GG Allin on “Geraldo” (1992)

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A classic episode of “Geraldo” from the early 1990s featuring everyone’s favorite self-mutilating, poop-eating rock singer G.G. Allin. The episode is about “obscene art” and Geraldo Rivera is in classic form, condemning extreme art while also giving his audience multiple tastes of such art in a way that pushes the boundaries of what’s acceptable within the realms of early 1990s broadcast TV. It’s the classic “This is sick, folks. Take a look at how sick this stuff is! Don’t you agree? Let’s get a close-up folks, in case you don’t understand how sick this is” approach. OK, not work safe, but a fine example of pre-internet shock value … allowing an audience an acceptable way to engage in hideous behavior by keeping their hands clean by tsk-tsking the dirt off their hands.

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“GG Allin – Son of Evil” by Dan Moxham

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When my wife opened the package from Amazon.com and noticed this book, she barely … but distincntly … raised an eyebrow and said … in that smart-ass way I’ve grown to dread and love … “Oh .. what a ‘wonderful’ purchase you made.” My wife forgets that GG Allin, the notorious poop-eating self-mutilator from New Hampshire played a pivotal role in an internship she had prior to when we got married. You see, I had a videocassette of one of GG’s legendary “performances” that magically shot out of a toilet somewhere … sanitized, by the way … and landed mysteriously in my VHS collection (I swear). Anyway, when the mentor in charge of my then fiance’s internship learned I had a videotape of GG’s shenanigans, he desperately begged to see it. I loaned him my tape … for educational purposes … and my wife got high marks on her internship. Granted, much of that was due to my wife’s talent, but I imagine some of that had to do with the madman from New Hampshire.

But I must start at an earlier date. Let’s start 29 years ago in the year 1985.  I was reading the punk zine “Maximum Rock N’ Roll” and there was a letter in the letters section that caught my eye.  It was from a performer who called himself “GG Allin” who bragged about pooping on stage and eating said poop, in addition to beating the snot out of audience members and causing other mayhem to himself and others.  Being all of 15-years old, I laughed hysterically.  In fact, I hadn’t laughed this hard since I read a synopsis of the John Waters’ film “Pink Flamingos” three years earlier in Danny Peary’s seminal alt-cinema book “Cult Movies.”  Here … I thought … was a real-life version of a John Waters-film character. 

I kept tabs on GG over the years, eventually scoring a bootleg cassette my first semester of college in 1988 of a live performance GG did from Texas in 1985 when he performed with a band called “The Texas Nazis.”  The quality of the tape was terrible, but while I heard GG perform many “songs,” the highlight was GG baiting the audience with violent sexual taunts and threatening to throw his poop on them. This odd cassette, which also contained some answering machine messages for GG, as well as some tracks from Nico’s first solo album “Chelsea Girls,” was a prized selection in my tape library during my college years.

During this time, GG threatened to commit suicide live on stage … and to take some audience members with him, but always seemed to find himself in jail when said moment arrived. While I don’t doubt his sincerity in his mission, the execution of his plan always seemed to be hindered by his drug abuse and penchant for always doing the wrong thing at the wrong time. Which of course, led to his death by drug overdose in 1993.

Dan Moxham’s book “GG Allin – Son of Evil” may not be the definitive biography GG fans have been waiting for, but it is a worthy document nonetheless. The book is not a straight biography, per se, but it is a chronicle of GG’s misadventures over the years, along with song lyrics, rants, and poetry. It’s more of a compilation than straight biography. But considering the fact that no major publisher … or even minor publisher of note … is announcing any GG biography in the near future, Moxham’s book will have to do. Trust me, there’s more than enough bile to send shivers up the most jaded masochist’s spine. And credit is due to Moxham putting pen to ink to memorialize the most notorious rock and roll performer of all-time. As much as I admire Marilyn Manson, he doesn’t even come close.

“Carmelita” – Warren Zevon

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From Zevon’s self-titled album from 1976, comes one of his saddest and grimmest ballads, this time about a heroin addict at the end of his rope. This has been covered by everyone, from Linda Rondstadt to G.G. Allin. If you get the 2-CD deluxe edition of this album, the original demos and alternate takes of this song are even better.

GG Allin on the Jane Whitney Show (1993)

Do you remember participating in gross-out contests when you were younger?  For example, someone would hock up a loogie full of spit and throat mucus and say “Top that.”  The winner would then pull out a straw.  (Joke borrowed from “The Adventures of Ford Fairlane”).  Poop-eating, self-mutilating GG Alllin was the ultimate example of this phenomenon in the rock and roll world.  GG took the nihilistic on-stage antics of Iggy Pop and took them to even farther extremes.  Aside from eating his own human waste, throwing it at the audience, or smearing it on his body, he would also physically assault his audience … randomly beating the snot out of people, cutting himself up, dragging women onstage by the hair … you get the picture, right?

Anyway, towards the end of his life in 1993, GG started getting more and more mainstream exposure. He was discussed on both Howard Stern’s and Rush Limbaugh’s radio shows. He was the subject of a really good documentary by then-NYU film student Todd Phillips called “Hated” (Phillips later became a multi-millionaire Hollywood mogul when he directed “Road Trip,” “Old School,” and the blockbuster “Hangover” series.)  Also, GG made appearances on many talk shows including “The Jerry Springer Show,” “Geraldo,” and “The Jane Whitney Show.”  While his appearances were always memorable, there’s something about his “Jane Whitney Show” appearance that was particularly stellar, even for GG.  This is GG meeting middle America with all the hysterical overreaction that you would expect from a middle-of-the-road audience.  Yes, as a parent, I do find this troubling, but it’s also one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.  It truly is a John Waters film come to life.

Unfortunately, I can not find clips of his complete appearance.  But what’s here from YouTube is pretty funny.  For obvious reasons, not safe for work.