Part 1: Bored To Death (1977-1983)

This article originally appeared on the Terminal Boredom website in 2006. It has been updated here with corrections and modifications. Written and compiled by Jason Litchfield.

“Then, screaming “Fuck you, you pussies!” the band went into the most useless convulsions I’d ever seen. GG was a horror show. His face went blank, his mouth hung agape. He began crawling around on the floor like some parasitic reptile just out of its lightless cavern. If he got near the crowd they pushed him, spit on him, dragged him around like a piece of meat. And through it all he seemed oblivious. Behind him, the band fired off high tension noise — fast, distorted, dangerous. GG screamed a few inaudible lines, broke the mike, and let the band finish up the number while he dove onto tables, only to get savagely dragged down again.”
— The Times (Durham, NH), Summer 1982 — review of March 4, 1982 show at Club Meri-Mac.

My home state of Rhode Island has always been fertile GG Allin land. Back in high school in the mid- to late-1980s, every time we'd take frequent jaunts to the local used record stores there'd be the brand-new Black And Blue reissues right there in front in the “A” bin. The first album I remember looking at was “EMF” — the liner notes by local label honcho / GG pal Peter Yarmouth were intriguing, compounded by the secrecy of the song titles. It wasn't long before a copy of “Dirty Love Songs” reared its (literally) ugly head, then the succession of Homestead vinyl, and soon this aberration came into focus. But I kept going back to the “EMF” album cover, wondering how this guy got from point A to point B. I mean, you don't just crawl out of your basement, line up your first gig, and introduce the world to the GG Allin freakshow. It had to start somewhere. Like in “The Wolf Man” and “The Amazing Colossal Man” flicks I devoured as a youngster on Creature Double Feature, a transformation had developed. How does one go from a relatively benign “Automatic” and arrive eight years later with “Sleeping In My Piss” and a “Fuck You” tattoo?

I started, of course, at the beginning. The Jabbers were the only real, consistent band that GG had until the Murder Junkies. Back when he billed himself as the Madman of Manchester and Public Animal No.1, GG Allin & The Jabbers gigged heavily throughout the Northeast, earning a reputation as a problem act and accumulating an ever-growing list of club bannings. But the Jabbers were more than a bunch of troublemakers trashing clubs — there was some serious musicianship and networking going on here, with Cheetah Chrome, David Peel and Wayne Kramer and Dennis Thompson of the MC5 on the list of collaborators. The Jabbers served as David Peel's backing band for dates in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, playing both their own set and then coming back out with Peel. At the Living Room in Providence, when GG first filled in for Cheetah Chrome's band on drums, Cheetah was so impressed with his playing that he asked him to join the band (the offer was undoubtedly appreciated, but declined).

This portion of GG's life marked probably the most stable and "normal" as it got: he was married to his high school sweetheart (married Oct. 6, 1978), worked a regular job as a custodian at a nursing home, and answered to Kevin when not under the guise of his stage name. So where did this cryptic alias come from? It's common knowledge now, thanks to the internet, but back then it was pretty shocking to find out that GG's birth certificate name was in reality Jesus Christ Allin. ("GG" is the phonetic spelling of toddler Merle's mispronunciation of Jesus as "Je-Je.") I'll skip the details (Google's got plenty), but suffice to say a traumatic childhood left psychological scars that plagued him until the end, through divorce, alcohol and drug abuse, self abuse and an unfulfilled public suicide plan.

This discography spans GG’s career through 1986, stopping before the signing to Homestead. From there on, the releases are well-documented and, in a way, less interesting. The first installment covers the Jabbers and pre-Jabbers years from 1977-83, up until their last release as a functioning band. Luckily (for me) in the late-80s, GG was considered little more than an embarrassment, a bad joke, to most punk shoppers and store clerks alike, so his original vinyl was still frequently available at reasonable or downright cheap prices in used shops in New England. $2.50 for an original "Always Was" LP and $3.99 each for the three Orange singles?

What follows is a mix of second-hand and third-hand history, vintage anecdotes and a heaping load of grueling collector scum minutia. Try not to soil yourself.



GG Allin Malpractice Love Tunnel
Mal Practice Band (Malpractice)
Love Tunnel / Devil’s Triangle

Label: Fu Angel Records (0001 • 74-47)
Recorded: Circa Spring 1977
Released: May 1977

Lineup: Kevin Allin (drums), Merle Allin (bass), Jeff Penney (guitar, vocals), Brian Demers (guitar)

The unlikely starting point for the GG Allin saga — an unremarkable barband-style outing whose desirability would be nonexistent if it weren’t for drummer Kevin Allin and his brother Merle on bass. (Though the disc doesn't adequately showcase their raw rock 'n roll talents, both were indeed accomplished musicians.) Malpractice, based in Vermont while Kevin and Merle still lived at home, gigged steadily throughout the Northeast, even playing the Rat in Boston with the Real Kids. At one show Malpractice met Joel Raymond and Peter Suyama, who were starting up a talent agency and record label, and shortly afterwards the duo released the “Love Tunnel” 45 on their startup Fu Angel label. (About the name: Joel Raymond's teenage nickname was "Fat Angel" and Peter Suyama, being Japanese, was called Fu Manchu, so they combined their aliases to form Fu Angel Records.) Joel recalled Malpractice as "basically an Aerosmith cover band," and remembers hearing "Train Kept A-Rollin'" many times — no doubt a Kevin Allin favorite to play with its prominent drum fills. GG in an interview in the late-1980s described the band as “ahead of its time,” however, this sole recorded documentation proves ultimately nondescript. The record basically never was issued with a picture sleeve, although two known copies exist of an original crude sleeve with a band photo pasted to thick cardboard and the center cut out so the record label showed through. Merle made up his own sleeves for some backstock copies circa 1993 using this band photo on one side and a different photo on the flipside, and these are largely the copies that have been circulated online and sold back in the day in the Maximum Rock And Roll classifieds.
“GG and Merle wanted to write even harder shit. Their direction and especially GG's was the most destructive chaos they could create, but Jeff's writing didn't do anything for GG. Needless to say the only record that they put out didn't truly represent their live shows. The record was more of a Jeff Penney record than a GG record.”
— Excerpt from “America's Favorite Son” autobiography



GG Allin & The Jabbers Bored To Death
GG Allin & The Jabbers
Bored To Death / Beat Beat Beat // One Man Army

Label: Blood Records (59 • 903071)
Recorded:
circa Jan/Feb 1978, Dancing Moose Studio - Cherryfield, ME
Released: May 1979 (matrix indicates March 1979 pressing)

Lineup: GG Allin (drums, vocals), Merle Allin (bass), Peter Henault (guitar)

Twenty-one year-old Kevin Allin (drums, vocals), his brother Merle (bass), and local guitarist Peter Henault assault the reel-to-reel in 1978 with some Iggy-cum-Ramones inspired basement punk rock. These three tracks were recorded in the early winter months of ’78 during a blizzard — with the band braving a five-hour road trip from Vermont to Dancing Moose Studio in Cherryfield, Maine. Resurrecting his childhood nickname and shedding the backseat skins role for frontman duties, GG initiated with this debut a barrage of tasteless tunage and self-promotion that would fester and multiply for the next 14 years. Self-released over a year later in mid-1979 on his own Blood Records label in a likely edition of 500 copies, this remains one of the two most elusive GG singles. To add insult to injury, two sleeve variations exist. The first sleeve contains two crossed knives on the upper right corner, and no graphics on the back, just typed credits. The second version replaces the knives with a small photo-booth shot of a young GG sporting a Ramones t-shirt, and the back is graced with a picture of GG giving the finger (from the same fruitful photo-booth session). The paper stock on this version matches the sleeve on the next single, “Cheri Love Affair,” leading me to believe that he probably made up a new batch of sleeves (adding his photos) around the time “Cheri” came out. Seeing as the covers were all cut, folded and glued by hand, I’m guessing he didn’t re-press the single; rather, he most likely didn’t create enough for the entire pressing first time around and needed to whip up some more.

After cutting this single, GG assembled a band in order to play out live. Since Merle moved to Boston in April 1978 to play with The Thrills, GG recruited childhood buddy Alan Chapple for bass duties. (Alan also proposed the name “The Jabbers,” as they used to call people “butt jabbers” as an insult.) Chapple stuck with “Kev” through the entire Jabbers career and also appeared on the “Live Fast Die Fast” single. Guitar and drum slots remained in heavy rotation.
“I was listening to stuff like Wayne County, the Fugs, the MC5, the Mothers Of Invention, and I thought, “Let’s start this fucked up band and break shit and rip girls’ clothes off and stuff,” and I did it as a gimmick, a joke. I thought I’d give up after about a year and laugh about it later.”
— Conflict #43 (Jan/Feb 1987)

“This is pure junk, I mean punk, so raw you’ll think your stereo’s broken. Not an inkling of intellect, talent or innovation is on this record. The lyrics are dumb and offensive. We recommend it.”
—Boston Rock review (Jan/Feb 1980)



GG Allin & The Jabbers Cheri Love Affair
GG Allin & The Jabbers
1980s Rock 'N Roll / Cheri Love Affair

Label: Destiny Records (59 • 911077)
Recorded:
Oct. 7, 1979, Destiny Studio - Wilmington, MA
Released: circa Jan/Feb 1980 (matrix indicates November 1979 pressing)

Lineup: GG Allin (drums, vocals), Jeff Penney (lead guitar, bass), Dan Penney (guitar), Tim Horrigan (piano on "1980's Rock 'N Roll")

In Fall 1979, GG called up Malpractice guitarist Jeff Penney and his brother Dan to teach them a couple of tunes he had just written. The trio ventured down to Destiny recording studios in Wilmington, Mass., and banged out “1980s Rock And Roll” and “Cheri Love Affair” with GG on drums, and Jeff Penney and Dan Penney on guitar and bass. Tim Horrigan, from local pop band Dutch Courage, was working in the studio and joined the crew on piano on “1980s.” Destiny was a recording studio run by Larry Feeney which offered package deals: record your tunes and have them handily pressed on the Destiny label all for one low price. As a result, the Destiny discography is quite, um, eclectic, with only one true punk record — and it’s not even GG’s! (Alas, that honor goes to Genral Foodz.) The existence of “1980s Rock And Roll” can only be justified as a bizarre attempt for commercial airplay. I mean, how can you keep a straight face when there’s lines like “Come on along it’s a rock and roll party / Bring all your friends and don’t be tardy”? I’ve a hunch this tune never made it to the clubs. On the other hand, “Cheri Love Affair” swaggers and struts with a cool Dolls/glam vibe. I prefer this 45’s version to the album mix, stripped of the overbearing female background vocals and humorous “Pussy Summit Meeting” introduction. As for the distinctive guitar lead-in solo, Dan Penney recalls: “Jeff did the lead work. I suggested he give it his best ‘Joe Perry’ type thing with a Mott the Hoople edge. Whatever that was?! Ha! It worked.” At the very least, this record is essential for the sleeve alone… with GG looking uncharacteristically cleancut and suave in his button-down shirt and sportscoat on the back cover! Again, the educated guess is a 500 press, and judging by the scarcity of the disc, I wouldn’t be surprised if an embarrassed GG didn’t toss a chunk of them himself a few years later.

Nerd Note: Though the label states copyright 1980, the matrix number on the label points to a November 1979 pressing. Most likely it was sent off to the plant with the copyright reflecting that it actually would be released in early 1980.
“When Kev said "… you make me cream in my jeans" I think he made that revision up on the spot — like we used to put in perverted words while playing live in the Malpractice days. We died laughing and had to briskly walk away from the main vocal mike as we had not yet heard that version on words.”
— Jeff Penney, liner notes to “No Shit… It’s The GG Allin and the Jabbers Tribute” CD



GG Allin Always Was, Is And Always Shall Be
GG Allin
Always Was, Is And Always Shall Be LP

Label: Orange Records (ORA-777 • 006053)
Year: Summer 1980 (matrix indicates June 1980 pressing)
Tracks: Side 1: Bored To Death / Beat Beat Beat / One Man Army / Assface / Pussy Summit Meeting / Cheri Love Affair // Side 2: Automatic / I Need Adventure / Don’t Talk To Me / Unpredictable / 1980s Rock 'N' Roll

Lineup on the five new songs: GG Allin (drums, vocals), Alan Chapple (bass), Rob Basso (lead guitar), John Fortin (guitar), Bob MacKenzie (drums on "Don't Talk To Me")

GG’s debut album marks the beginning of his 1980-85 stint on David Peel’s Orange Records label. (It’s interesting to note that on the first 45, Peel is thanked with “maybe next time,” so apparently the two had discussed recording for the label from the beginning.) The Jabbers — which at this time included Carl Square and Bob Mackenzie from Boston band the Mighty Ions — had recently recorded five tracks at New Hampshire’s N.C.S. (North Country Sounds) studios. One of these, “Don’t Talk To Me,” was a Mackenzie original that GG kept in the set even years after the two Ions split later that year. The production quality was much better on these newly recorded tracks (“Assface,” “Automatic,” “I Need Adventure,” “Don’t Talk To Me” and “Unpredictable”), and it’s too bad the band didn’t bang out a handful more while they were at it. At barely 25 minutes and containing only five new tracks, the debut LP could have been more impactful.

Apparently the album was originally credited to GG Allin & The Jabbers, but GG changed the artwork from its band-photo cover to the “teen idol” shot (as Merle referred to it), nixed the Jabbers from the band name and may have even turned up his vocals in the final mix, all unbeknownst to the band. A diehard music fan fascinated with meeting famous people and collecting autographs from his favorites, GG also seemed enamored with being famous. By far, more copies of “Always Was” pop up with GG autographs and ramblings in the upper lefthand corner than than without. Some copies contained various hype sheets and gig flyers as well.

The album’s title is not so much a proclamation of the punk rock and roll contained therein as it is GG literally announcing his identity: Kevin always was, is and always shall be GG, he felt, and within a few years he would completely morph into his alter-persona and spend the rest of his life making sure everybody knew just who he was, too.

The album was first reissued in 1983 by Blitz Records in Sweden, with red artwork near-identical to its black-and-white predecessor. Later Black And Blue reissues packaged the LP along with most tracks from the subsequent three singles.
“The album was kinda half-assed, we just wanted to get something on vinyl, just to have something out that we could work off of.”
— Conflict #43, Jan/Feb 1987



GG Allin Gimme Some Head
GG Allin
Gimme Some Head / Dead Or Alive

Label: Orange Records (ORA-69 • 107077)
Recorded: October 1980 & May 1981, NCS Studio - Auburn, N.H., and Dreamland Recording Studios - New York City
Released: Summer 1981 (matrix indicates July 1981 pressing)

Lineup: GG Allin (vocals, drums), Alan Chapple (bass), Rob Basso (guitar), John Fortin (guitar), Wayne Kramer (lead guitar, backup vocals on "Gimme")

Through David Peel’s matchmaking, GG’s next outing featured two big names: the MC5’s Wayne Kramer on guitar and Dennis “Machine Gun” Thompson on drums (credited as the MC2 on the record label). GG must’ve been pumped to rock out with two of his adolescent heros, and the resulting studio effort is arguably his finest recorded moment. “Gimme” was an early live show staple which GG would introduce by asking “How many girls out there like to suck cock?” and demanding a show of hands. “The guys need to know who to take home tonight!” (Judging by the live tapes I’ve heard, the female attendees weren’t too eager to divulge this information.) All indications suggest this was the best-selling GG release back then — in the couple-thousand ballpark — with the Kramer/Thompson association no doubt adding legitimacy to a relatively unknown performer.

The session also produced a third track, “Occupation” (a.k.a. “Occupational Hazard”), which lay buried until the late-1990s when it was bootlegged. It’s too bad this song never appeared during the Jabbers’ heydey, as it’s a great snotty Stonesy garage punker with the hallmark Wayne Kramer noodling. And it’s notable, as with “Dead Or Alive,” as one of the few curse-free GG cuts.



GG Allin Stripsearch
The Stripsearch
Jesus Over New York / Galileo

Label: Vinyl Repellant (811216)
Recorded: August 1981, The Outlook - Bethel, ME
Released: Late 1981

Lineup: Emily XYZ (vocals), GG Allin (drums), Alan Chapple (bass), Vincent Fogerty (guitar)

Back in the late-70s, poet/performer Emily XYZ, then a college student in Buffalo, NY, received a copy of GG’s “Bored To Death” EP for review in her zine. The two corresponded and soon became good friends, staying in sporadic contact until the end. In 1981, GG and Al Chapple headed up to Outlook Studios in Maine to play drums and bass, respectively, on Emily’s debut single. The two tracks, produced by Willie Alexander, are catchy female vocals punk-wave (no keyboards), a bit of a departure from what you’d expect to hear the boys playing. The record was not issued with a picture sleeve, only an oversized folded double-sided insert with lyrics, credits and bits of collage artwork. Emily elaborates: “The cut-and-paste insert was not included in all the original copies — I think I put it into maybe 200. Probably didn't think I would sell more than that, and actually, didn't — not back then, anyway.” In the late-1980s, Newbury Comics in Boston stocked copies with each of the four band members’ names on each corner of the white innersleeve. I saw these in person but never picked one up at the time. These were most likely old stock copies that GG brought over for resale, spurred on by his surge in publicity circa 1988-89. Emily: “I think this may have been something GG did himself. I never stamped anybody's names on the inside sleeve of that 45. But it does sound like a Jabbers-type bit of promotion.” Emily released a second 45 “Hey Kid” b/w “Who Shot Sadat?” the following year, complete with sandpaper cover, but GG and Al did not perform on it.
“GG Alin was smart, quick-witted, foul-mouthed, and hilarious. Also polite. Great company and totally devoted to rock n roll.”
— Emily XYZ, liner notes to “No Shit… It’s The GG Allin and the Jabbers Tribute” CD



GG Allin You Hate Me & I Hate You
GG Allin
You Hate Me & I Hate You // Automatic / Assface

Label: Orange Records (ORA-70 • 206029)
Recorded: circa Spring 1982, Dark Star Studio - New Boston, NH
Released: Summer 1982 (matrix indicates June 1982 pressing)

Lineup: GG Allin (drums, vocals), Alan Chapple (bass), Chris Lamy (guitar)

The Jabbers finally got around to recording their standard live opener “You Hate Me & I Hate You” in mid-1982, packaged with two of the best songs from “Always Was.” But why waste valuable real estate with duplicate tracks? My only guess is that funding was low, so the studio time went towards the GG anthem, and he lifted “Automatic” and “Assface” to round out the ideal Public Animal No. 1 experience. As with most of the singles, GG also played drums on the title cut. Growing aggravated by the near-irrelevant status the band was becoming relegated to behind GG, members of the Jabbers placed “and the Jabbers” stickers below GG’s name on the covers of some copies. Most copies of this EP came with the "Live at The Channel" insert, and a couple of "Public Animal No. 1" inserts also exist. The UK label Catch-22 released the three-songer on cassette with slightly modified artwork.
“Boston people are a bunch of jerks. We go down there to play and tell ‘em ‘You fuckin’ people suck’ — we just jump on the tables and throw beer and spit at them.”
— Inner Mystique #1 (December 1982)



GG Allin No Rules
GG Allin
No Rules / A Fuckup // Up Against The Wall / NYC Tonight

Label: Orange Records (ORA-71 • 209065)
Recorded: mid-1982, Active Sound - Dedham, MA
Released: Fall 1982 (matrix indicates September 1982 pressing)

Lineup: GG Allin (drums, vocals), Alan Chapple (bass & lead guitar), Steve Spenard (guitar)

The “No Rules” EP marks the last vinyl outing for the Jabbers, and also marks the last time GG recorded in an actual studio for quite some time. The crisp uptempo poppunk captured on this release would soon give way to the lewd basement slobber-trash he’d revel in during the mid-80s. GG’s drumming here is tight and spot-on. The opener “No Rules” lifts the instrumental break between verses from the Plasmatics’ “Tight Black Pants” — the first of two “appropriations” on this record and, for that matter, many to follow throughout the years. “NYC Tonight” applies new lyrics to a live staple which was previously called “You’re Wrong, I’m Right.” GG also snuck in an uncredited cover of the Ohio Express’ “Up Against The Wall” (from their 1969 “Mercy” LP). Looks like our man was a quite the bubblegum afficionado! Generally this EP did not come with an insert, however, a former DJ’s sleeveless copy came with a previously unseen autographed insert/hype sheet.
“GG Allin had to be removed from the stage at The Frolics in Salisbury Beach (Massachusetts) by members of the Salisbury Police Dept. GG, who at the time was squirming around on some broken glass in front of the stage, said the show was just getting started.”
—Preview Paper, Lawrence, MA (1982)



GG Allin You'll Hate This Record
Various Artists
The “You’ll Hate This Record” Record LP

Label: The Only Label In The World (OLP-001)
Released: May 1983
Tracks: A Fuck Up / No Rules

Well-known for the plastic vomit glued to the cover, Mykel Board’s (Artless, Maximum Rock N Roll) 1983 compilation LP possesses two 1982 GG tracks, “A Fuck Up” (the LP’s kickoff track) and “No Rules” (the closer) — both appearing with a slightly different mix than the EP. The bass is louder, giving them more power, and the vocals might be set back just a tad. The bottom sound definitely gives these tunes some extra kick, and it’s recommended picking up this album for these alternate mixes — it rarely breaks the $10-$15 mark.





GG Allin Tasteless Animal Noise
GG Allin & The Jabbers
"Live" (homemade cassette)

Label: n/a
Year: Late 1982
Tracks: Radio Promo / Nuke Attack / You’re Wrong, I’m Right / You Hate Me & I Hate You / Bored To Death / Automatic / Don’t Talk To Me / Gimme Some Head / I’ll Never Call / Pills / I Wanna Be Your Dog / Assface

For quite some time, before the reissue flood started in the mid-90s, the only way you could hear unreleased Jabbers tunes and early live antics was on the ultra rare “Tasteless Animal Noise” cassette. The selections are culled from gigs at The Channel in Boston (September 1981) and Club Merrimac in Merrimac, NH (January 1982), with additional live dialogue from the West Haven Dump in Connecticut (September 1982) — and strung together into one “complete” show. Things kick off with a radio promo ad for the first LP, produced by the Allin brothers’ hometown buddy and Malpractice co-founder Jeff Penney. Besides some comical stage banter, the tape boasts a few cuts that were previously unreleased at the time: “Nuke Attack” (later transformed with the Scumfucs into “I Wanna Piss On You”), “I’ll Never Call,” sung by Al Chapple, and cover versions of the New York Dolls’ “Pills” and the Stooges “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Also included is the original version of “NYC Tonight” when it was called “You’re Wrong, I’m Right.” Studio versions of “Nuke Attack” (with guitarist Rob Basso handling vocals) and Chapple’s “I’ll Never Call” — outtakes from the May 1980 “Always Was” sessions — were dusted off and finally released on the Jabbers tribute CD.
I always had some kind of drug on me, usually Valiums, so GG would do the song “Pills” and dedicate it to me. I would go up to him and give him a handful of pills and he’d gulp them all down in one swallow. Sometimes I don’t know how he could still stand at the end of the night.”
— Julie Thalin, longtime friend and fan of The Jabbers, liner notes to “No Shit… It’s The GG Allin and the Jabbers Tribute” CD



In Part 2, we’ll cover 1983-86, spotlighting some very scarce homemade cassettes that served as the original issues of the Scumfucs classics later compiled on “Hated In The Nation” and “Dirty Love Songs.” Divorced, essentially bandless and free of any conventional ties, GG succombs to his inner twisted, seething psyche…

Back at home, Sandy wanted her and GG to go to a psychiatrist to see if they could save a crumbling marriage, but it was more than that. Nobody knew who GG was anymore. He was living a double life. All everyone told him was that it was just a passing phase, but it wasn’t, and GG was confused. First he was Jesus Christ Allin, then he was Kevin Allin, and in all reality he had always been GG Allin. He was trying to work a straight job, trying to be a married man, and deep inside he was GG Allin, but he just couldn’t surface. He used to sit and hold his head, asking himself, “Who am I, who am I?” and one day he told himself, “I am who I am, GG Allin.”
— Kevin M. “GG” Allin, from unpublished autobiography, originally printed in “Fucked, Banned, Framed” zine, 2003. Later published as “America's Favorite Son.”

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