Why almost? Well, GG’s shows became more and more extreme over time, and he promised to end his career by committing suicide on stage during a performance. Because he wanted to go into the afterlife at the peak moment of his life. But he never fulfilled that promise, since a 1993 heroin overdose (shocking, I know) claimed his life at the age of 36. Had he actually killed himself on stage, that probably would have qualified as the ultimate punk move.
Allin was born Jesus Christ Allin (seriously), and to say his childhood was dysfunctional would be an understatement. He performed with a number of bands, most notably as GG Allin and the Murder Junkies, but also Superscum, The Motor City Bad Boys, and the Scumfucs. Later in life he was known for his extreme stage performances, which often involved him performing naked, assaulting his fans (including women), intentionally cutting himself, and yes, even more shocking activities involving bodily fluids. If you don’t believe me, check out his Wikipedia page or, if you’re truly brave, you can watch the documentary on his career, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies. I did, and there are some things in there you can’t un-see. Even if you want to.
So what about the music? I picked up the Hated in the Nation LP and I’m listening to it right now. Of the 22 tracks (which include answering machine messages…), at least 12 include outright profanity or blatant sexual references in the titles… so no track list to follow, since the internet is kind of a family show. Production quality is all over the board, including a number of live recordings, but there are some decent punk tracks here, most notably in my opinion “Bite Me You Scum” (<– NOT one of the 12 songs with profanity/innuendo!) and “You Hate Me & I Hate You”.
GG left behind a surprisingly large catalog considering he was constantly poor and probably in debt from extensive hospital bills resulting from broken bones (at the hands of his fans, who often beat him up during his shows), blood infections, and god knows what else.
Was he musically talented? Some of his earliest stuff is OK. His punk stuff is a bit over the top, but whatever. It’s nothing special when just solely for it’s musical merits. It’s important because of who, and really what, GG was. The dude was a mess, to say the least. Is his music worth checking out? Certainly not if you mean from a quality standpoint. But if you’re curious about how much of a train-wreck a person can be, and how truly extreme a live performance can be, then the documentary and album of the same name are worth checking out.
GG Allin was a dirt bag. But he was also punk rock. The tattoo over his heart, and the matching inscription on his tombstone, sum up GG Allin: “Live Fast Die”.