The ancient Greeks believed that music was a microcosm of the universe in that the same fundamental laws that governed the cosmos also applied to the composition of music. As the Greek tragedians remind us, we violate natural law only at risk to our sanity and physical and moral well-being. Likewise, if we intentionally disregard the laws of composition, we invite only disorder and chaos into our psyche. This is why the early Church had such thorough rules governing the type of music that was allowed. After all, lex orandi, lex credendi. Thus, introduce music that stirs the passions as opposed to elevating the soul, and one risks leading a soul unwittingly away from God. (Cue: a cutting remark about folk guitar Masses.)
Such aesthetic reflections lead me to the late shock punk rocker Kevin Michael “GG” Allin. Born to a lunatic father who claimed to be in direct contact with God (I suppose that he was Protestant.), GG was christened Jesus Christ. His life got only worse from that point. I remember first reading about GG and his exploits as a teen–well before the luxury of darkly intriguing Internet searches. Whenever I visited a bookstore, I was obsessed with finding books on doomed poets like Keats, Shelley, or Rimbaud and doomed musicians, especially if they were alcoholic blues players–if they went blind or struggled with the devil, that was a plus. The latter interest must have foreshadowed my family’s move to Mississippi. Anyway, during one of these searches, I came across this disgustingly and horrifyingly engaging figure. Coming across someone like that as teen led me to believe that I had been exposed to culturally occult knowledge, forbidden to most of my peers who were still enamored of grunge or hip-hop. I felt the way that young souls must feel/have felt when first coming across a copy of Feral House’s paradigm-shifting Apocalypse Culture. (In fact, I think that GG is featured in that first volume.)
I have always been drawn to strays, whether culturally or romantically. For example, as popular as a given girlfriend may have been, there was always something off or broken about her, something that most people may not have taken to the time to note, but always produced a greater sense of affection and devotion in me for that person. Culturally, I have written about one–and that entry will remain one of my sentimental favorites. Thus, it makes susceptible sense that I would have been drawn to this anti-Christ of an outcast.
Throughout his musical (sic) career, no topic was off-limits to GG. I will leave it to my devoted readers to familiarize themselves with the content of his lyrical spewing if they so choose. While truly horrendous, what he sang about pales in comparison to the way in which he lived and destroyed his life.
Cutting himself with broken beer bottles was one of the more mild tricks in his trashy trade. He would routinely perform nude, ingest diarrhea-inducing substances, engage in shit-flinging fights with the audience, grab women and pull them toward his crouch, and, of course, fight with anyone who was up for a row. He may have raped a fan or two. Such a stud is not opposed to either alcohol or drugs. In other words, if one did not come away from one of his shows covered in blood and/or feces, you may as well have stayed home.
Any earthy, retrograde thug could have performed such an act. However, what distinguishes GG from the humdrum fecal-loving screamer is that he saw himself as the fulfillment of rock ‘n’ roll. In other words, if one starts from the basis of rebellion and a distrust of the moral traditions of civilization, then one is left with unleashed primal passions to lead one, as the Greeks knew, to chaos. His mission, as he intuited, was to love the chaos and destruction over against those people who make a show of only flirting with it.
GG embodied that chaos so that those ideological frauds who spout such philosophical nonsense do not have to get their hands dirty…with blood and shit. As true to his nihilism as he was, though he promised to kill himself on stage, he died of a disappointing heroin overdose.
An interview with an utterly clueless woman (redundant?):
GG on Jerry Jerry Jerry Jerry Springer:
GG gives, more than likely, the best Ted Talk ever:
This captures the spirit (possessed) of GG best:
Must admit that I like this; it’s like a punk rock Townes Van Zandt:
My favorite version of this song–heartbreaking, really: