Graham Reid | | 2 min read
We might as well get it out of the way quickly: G.G. Allin was a shit-eater. He also threw his excrement -- poos and wees -- at his audiences, punched people in the crowd and told Jerry Springer's television show he would rape women on stage but that was okay because women at his performances should expect that so couldn't be surprised.
He took as many drugs and as much booze as he could get into his system and frequently promised he would commit suicide on stage.
He didn't get the chance (although he'd admittedly had a few opportunities) because a drug overdose took him out in June 1993 at age 36, and it might be fair to observe that in the two decades since his death Mr Allin hasn't been much missed.
He was a foul, aggressive, profane and confrontational human being . . . and he made raw post-punk music with his various bands the Scumfucs, the Texas Nazis, the Aids Brigade, the Murder Junkies . . .
So you have been warned. What follows comes with a warning about language and anti-social practices.
For a kid who saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show and wanted to be a pop star, he was perhaps the only one who grew up to insert a suppository before he went on stage so he could shit then throw it at people as a kind of holy sacrament . . . like Christ, as he told Springer's audience.
So where did it all go strange?
At birth might be the right answer. His reculsive and deluded father insisted he be named Jesus Christ Allin because Jesus had come to him and said the baby would be a great man. The family lived in a remote house in New Hampshire with no amenities and when his father became increasingly unstable his mother divorced him and took the child (then about 10 and whom she subsequently renamed Kevin) and his older brother Merle and moved to Vermont.
Allin -- called G.G. by the young Merle who couldn't pronounce "Jesus" -- did poorly in school, formed a number of increasingly rowdy and outrageous bands with Merle, and by the mid Eighties he was a junkie alcoholic who had taken to shitting on stage, performing naked and delivering lyrically confrontational songs with titles like Bored to Death, Living Like An Animal, Ten Year Old Fuck, Bite It You Scum, I Want to Rape You, Fuck Authority, Suck My Ass It Smells . . .
Many of his shows had barely started before fights would break out and police would stop the performance and arrest Allin.
A compilation was entitled Freaks, Faggots, Drunks and Junkies. His song Son of Evil is autobiographical in which he said he was sent out to destroy and only loved himself but was reborn when he fucked the Devil and was now immortal.
However throughout his brief carnival of excess (the title of an album) Allin also sang bent and engaging alt.country alongside the raucous and rude rock, and that stuff is certainly worth more serious attention.
Most people won't get there however because the persona of the smelly, obnoxious, confrontational, shit-eating blood-stained Allin gets in the way.
But he did admire Hank Williams (probably for the wrong reasons, like Hank's rock'n'roll death) and on songs like his version of Warren Zevon's Carmelita, his own prescient Borrowed Time and Pick Me Up On Your Way Down and other acoustic songs make the case for him as someone who might have taken a rather different path.
But he didn't.
Instead he wrote songs like Expose Yourself to Kids, Needle Up My Cock, Watch Me Kill . . .
For other articles in the series of strange characters in music, WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT . . . go here.