Remembering Cory Smoot

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, November 3, 2011 11:23pm | Post a Comment
Cory Smoot August 25, 1977 - November 3, 2011
cory smoot metal guitarist gwar flattus maximus richmond virginia
I sometimes have difficulty recalling birthday celebrations but I'll never forget my fourteenth as it was without a doubt the heaviest of them all. It was 1991 and basically still heads and preps all the way, socially speaking, and if you rolled with the heads yours was most likely a metalhead. That year my birthday party pretty much resembled any old home-spun celebration save for the fact that I obtained permission from my mother to invite my friends over to jam as loud. and for as long, as they liked. To this day I cannot fathom what my mothers thoughts could have been while she watched my friends and I bang our heads along to deft renditions of Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" and Megadeth's "Holy Wars...The Punishment Due" wrought by the likes of a then thirteen year-old Cory Smoot and friends, the sheer multitude of amplifiers and other necessary equipment crammed into the tiny den guaranteeing almost certain instant deafness. I can say I have never ever experienced a bang-over as intense as the useless lolling-melon that hung from my sore neck and shoulders for days after that singular house party thrasher.

cory smoot metal guitarist gwar flattus maximus costume stage show

Though time has put quite the crook between the Cory I knew then and the Cory who was found dead this morning on GWAR's tourbus - a band he's been lending his sick licks, shreds and metalhead essence to for the last decade as lead guitarist Flattus Maximus - I feel an obligation to pay proper tribute to his memory. I do this not just because he was a homie from way back nor for the fact that he's managed to impart his humor and wizardry to our most notoriously messy hometown band but simply because Cory's technical prowess and musical influences heavily informed my tastes from an early age.

There being little means of truly satisfying one's kicks in sub-suburban Richmond Virginia in the late 80's/early 90's, aside from the weekly pilgrimage to the skating rink, junior high afternoons and weekends consisted of finding oneself playing at the embodying the rocker or the groupie, often both. Bands like those that Cory formed or played in were often frankestein incarnations of eachdeicide self-titled eponymous album release cassette tape cover death black metal heavy classic record other, spanning a strata of sound from metal to punk, thrash to trash - the music nevertheless devoured. The first time I heard Deicide was with Cory right after he'd gotten the cassette; I can still picture him brandishing that tape towards me, his gesture and the the sinister artwork featured on the cover being one of those queer moments that for whatever reason has always been lodged in my memory bank. Along with that warm, slightly worn-sounding fuzzy voice of his. For me, imagining Cory audition for GWAR is to envision him playing and singing his way through Scumdogs of the Universe in it's entirety because that's how well we all knew that record. Add to that the fact that most everyone in our crew of metal miscreants have, at one time or another, sported undergarments forever dyed with faded shades of GWAR's on-stage excretions. Some of us still do.

A sad day for GWAR fans, GWAR babies, and Richmonders, Southsiders especially. Cory Smoot will be missed but not forgotten. Looks like it's time to dig through some dusty VHS tapes for a slightly less embarrassing peek at the old days.

From GWAR lead vocalist Dave Brockie, a.k.a. Oderus Urungus:

It is with a sense of profound loss and tragedy that the members of Gwar must announce the passing of their long time guitarist and beloved friend Cory Smoot, also known to thousands of metal fans worldwide as Flattus Maximus. Cory was found deceased this morning as the band prepared for a border crossing. There is no word as to the cause of death and the members of Gwar are completely shocked and devastated that this has occurred.

At this point there is no word on arrangements and the disposition of the remainder of Gwar's current North American tour, nor are there any details regarding long term plans. At this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother, one of the most talented guitar players in metal today. We ask that our fans and the media be respectful of our request for privacy for those that have suffered this terrible loss. A full statement will be coming in the next day or so, in the meantime please give your thoughts and your prayers to Cory, his family, and all the people that love him.

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Cory Smoot (1), Guitarist (1), Flattus Maximus (1), Gwar (3)