how to commemorate gg allin’s time in ann arbor

They’re in the process of tearing down the old Y in Ann Arbor. The other day, as I was walking by it, I was reminded of the fact that the most hated man in the history of rock-n-roll, GG Alin, once called the place home. Part of me thought that it might be funny to start a petition to stop the demolition based on the fact that it was culturally significant for that one reason. (I don’t believe that Dee Dee Ramone lived there when he was in Ann Arbor, but he may have as well.) I wasn’t going to mention it here, as I don’t think it was that brilliant of an idea, but then I got an email from my friend Dan in Minneapolis telling me that, for this week only, the Allin documentary, “Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies,” was available for free on the newly launched Pitchfork TV website. I’m watching it now, while trying to write about Ypsi politics at the same time, and I’m finding it incredibly difficult, as you might imagine, if you’re familiar with Allin’s work.

For those unaware of Allin and his music, the first link will take you to a relatively work-safe Wikipedia entry, the second link, however, will take you to the documentary, which opens with footage of Allin, who often relieved his bowels on stage while performing, eating a hotdog as it passes out of someone’s ass… So, consider yourself warned.

If I had more time, I’d try to offer some kind of weak first amendment defense for his often violent work. Truth is, though, the world’s a better place without him in it. And it’s probably a good thing the Y is being torn down.

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  1. Andy C
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I remember GG Allin’s Ann Arbor day. Selling his books and stickers out of a briefcase. He seemed so harmless. At the same time I would never go see him play. When he died my comment was “it’s about time”. I had friend that did see him perform, and they then realized there was a limit to punk rock. I really liked the Jabbers and surprisingly I really liked the film. When punk rock seemed like the extreme to society, GG was the extreme to punk rock. I saw many band that tried shock and we would always say why both, your nothing compared to GG Allen. In all fairness, GG wasn’t playing to the main stream he was playing to the people who thought they where the extreme. He never killed anyone and I actually have more of an understanding for him now.

    I’m presently getting my Guitar amp fix and I think what it’s been through. If I’d just played in the main stream it would be just fine. I remember being in band that wore suits and played to kids in t-shirts only to plow them over. I remember playing with band that crossed dressed and screamed “Anarchy is stupid” or “Nixon is innocent”. Boy the punks hated that. I now dress as if I’m going to work and play harder and faster then any leather jacket kid will ever do. Even the rebels need a rebel and in a way, GG was one of us.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. mark
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I’d be lying if I said that I never found his shtick interesting or compelling. There was a time when I appreciated it for its shock value. Someone, I figured, had to push the boundaries of punk as they were defined by Iggy and the Sex Pistols. I still think the world is a better place without him, though. Even if you accept it as performance art, I think much of the material crossed the line. My hope for him was always that he’d straighten himself out and release some kind of acoustic country blues album. I think that might have worked.

  3. Brackache
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The best part was how he angrily insisted he would take everyone out with him at a show with grenades, and would never go out like some pathetic junky with a needle in his arm. Whoops. Guess you weren’t God after all, GG. Wah-waaah.

  4. Posted April 28, 2008 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    His “art” aside this is a man who tied a woman up for three days, repeatedly raped her, pissed on her, defecated on her, and put lit cigarettes out on her. For three days. Death was too good for him.

  5. Paw
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to see a picket line of people in suits carrying signs to save the Y because GG Allin lived there for a few days. That would be much more compelling performance art than anything he ever did.

  6. stella
    Posted April 28, 2008 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    Too late on that one, the last floor is either down or about to go down, probably today. (I couldn’t quite see from the bus).

  7. Jesse kostelic
    Posted November 23, 2022 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    GG Allin was a god and anyone too afraid to go see him is pathetic. SO WHAT he was a junkie. Eveeyone else can get shitfaced drunk, but when someone finds something else that they like they are a disgrace. I bet none of you have really listened to his music. Screw that he was one of the greats and i will always sport one of my many GG shirts when im walking down the streets of A2. BITE IT YOU SCUM!

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