For better and worse, GG Allin was a legend. Until he finally bit the big one on June 29, 1993, this self-immolating jockstrap-clad mace-spraying dung-flinging aberration survived his own berserk reputation (not to mention his recklessly self-destructive instincts) to become the worst nightmare the Dead Boys and Iggy never had. Allin was a relentlessly obnoxious, coarse and lewd extremist who could send even the most generous-minded liberal over the edge. His catalogue is a juggernaut of puerile mania, demented concupiscence and Hustler-level humor.
All moral and artistic judgment aside, Allin is due some credit for managing to do what he did with so much conviction for so long. GG’s long and storied career began in 1978, deep within New Hampshire’s rolling hills, when somebody foolishly fronted this Hookset, NH kook some green to press an LP. A decent though badly produced record, Always Was, Is, and Always Shall Be (which sold like hotcakes in Sweden) mixes a variety of influences — most notably the Stooges and the Dolls, but also 1980-vintage punk and new wave pop — into a fairly appealing rock sound. But Allin has a fatal weakness for extremely vulgar lyrics. How can a relatively straight song like “Unpredictable” be taken seriously in the vicinity of “Beat, Beat, Beat” and the fatuous “Pussy Summit Meeting”? Allin clinched his commercial fate with unwavering offense, and whatever promise flashed on the first LP faded on subsequent releases.
David Peel’s Orange Records saw fit to add to the GG Allin and the Jabbers library in 1982 and ’83, issuing two 7-inch EPs, Public Animal #1 and No Rules. The former merely consists of three album tracks plus “You Hate Me and I Hate You,” a new cut which sounds like a small-town guesstimate of big-city hardcore. No Rules, however, isn’t all that bad. Gone for a fleeting three-song moment are the sodomic and anatomical references, replaced by the apt punk strains of “No Rules,” “New York City Tonight” and “Up Against the Wall.” (GG regains his vile composure on “A Fuckup,” but it’s a good-humored rant.) The Jabbers disbanded soon after, but GG reunited with two of them in ’84 for the Live Fast, Die Fast EP.
After a brief run as frontman of Manchester, NH’s Cedar Street Sluts, Allin organized the Scumfucs, a trashy trio indeed. The pairing’s three releases on Blood are among the most intensely unlistenable offerings ever spewed into the rock underground. As Eat My Fuc (co-produced by one Dick Urine) captures the totally skill-less Scumfucs in flat and murky sound, it becomes apparent that GG’s lyrics have taken a considerable turn towards true derangement — where they have since remained.
Although the music is a little more interesting, Hard Candy Cock tenders five more songs of similar caliber and mentality. Only “Convulsions” — an interesting rhythmic departure from GG’s usual invective pattern — strays from the profane path. I Wanna Fuck Your Brains Out continues the scatological tirade, and merits no descriptive amplification.
Allin laid low for a while, but 1987 brought a sudden surge in his hip credibility, and a few independent labels saw fit to encourage him into further ignobility and profligacy. ROIR issued Hated in the Nation, a tape which collects some prior EPs and singles, including “Hard Candy,” “Drink, Fight and Fuck” and “Gimme Some Head” (a 1981 45 on which GG is accompanied by two ex-members of the MC5). The cassette includes some live stuff, sessions with “the New York Superscum” (which includes J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr.) as well as a few of the more articulate messages left on GG’s answering machine.
Homestead endured GG for two offerings, and label head Gerard Cosloy even played guitar on the Holy Men LP, You Give Love a Bad Name. Whatever vestiges of a singing voice Allin once had are lost to the ravages of self-abuse; his raspy whinings are blanketed over the usual backdrop of punk-cum-grunge metal. “Tough Fuckin’ Shit” is a sure-fire original winner, as are covers of Bad Tuna Experience’s “Beer Picnic” and Charles Manson’s “Garbage Dump.” (Be sure to check out the liner notes detailing GG’s sexual exploits.) Although he is joined by different sidemen on Freaks, Faggots, Drunks & Junkies, the album is virtually a carbon copy of Love.
In the late ’80s, with Allin languishing in a Michigan jail after one of his excesses got way too excessive, his recording career was put on ice; still, a number of reissues, retrospectives and compilations appeared. Banned in Boston, for one, consists of early studio cuts, ’82 live matter and radio interviews.