Beefcake the Mighty

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Beefcake the Mighty
Beefcake-the-mighty-03.jpg
Beefcake the Mighty live on Stage in Edmonton.
Background information
Birth name Michael Bishop (1987-1993, 1998-1999)
Casey Orr (1994-1997, 1999-2002, 2008-2011, 2019-Present)
Todd Evans (2002-2008)
Jamison Land (2011-2019)
Genres Thrash metal, punk rock, shock rock
Occupation(s) Bassist, vocalist
Instruments Bass, vocals
Years active1987–present
Labels Metal Blade, DRT, Slave Pit Inc.
Associated acts Gwar, Rigor Mortis, [1] Ministry
Website www.gwar.net

Beefcake the Mighty is the bassist in the heavy metal band Gwar. He appears as a stout (hence his name) humanoid girded in Roman-style armor. He is usually portrayed wielding either an oversized Gladius sword or a large battle-axe.

Contents

Background

According to Gwar mythos, Beefcake originates from the planet Cholesterol (where he met singer Oderus Urungus). He weighs approximately 299 tons and "invented music by stretching dinosaur guts across the Grand Canyon".

In the early days of Gwar, Balsac the Jaws of Death played bass and Beefcake played guitar. However by the time Gwar's first album Hell-O had been released, the roles had switched, and Beefcake became the permanent bass player.

Before their first album, the character of Beefcake was known as Cornelius Carnage and was played by Greg Ottiger. Soon, however, Cornelius Carnage's character was developed into Beefcake the Mighty. When Hell-O was released in 1988, Beefcake was played by Michael Bishop. Bishop played the role until after the 1993 Halloween mini-tour (after recording This Toilet Earth , which would be released in January 1994). Casey Orr was enlisted to play the bass in February 1994. Bishop, however, temporarily replaced Orr for a stint around the recording of We Kill Everything. After the release of Violence Has Arrived in 2001, Orr and his wife had a baby. He left the band shortly thereafter, and was replaced by Todd Evans. Evans suited the role well, as he is credited as being much larger than any of the previous Beefcakes. Evans continued to portray Beefcake for several years; however, Orr briefly returned to fill in for the 2007 European tour when Evans could not participate. In Spring 2008, Evans left Gwar to focus on his band, Mobile Deathcamp. On April 15, 2008, Casey Orr officially announced his return to the band, donning the armor of Beefcake the Mighty once more.

Beefcake's personality has changed considerably since Hell-O. Oderus Urungus and Beefcake originally had an almost brotherly relationship, and the dialog between the two reflected such. When Michael Bishop was replaced by Casey Orr, that relationship changed as well - instead, Beefcake became extremely arrogant ("Beef is an arrogant bastard with absolutely no regard for feelings of others. No one likes him and he wouldn't have it any other way. His ill temper and egotistical vanity make him the perfect rock star. He feels everyone is entitled to his opinion and if you don't like it you can fuck off.") and vile, and was crude even to Oderus (as indicated in the dialogue between the two in "Dawn of the Day of the Night of the Penguins," between "Horror of Yig" and "Hate Love Songs"). While Bishop returned for We Kill Everything, his personality remained the same (possibly because Orr returned after the album was recorded). Little is known about Todd Evans' take on Beefcake, though his entries in the Gwar.net blog again reflect extreme arrogance ("Feast on the limitless knowledge that your puny, under-developed mind craves...and feel free to ask what you will, you just may warrant a reply, but probably not so don't hold your breath!").

On August 2, 2011, Casey Orr, once again, officially announced his amicable departure from Gwar and expressed his desire to pursue other projects. [2] Orr joined the reformed Ministry. Jamison Land, a guitarist from The Burial, took on the role after Orr's departure In 2013, he joined the 11th Annual Independent Music Awards judging panel to assist independent musicians' careers. [3]

Land announced his departure from the band in February 2019. As a result, Orr returned soon after to portray Beefcake during live shows.

Armor

Todd Evans as Beefcake the Mighty live on stage Beefcake-the-mighty-04.jpg
Todd Evans as Beefcake the Mighty live on stage

Beefcake the Mighty has had relatively few fundamental design changes in his armor from his inception: he has always worn a perversion of the Roman legionnaire armor, though his helmet somewhat resembles the corinthian style helmets of Greece. However, as Gwar became more successful, they had more resources to upgrade their costumes (which began primarily as papier-mache). Most of the changes have been subtle, and were/are largely based on available materials and the bassist's size (Evans was reputed to be much larger than either Bishop or Orr, both large men themselves).

Casey Orr out of costume GWAR - Casey Orr.jpg
Casey Orr out of costume

Contributions as vocalist

He is the most frequent vocalist in Gwar, after Oderus, having sung lead on "Cool Place to Park", "The Road Behind", "Pussy Planet", "Jack the World" (during the chorus), "Eat Steel", "Bad Bad Men" (during the chorus, and also the "Yeehaw" at the beginning) "Fight", (by Bishop) "Crush, Kill, Destroy", "Hate Love Songs" (by Orr, originally slated to be performed by Mike Derks, who wrote the song), "The Bonus Plan" (by Evans), "Metal Metal Land", "The Price of Peace" and "Beat You to Death" (the latter two also by Orr). Beefcake has always had a relatively high voice, in sharp contrast to his large size. [4]

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References

  1. "Rigor Mortis (2)". Discogs. Retrieved December 23, 2012.
  2. Blabbermouth.net (August 2011). "CASEY ORR Announces His Departure From GWAR". Blabbermouth.net. Archived from the original on 2012-09-10. Retrieved August 3, 2011.
  3. "11th Annual IMA Judges. Independent Music Awards. Retrieved September 4, 2013.
  4. "Gwar: Frequently Unasked Questions". Archived from the original on 13 October 2005. Retrieved September 19, 2005.