Saturday, March 19, 2011

Letters from GG Allin 7

Here's a long letter from rock 'n' roll terrorist GG Allin, which came on stationary reading, "GG Allin From His Cell At Jackson State Prison."  At the bottom of the page it read, "Murder Junkies The World's Most Out-Ragious R&R Band."  I have edited out the name of the 'zine Allin tells me to send my 'zine to simply because I did send it, and they ripped off some of my interview without giving me credit.  (In the 'zine's defense, it also published a piece of mine, but not giving me credit kind of pissed me off.)  Enjoy the letter.


Send a copy of the 'zine to [not worth mentioning].  It's a very well distr. mag. that reviews 'zines etc...

Also-- I am not sending you the address to performance just yet.  It is much to soon to approach them on this project.  You should not approach them until the project is almost finished.  Because they will want some proof of your seriousness.  The time must be right.  They are also in the process of releasing 2 CD's of mine in the next couple of months .. so the best time to get with them would be summer or fall.. It will more than likely take that much time to compile all of the material.  Let me know how it goes..

GG Allin 206045

[Addresses to reach him at after his release.]

The zine was fucking cool.. I just got it..

The project he was referring to was a music project we were working on.  His death ended the project as far as I was concerned, as I feared putting it out would make it look like I was exploiting him, and that was definitely not part of the plan.  I'm sure it would've made money, but I'm no vulture.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Letters from GG Allin 6

This letter came with a bunch of photocopied pictures, many of them signed by Allin.  One in particular, which I am too lazy to scan or I would, featured him sans pants standing on a Nazi flag and humping a statue of Jesus.  I think Disney is using that for a DVD cover or something.  Here's the letter, where Allin continues to rant against those who would dare question his loyalty to the rock 'n' roll mission.


You tell those motherfucking non-believers to come to one of my shows.. Then they will understand just how fucking brutal of a reality I live in..  They live in a very 
[word is inked out] tight shell.. When they get close to me I'll break that fucking shell wide open.. So keep pissing them off.. Support the only real rock n roll mission that really does matter..  I'm in prison because our society cannot control my non-conformist R+R revolution... They never fucking will..  I'll be out in early 93..  Then I'll get my revenge.. Im [sic] unstoppable..

GG Allin 206045

PS. They don't let tapes in.. I can only receive money orders in any amount.. M.O. must include both my name and prison # Allin-206045.. If you want a copy of the Geraldo tape I can get it for you...

I did actually want a copy of that tape, and sent Allin some money for it.  He forwarded the money to Merle, his brother, and I never saw the tape.  Do I care?  Hell no!  I got a pic of Allin humping a Jesus statue while standing on a swastika.  Duh.  Who is the winner there?

Great Quotes from a GG Allin Press Release

As I was going through my papers, I found this three page press release for his next album.  (According to the end of the release, "GG Allin's new LP recorded in New York City, NY with the Murder Junkies to be announced soon [handwritten] is his first studio recording of all new material released in America since 1989.  Available on TBA soon [handwritten] Records. 

Here are some of the great quotes, which I think summed up GG Allin and his music pretty damn well.

"There is nothing anybody can do to shake up the underground anymore ... unless you are GG Allin who shits on stage and attacks women."  - Kim Gordon, Sonic Youth

"Allin says he leads the most violent rock 'n' roll band in the country.  We both agree that Allin's actions and lifestyle are among the most bizarre we have come across in decades of police work."  - Frank Hoy and Mary Smith, police detectives

"When it was too late, I realized my fate could have well been death." - GG Allin assault victim

"I've worked many murder cases, but this kind of behavior really sickens me." - anonymous New York City police officer

"Fights broke out, three people arrested and a near riot.  I blame GG Allin." - Lt. Bill Crook

"Mr. Allin's performance is a crime and the Constitution in this country does not save him.  Mr. Allin crossed the line in this performance." - Attorney Michael Steinhafel, prosecutor

"Failure to abide by the conditions of his parole and in lieu of the nature of his arrests in Florida and Texas (on stage) the parole board concluded that Mr. Allin is a risk to society at this time.  Maximum penalty suggested." -Michigan Department of Corrections

Who has picked up the mantle these days?  Nobody that I can think of.  Ah, the good ol' days ...

Letters from GG Allin 5

Once again, I present more letters from the late, great GG Allin.  This one came on the back of his Michigan Department of Correction Certificate of Discharge/Termination of Sentence paper.  Signed by the warden on 2/13/93.  This was an actual discharge and not a termination of sentence. 

Allin's letter references "Brad."  Brad was a co-worker who told me he didn't think Allin was that tough or that extreme.  In fact, Brad thought Ozzy Osbourne was far more extreme.  Obviously Brad never came face-to-face with Allin.  When I showed Brad Allin's response (below), the universal reaction around work was that of fear.  They were afraid GG was a-comin' and wanted to know why I would do such a thing to Brad.  Brad was a bit scared, too, despite the fact that he had previously said Allin wasn't a bad ass.  Enjoy.  It's short, but sweet.


Tell Brad I'll take him on any place any fucking time..  I'll fip his fucking face off the spineless pussy.. I'll be at Merle's after April 10th.

GG Allin

Merle, as many people know, is Allin's brother.  I was going to scan the letter here to show Allin's scrawl is even more outrageous than usual, but I figured the words would get the point across.  Allin never showed up at my job (I would've been fired on the spot), but I have no doubt that had he met Brad he would have knocked him the hell out.  Good times, good times.

Univox -- Mixing Genres At Will, But Will It Leave You Cold?

Univox's debut release (on ROIR, a great label) has been critically hailed as indie pop rock at its best.  Bands like The Kinks and The Stooges have been thrown around when describing Univox's sound.  Hailing from Philadelphia, a city I used to spend way too much time in, Univox is, if you believe the hype, a sort of Second Coming of music.  Not happy to stick to one genre, Univox may be worthy of some of that hype, though the end result fails to move me.

I've got no beef with bands that play with music genres the same way kids play with toys, mixing and matching and making it work.  You've got to be talented to pull it off.  (Think of Mr. Bungle, which not only mixes genres, but tweaks them to the point where they are almost unrecognizable.)  Univox, a four-piece for those concerned, has that talent.  In fact, the first track, "Pi," has some real promise.  It quickly goes downhill from there.

I picture a club.  It could be anywhere.  A lot of twentysomethings and thirtysomethings are standing around, import beer in plastic white cups.  They all look like they shopped at the same clothes store.  Univox is on stage.  The crowd nods in time.  Between songs there is playful band banter.  You know.  The general comments about whatever city they are in.  The audience responds in kind.  Occasionally, drinks are raised in praise of one thing or another.  The band ends on with "Mind Traveler's Song," and the crowd demands more.  They leave the stage.  Come back a few minutes later and do a couple of quick covers.  Black Flag.  Rod Stewart.  Right Said Fred.  Showing off their chops as it were, and having fun.  The people go home with smiles on their faces.  The next day they can't remember much of what happened during the show.  It has become disposable.

Univox's strength is also its curse.  The fact that you can't pinpoint a sound on it shows just how talented the band is, but at the same time robs it of its identity.  That's not always a bad thing, but in this case it works against the band. 

I'm sure some will accuse me of blasphemy.  Perhaps they are right.  This seems like the kind of band Spin will praise in a year or so (if it hasn't already), too late to matter, and too lame to know it.  And that's the problem.  It doesn't challenge the listeners.  Yeah, it's great that the songs all sound different, but where does it go?  Nowhere.  And fast.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Love of Boy Bands

I felt sort of like the priest who was approached by a police officer outside of church while getting in his car.  I was being arrested for crimes against young boys, but I was being questioned about them.

A co-worker, whom I happen to like despite her questionable and startling taste in music, asked me with all seriousness, "Which boy bands do you like?"  Or words similar.  Then, as if that weren't a terrifying enough question, she started rattling off names.  Backstreet Boys (it may be spelled with a "z," I don't know), O-Town, and a host of others.  Where in the world did this question come from?  Do I come off as a pre-teen girl or a man attracted to shirtless, well-choregraphed boys and young men?  I cannot be mistaken for a female (no matter how hard I try), and I didn't think I gave off that vibe my old Myspace page not withstanding.  So where did this question come from?

I asked, but did not get a response.  Chilling.

My closest brush with boy bands came when I watched a few episodes of that show which made O-Town.  I was curious about it, as I thought (correctly) that it would show the type of Frankenstein machine pop music originated from.  Lou Pearlman was O-Town's originally manager, and if anyone had the pedophile NAMBLA vibe it was good ol' Lou.  For some reason I always pictured him in the dark looking at photoshoot outtakes of shirtless young hopefuls as he sweated and masturbated to all hours of the morning.  I'm sure I'm not the only one, either.

Did I come across as a Pearlman type?  I've written about music from Prince to GG Allin, and my tastes are fairly well-known and I would imagine somewhat obvious.  Where in the name of former NAMBLA Boy of the Year Fred Savage did I appear to be a fan of pre-fabricated boy bands? 

Perhaps my co-worker was joking.  Perhaps she was serious.  I had previously given her three types of grief over what was on her iPod, and maybe this was her way of getting back at me ... or seriously trying to figure out what I listened to in my down time.  (For the record, it was Sigue Sigue Sputnik the other day.)  She knew I listened to Prince.  Maybe she thought other short, dancing males were on my playlist as well.

They aren't.

Now, in order to cleanse my soul of such a misinspired violation of all that I hold holy and to be in good taste, I shall listen to some Cannibal Corpse and put this whole ugly incident behind me.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Case Against Spin Magazine

Spin.  A magazine that used to be fairly relevant but now its only claim to fame is that it isn't Rolling Stone.  I know its editors and publisher thinks it is still at the cutting edge of music journalism, but when you are covering an art form that is so stagnant that it makes the CBS network look absolutely visionary, you can't help but take on some of that stagnation.  Again, it isn't as bad as Rolling Stone, but is that really what you want people to be able to say about your magazine?

I get it sent to me for whatever reason.  I assume because I'm somehow associated with the industry.  I get a lot of magazines and whatnot that come my way, along with products and offers to cover festivals and whatnot.  I read it when it gets here.  Lately, though, I find myself reading less and less of it.  It seems that every issue has less relevance to my life.  The Next Big Things?  Artists to watch for?  The best music to download and why?  As if the reader has no mind of his or her own.

If Spin were my magazine, I'd set a new plan into motion.  I'd do what magazines can do best (offer detailed articles on various things for readers, instead of bite-size pieces that are best suited for the web).  I'd also say, "Let's stop telling people what they should like.  Let's tell people what we like and hope the enthusiasm catches."  If writers want to focus on new music (and many do), that would be great.  The pieces would have to long, however.  Not just a snapshot of who the musician is, what he or she sounds like, a some "fascinating" tidbit of why you should like him or her ("He once played naked in Wicker Park.").  It would have to be an article worth reading.  An article that gives the reader a strong sense of why you really like the artist.  Far too many of these Next Big Things are covered once in the magazine and then drop off the planet.  If someone wanted to do a piece on, say, the Meat Shits, they would be welcome to do that, too, but it would have to offer something more than the usual web write-up.  Track down the members.  Get the life stories.  Review all the releases.  Something new.  Something unusual.  Turn Spin into a magazine for people who appreciate music as art and not product.  At this level it is tied with Rolling Stone because both magazines have those occasional articles that do just that, but that seems more like a fluke than anything else.

It's not my magazine, though.  I'm just a guy who started reading it when it first appeared.  When it included a condom with an issue once and took some heat for it.  When it wrote about GG Allin and Bon Jovi.  When it mattered.  Or maybe it's always been that way, but the music was better then.  I have no idea.  All I know is that if you are relying on a magazine to tell you what is hot and new, you are woefully behind the times.