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GWAR guitarist dies Thursday; Friday's show to go on an scheduled


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The lead guitarist for the heavy metal band GWAR was found dead Thursday on its tour bus following a concert in Minneapolis, the band's manager and record label said.

Manager Jack Flanagan and record label Metal Blade said Cory Smoot's body was discovered Thursday before the bus crossed into Canada on the Richmond, Va.-based band's tour.

It's unclear what caused Smoot's death or how old he was. A person who answered the phone at the Smoot family residence in Richmond declined to comment. Flanagan and Metal Blade's Kelli Malella, vice-president of publicity, said they had no further information to release about Smoot.

Smoot performed since 2002 under the name "Flattus Maximus" with the band known for its comically grotesque sci-fi/fantasy-based costumes, stage antics and vulgar lyrics. He produced GWAR's last two albums.

Lead singer Dave Brockie, also known as "Oderus Urungus," called Smoot "one of the most talented guitar players in metal today" and added "at this point we are just dealing with the loss of our dear friend and brother."

Flanagan says there's no word yet on funeral arrangements.

GWAR's tour is scheduled to stop in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, on Friday and Saturday. A publicist confirmed overnight that despite Smoot's death, the band's Friday night show in Edmonton will proceed.

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