Jesus Christ Allin
GG Allin was born August 29, 1956 to parents Merle Colby Allin Sr. and Arleta Gunther. At birth, GG was given the name Jesus Christ Allin, as his father had "received a message from God that Arleta would give birth to the new messiah". GG's older brother Merle Jr. was unable to say Jesus, saying "je je" and the nickname GG stuck.
GG's early years were fraught with family discord. He grew up in New Hampshire in a cabin in the mountains with his parents and brother. There was no running water or electricity in the cabin. The family's existence was extremely hardscrabble, and GG's father was a harsh disciplinarian who suffered from suspected bipolar disorder. He would not allow anyone to speak after dark, and did not want GG or Merle Jr. to attend school.
In 1961, Arleta grew tired of Merle Sr's imbalance and she took the boys and moved to Concord, NH, where she obtained a divorce, remarried and had GG's name legally changed to Kevin Michael Allin. GG was a poor student when he began school. Though of above-average intelligence, he showed a penchant for destructive behavior from an early age. In high school, in East Saint Johnsbury, NH, GG would often come to school dressed as a woman, an homage to the New York Dolls, his favorite band and one that he would often try to model himself after. He was often caught by juvenile authorities with his older brother, breaking into houses and cars, shoplifting, vandalizing and in general causing mayhem.
Let's Start A Band...
GG professed a love of music from an early age. In high school, he and brother Merle formed their own band, Little Sisters Date, where they performed covers of popular music of the day. GG loved the New York Dolls, of course, and the British Invasion bands especially, but in the early 70's he would discover an artist that would change his life and the course of his music career.
Alice Cooper burst on the music scene with a presence that was unquestionable and a stage show that no one had seen before. Blending music, theatrics, dance and props, Cooper captivated his audiences with his macabre imagery set to music. Seeing Cooper perform in NYC had a huge impact on GG, and he would continue through his career to try to capture Cooper's onstage electricity, albeit in a slightly more deranged way than even Cooper could handle.
GG's first non-cover band was Malpractice, where he was the drummer. His next band, Stripsearch, was even more fleeting than Malpractice. It wasn't until 1977 when GG formed The Jabbers that his music began drawing attention in the burgeoning New York punk scene. GG as front man was often compared to Iggy Pop (The Stooges) and Stiv Bators (The Dead Boys), for his flamboyant, in-your-face style and his propensity for injuring himself during performances. It wasn't unusual for GG to finish a show covered in his own blood, as he was so completely violent in his movements as he performed.
Hated In The Nation
After the breakup of the Jabbers in 1980, Allin formed and disbanded several projects such as the Cedar Street Sluts, The Texas Nazis and the Scumf*cs. He earned his reputation during this period as a violent stage performer who would often urinate on fans, strip naked, defecate on stage and cut himself with beer bottles. Many of his shows would be shut down after three or four songs, as the shocked club owners and police witnessed his outrageous behavior. He would taunt fans, and once broke a female fan's nose during a show, resulting in his arrest on assault and battery charges.
He released his pivotal work "Hated in the Nation" in 1987 on ROIR records. "Hated" is a compilation album of his touring days with the Sluts, the Nazis and the Scumf*cs. It's raw, gritty and poorly recorded and with song topics ranging from drug abuse, pedophilia, racism and misogyny, not for the faint-of-heart. GG's antics onstage rivaled his offstage antics as well. He truly believed that rock and roll needed an artist such as himself, since music had become a "corporation" and was no longer about artistic expression.
At this point in his career, his previous experimentation with drugs became a full-blown addiction to alcohol and heroin. As his drug abuse grew, his behavior became more erratic. It was at this point in his life that he made a statement to his fans in his writing of The GG Allin Manifesto, written while he was in prison in 1989. GG promised that he would commit suicide onstage on Halloween night, 1990. However, on the anticipated date, GG was in jail yet again on assault and battery and public indecency charges. He promised an onstage suicide for the same date in 1991 and 1992, but was hospitalized for broken bones and blood poisoning on both those dates, respectively.
The Unplanned Death
In early 1993, GG once again made his public pronouncement about an onstage suicide on Halloween night, and vowed that this time he would stay out of trouble and healthy enough to make the date. The idea of a public suicide appealed to the narcissist in him, and he felt it would be the "ultimate piece of performance art". But fate played yet another trick on GG.
On June 27, 1993, GG was performing a show in Manhattan at a small punk venue called The Gass Station. After a typical GG performance where he stripped down, defecated and threw some punches, he put on his leather codpiece and he and several fans walked from the venue to a party at fan and promoter Johnny Handley's apartment. He was still covered in blood and fecal matter from the show, yet undeterred, began to ingest massive amounts of alcohol and heroin. Around 2 a.m. the morning of June 28, GG slipped into a coma, unbeknownst to the fans still partying around him and taking pictures with him. Hearing his snores, they believed he had fallen asleep. The following day, when Handley rose from his drug-induced stupor and saw GG still laying in the same place, he called paramedics. Paramedics pronounced GG dead on the scene of an accidental heroin overdose. He was 36 years old.
GG was laid to rest in his mother Arleta's plot, next to his grandparents, in Littleton, NH. Per Merle's instructions, the undertaker placed him, unwashed, in his leather vest and codpiece, with a bottle of Jack Daniels and various drugs on board. His brother Merle slipped the headphones of a Walkman over his ears before they closed the casket, allowing GG to listen to his album "The Suicide Sessions" as he was placed in the ground. Fans began visiting the cemetery in droves, leaving alcohol, drugs and cigarettes for their fallen hero. After several fans paid their respects by urinating and defecating on his grave, the cemetery removed his headstone.
Allin's music and legend has endured, almost 20 years after his death. Love him or hate him (there is no gray area), but he is not easily forgotten. RIP GG.