I’d like to see anyone do what I do for one week. One night. They couldn’t stand being in my head, never mind on the stage. – GG Allin
Last week’s DJ thread took me down a rabbit hole after I came across an article called “The 20 Grossest Moments in Rock”. How could I not look? After reading a section about Nick Cave writing a letter in blood on a subway with his used syringe, I came across a section about GG Allin that pretty much invalidated the other 19 stories as having any meaning regarding “gross”. Begin laughing at me now, for I have only seen the name GG Allin and knew nothing of his live persona that would be like Charles Manson if Manson had gotten around to using excrement for artistic expression before his incarceration.
Punk rock, other than select bands like the Misfits or early AC/DC, was a line that I just rarely crossed. I was a hard rock and metal girl. In fact, there are giant gaps in my 80’s music knowledge that get filled one DJ thread at a time. But, GG Allin’s spectacular, if lowbrow, career largely flew under my radar. Aside from a few references to his ghastly funeral he seems to be largely absent from the mainstream except for a documentary about him called “Hated”. My much more straight-laced husband knew all about him from Chicago radio back in the day, but I never heard of this naked piss-and-puke-and-shit covered punk rocker.
I decided to do some digging; GG was actually born Jesus Christ Allin. His name was changed to Kevin when he was 5. With his notoriety, there is plenty of information out there on the Internet and there is the documentary. He had somewhat of a cult following given that he promised that at one of his live shows he would off himself and take others with him. There are psychology dissertations just waiting to be written on whatever may have been wrong with him. He was diagnosed with an unspecified personality disorder (my money is on narcissistic) while on trial for assault, but it is likely that his bodily fluid soaked performances were manifestations of severe substance abuse on top of what was actually wrong with him. Personality disorders aren’t really treatable so death or prison was very likely always going to happen to poor Jesus Christ.
I did not come away from this exercise as a GG Allin fan, just fascinated with his life and really fucked up death. The 80’s and 90’s were full of people that merely wanted to shock people with how edgy they could be. Still, GG Allin stands out in terms of sheer DGAF audacity. He said/did some very controversial and radical things but it would be hard to tell the real from the shock value here. Even if the most controversial stuff can be discarded as apocryphal, we are left with a total asshole that smelled like shit and puke and did time for burning and cutting a woman. I mean, come on. I came close to vomiting at just reading about him. That would be quite rare for me.
GG Allin ultimately did us the favor of not having to execute him or babysit him for life by overdosing in 1993. The day is well recorded in pictures because the Murder Junkies were thrown out of The Gas Station in the East Village after two-point-five songs ended in a riot, and there was GG out in the street, naked except for galoshes, dung and a dog collar, being chased by the rioters. Naturally, photos and videos were taken. He arrived back at a friend’s house and OD’d. People at the scene were so shitfaced that they didn’t know he was dead and in an act of pure nihilistic failure, propped up his shit covered corpse to take Polaroids.
His funeral was a freak show recorded for posterity and memorialized today on YouTube. The priest at the cemetery removed the gravestone to keep fans from crapping and doing drugs on his grave. Idiot. Just look for the unmarked grave with two white houses in the background. If you are not careful walking around it, you can still find yourself stepping on a human turd. That gem on your bucket list isn’t going to cross itself off so get to work.
So, let’s work on my punk education:
- Punk – Play some old school punk. In looking into this I found some very good stuff so I would like to learn more.
- Post Punk – Same here but add the sub genres and offshoots, hard core, goth, and whatever Green Day is. Ok, and ska. My beloved Nick Cave belongs in here but I am much less familiar with his early post-punk stuff.
- Doing it GG Style – I found that there are/were imitators, hangers on and copycats out there. Mostly focusing on the violence. Bonus – find some poop punk.
Here is the playlist:
Here are your dedications:
Thrill – Before The Murder Junkies, there were the much more approachable GG Allin and the Jabbers and Don’t Talk To Me . From the comments “He wasn’t always an asshole shit slinging scumbag.”
Santino – Nick Cave’s early punk band The Boys Next Door with The Nightwatchman .
Spootyjim – Neon Christ, William DuVall’s [of AiC] old hard core band, still plays shows around Atlanta – Rikki (GraveyardMist)
Grendel – The rules are simple, I sing the song and you punch me in the head.
Westvirginiarebel – Punk without the Sex Pistols is like Grunge without Nirvana – No Feelings
Zurvan – I do like the Ramones, and I saw them live during their 90’s resurgence. Here is Sheena Is A Punk Rocker .