Most people have heard of G.G. Allin. He was
most notable as the lead singer of Antiscene. He was also a
bit of a regular on late 80s/early 90s TV talk shows such as
Geraldo and Morton Downey Jr. Known for his outspoken views
on free speech and sexual liberty. However, G.G. Allin will
most likely be remembered for one thing: eating his own shit.
G.G. Allin would often perform onstage, often quickly becoming
naked, and then perform sexual indecencies on innocent bystanders.
Then, as exposed in this documentary, he would defecate on
the floor, eat it, and then spit it back on the crowd. Allin
was the most extreme performer that had ever existed. He was
the punkiest of the punk. He was also a heroin addict. He was
never really drug free as his brother, Merle, dosed him
with acid at a very young age. My point is that the guy was
somewhat doomed to be a legend, for better or worse. His parents
named him Jesus Christ Allin, for christ's sake. The infamous
story of how he performed, died, and lived is the stuff of
It's the bonus footage that's the real draw here. The beginning of G.G.'s last night on earth is documented here. This is basically raw footage of the final performance; in it's entirely, uncut and unedited. The performance lasts about 15 minutes, and then the band disappears. The camera follows G.G. for what seems to be about a mile of city blocks until they catch a cab, all the while dodging police that are apparently looking for him, and G.G. is constantly babbling about getting high. It is a very unrelenting look at the life and mindset of junkie musician who is at his prime, literally.
G.G. Allin was obviously troubled, but one must admire the uncompromising
ferocity of his commitment to performance art. The problem with this line of
reasoning is, however, by the same token that an artistic vision cannot be
uncompromised, you cannot expect society to be as uncompromising as yourself.
Obviously the substance abuse and general lack of societal values inhibit actions
like being able to function in society and public decency. But G.G. was a leader.
He was a hero. He was a freak show. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people
who idolize him, and now that he has passed on, he is a martyr. The irony is
that his ultimate artistic vision involved committing suicide onstage. This
goal was never accomplished, and one could say that his mission was not fully
realized. Therefore, G.G. was also a failure. Merle Allin, on the other hand,
had the bright idea to more or less overexpose his brother by opening GGAllin.com and manage his estate.
Personally, I was expecting to see this happen. I only learned about G.G. after his death. When I learned that he was, in fact, dead, I was somewhat relieved. I didn't want to be there when it all went down. I think the guy was an asshole, and he does not deserve all of the recognition. It's this sort of primal wow factor grandstanding that is relatively cheap in the entertainment world. If you can offend someone, you can sell it. And that was G.G.'s skill. It's the unfortunate bystanders that are really at danger here. There is one scene in particular that ultimately sums up what G.G. was about. A female was standing by the stage. She was attacked by G.G. He exposed himself to her and forced his crotch towards her face. I'm sorry, but there is no reason to idolize ANYBODY that is capable of doing that.
You can't censor the world, but I think you can adjust your artistic vision
so as not to force the completely unwilling to submit to your vision. I hold
ambivalence for G.G Allin. I think he had an artistic integrity that was unparalleled.
However, G.G. was meddlesome with his perceived notions of challenging values.
You could say G.G.'s performances were a reaction to what was going on in the
early 90s with the Gulf War, but I honestly just think G.G. Allin was just
an asshole junkie. This is an unfortunate assumption that underground society
will accept as such, and to force it down our throats, much like G.G. forced
his penis into the face of an unsuspecting concert attendant, is completely
unacceptable. His artistic credibility cannot be challenged, but his method
was completely flawed.