the GWAR concert comes to a close at this year’s Dragon*Con, hordes of fans file into the streets of Atlanta. Although many of their clothes are stained from the remnants of the band’s liquid special effects, everyone seems to be smiling.
Earlier Friday afternoon, Sleazy P. Martini, GWAR’s answer to Elvis, is hanging out at the band’s booth in the Dragon*Con dealer’s room. “We just got back from the Decadence In Rock ‘n’ Roll panel,” he says, “which was just all GWAR. When it comes to decadence, that’s the only word you need to know. No one else bothered to show up, but why should they? That’s like a guy that’s got a parking ticket sitting next to Charles Manson and trying
to act like a bada**.” Well, maybe it’s the decadence that has GWAR fans grinning uncontrollably later in the evening. It also may be GWAR’s near constant use of theatrics. Martini, who stays in character the entire time, gives an extra long spiel concerning the band’s origin. He claims he was once a presidential aid for Ronald Reagan who stumbled across the band while in South Antarctica.
“I was looking for a warm place, some shelter,” he says. “And I saw this temple. There were these weird monsters and they were all frozen. All of a sudden they thawed out, and they were bugging me for drugs. So basically they’ve been following me like a bunch of puppies ever since.” The same can be said for GWAR’s fan base, which continues to collect the band’s outrageous music, comic books and related merchandise. So it’s the decadence that keeps them smiling? Martini begs to differ. “It’s all thanks to my genius,” he says. “The ability to find that niche. Whey they are completely bombed, I step in and save the day singing one of my favorite compositions, ‘Slaughterama.’”