GG Allin: Shock Rock's Greatest Poop Slinger(?!)
Rock's Greatest Degenerate...But At What Point Does Shocking Behavior Become Self-Parody?
Here I am taking a brief look at the life of notorious shock-rocker Kevin Michael "GG"/Jesus Christ Allin. You know, the guy who is known for cutting or beating himself up on stage, headbutting women in his audience, or throwing poop around, or drinking it, and stuff like that. THAT GG Allin. Even though I'm far from a super fan, I do know some people who talk about GG Allin a lot -- in fact, way too much (one person I know apparently even corresponded with him). So he has obviously had an impact on people, for better or worse.
So let's briefly look at his history, shall we?
Allin was born on August 29, 1956, in Lancaster, New Hampshire. Although the name Jesus Christ was on his birth certificate due to his strict religious upbringing, his name was later changed later by his mother, presumably to avoid controversy and spare the young "GG" ridicule. Nevertheless, the name "Jesus Christ" almost fit him, in a sick way, as GG would later adopt the persona of a man with a messianic complex.
At least outwardly, and particularly on daytime talk shows (which put him on to drum up controversy and drive up ratings), Allin believed that he was the ultimate "rock God." Perhaps he never viewed himself as the reincarnation of Jesus, but he did refer to himself in his autobiography, "America's Favorite Son, as "Jesus Christ," saying "I am the second coming of Jesus Christ through aim and constant fire..."
Allin had a difficult childhood in a small log cabin; he began abusing drugs at an early age, and his father was regularly threatening to shoot and kill GG, GG Allin's mother, his siblings, and himself. He claims some of his earliest sexual experiences involved sheer depravity. Maybe the sexual experiences with his brother and his mother's underwear aren't as uncommon as one would think, but what about his claims involving living and dead animals?
However, in addition to experimenting with drugs and other things, GG also got into music (on more than one occasion, GG boasted that, had he not been into rock mucic, he would have simply been a mass murderer or serial killer, and there's little reason to doubt that).
It's easy to dismiss his musical ability, but GG Allin found his way into (and out of) a lot of bands, either on vocals, drums, or guitar, and he either did cover songs or, yes, contributed his own, frequently depraved anthems. And some people, to this day, swear these were among the best edgy rock bands out there.
To be fair, even I like a few of his tracks, such as "You Hate Me & I Hate You." It's still sort of a dumb shock-rock song, but it doesn't forget that it's, you know, a song (plenty of his tracks go on tangents where the shock factor far outweighs musicality or any intelligent aspects). Plus, I have to be honest here: It's not like all of GG Allin's songs are equally offensive, with many being no more so than other punk rock bands on the market (especially at the time -- it's a deep, dark secret nowadays, but even left-leaning punk bands made a point to avoid political correctness).
Nearly always confrontational, GG frequently violated people at his shows, though he defended his antics by noting the crowds always have some advance warning of the madness about to unfold. Some speculate his behavior was partly due to his being a heroin addict, but it's far more likely that he often used violence and depravity due to his anger, rather than just a far-flung side effect of his drug addictions or alcoholism (which are compatible symptoms of his underlying problems).
Personally, I see GG Allin as a pathetic joke and think he wasted potential as a more viable musician, getting way too far into the shock rock schtick. Though he was influenced by Alice Cooper in the 1970s, it's almost like his influences barely even matter anymore. When all is said and done, GG was no more "real" than Alice Cooper out on a golf course. In fact, I fully think he might as well have performed as a professional wrestler in an ultra-violent arena. He became his own circus, peddling lewd lyrics and diarrhea. (Personally, if I wanted to see poop in public, I'd just take up dog walking.)
Though he considered himself the truest incarnation of rock and roll and is sometimes beloved by certain fans of punk rock, the conspiracy theorist part of me is tempted to think GG was designed by the government itself to ruin any sort of genuine social change that could have come from punk rock as a social movement, by making the whole thing look like a self-destructive farce. The man embodied punk as self-parody, looking like the ultimate rebel without a cause.
After the dissolution of his life from a drug overdose, GG has been looked at as a Lord of rock and roll, and is sometimes remembered as the scary, all-destructive Godzilla that he presented himself as. However, let's not get too deep into the myth here.
Basically, Allin was a self-professed criminal "scum fuck" who performed in a series of rock bands, notable for ritual self-abuse and humiliation. He was active from 1974 to 1993. Had he lived on, Allin might have adopted a new stage name: The Washed-Up Shock Rocker Who Fans Exaggeratedly Cling to in Order to Appear Edgier than Everyone Else. He's among the few people who would consider someone peeing on his grave as a compliment.