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Self-Mutilating GG Allin

Posted on July 05 2018

Many words have been used to describe GG Allin. ‘Individualist,’ ‘anti-authoritarian,’ and ‘unique’ are among the nicest. ‘Violent,’ ‘chaotic,’ and ‘madman’ are some others.

All those identifiers are true, but if you asked GG Allin how he would describe himself, he’d say just one thing: that he was “the last true rock and roller.” And, depending on your definition of rock and roll, he might have been.

From his humble roots in rural New Hampshire, to being on stage and defecating (yes, defecating) in front of thousands, one thing was for sure: GG Allin was definitely something.

After graduating high school in Concord, Vt. in 1975, it’s no surprise that GG Allin eschewed further education. Instead, he pursued his music, channeling his idols Alice Cooper and the Rolling Stones and breaking into the scene as a drummer. He performed with several bands and formed two with Merle Jr.

Eventually, in 1977, he found a permanent gig playing the drums and singing backup for punk rock band The Jabbers. Allin stayed with them until 1984 and put out his debut album Always Was, Is and Always Shall Be with them. In the mid-80s, tensions over Allin’s unwillingness to compromise caused the band to split.

GG Allin carried the weight of his childhood throughout his life, constantly bucking authority to make up for the years under his father’s crushing thumb. Those he was close to – though far and few between – saw his total embodiment of rock and roll as an escape from consumerism and commercialism, and as a desire to return rock and roll music to its rebellious roots.

Though the two seem polar opposites GG Allin idolized country music legend Hank Williams. Williams, like Allin, was a quiet loner with a persistent drinking habit, who traveled light and often, and wanted nothing more than to embody his music. Despite the fact that Allin’s music never really took off, due to poor recording and distribution, he continued to perform, and draw crowds of hundreds of punk kids.

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