girded in

Beefcake the Mighty

Beefcake the Mighty is a character in the rock band GWAR. He appears 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 (though recently that weapon has been in the hands of Balsac).

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 Chris Oranger. 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 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!").


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).


Beefcake currently uses and abuses DEAN Basses and Hartke amplifiers. In the past, Bishop used Steinberger, and Fender basses while Orr used Washburn, Fernandes, and Yamaha basses. In the subject of amps and cabs, Beefcake used Ampeg, Mesa, Seymour Duncan, and Dave Eden amplifiers. Bishop did not use a pick as Beefcake, but Orr did and Evans does (though, in behind the scenes footage for Beyond Hell, he is filmed using his fingers). Beefcake strings his bass with DR Red Devils, part of their Extra Life series of multicolored strings.

For some live performances of the song "Sammy" (during the 1997 tour), as well as the studio recording, Orr used an 8-string (4x2 strings) bass. Because "Sammy" would go into the next song, the bass was used in two songs in every concert featuring it. In both the "Have You Seen Me?" and "Don't Need A Man" videos, Beefcake is seen using an upright bass; he did not play one on either song - Bishop used his bass guitar for the former (though he did record a take with one, he found it to be weak-sounding ), and Mike Derks sequenced the upright in the latter.

Contributions as vocalist

He is the most frequent vocalist in GWAR, after Oderus, having sung lead on "The Road Behind" (in the chorus), "Cool Place To Park", "Pussy Planet", "Eat Steel", "Fight", (by Bishop) "Crush Kill Destroy", "Hate Love Songs" (by Orr; the latter was originally slated to be performed by Mike Derks, who wrote the song), and "The Bonus Plan" (by Evans). Beefcake has always had a relatively high voice, in sharp contrast to his large size.


External links

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