Pioneers Of Punk
He was born in a two room long cabin in a small town called North Tumberland in New Hampshire. No, this is not a fucking grade school book report on Abraham Lincoln, this is G.G. Allin! G.G. was born August 29, 1956 and grew up in a small town where he and his brother Merle were sheltered from the world by their recluse father. The bizarre man worked in the paper mill and name[d] his younger son Jesus Christ Allin. Merle, who was a year older, had a hard time pronouncing “Jesus” and it came out sounding like “GeeGee.” Sort of like Wally calling Theodore “Beaver.” Jesus Christ Allin’s mother rescued him from small town ridicule by changing his name to Kevin Michael Allin by the time he entered the first grade. However, G.G. stuck and that’s what he went by. The Allin family would move back and forth from New Hampshire to Vermont, from one small town to another. Music was not a part of the Allin Family to the two boys (Merle and G.G.) were around nine and ten. Being the latter part of the 1960’s, they’re first musical exposure was the Monkees, the Beatles, and shit like that. G.G. was a nervous kid. He was unable to keep still and was always tapping and banging on stuff, keeping a beat. This led to an interest in drums. G.G. was consumed by his passion for the drums and that is all he ever wanted to do.
Being from small towns musicians was hard to come by. So when someone came along who played music, especially one who had a drum set, G.G. became immediately interested. Merle began playing guitar and he and G.G. would jam in the trailer that they were living in. The State Police were regular visitors. One of G.G.’s early band was Little Sister’s Date (LSD). G.G. played drums, Merle played guitar, and Al Chapel played guitar. Chapel would later join up with G.G. in the original Jabbers on bass. LSD was a cover band that played dances covering Kiss, Alice Cooper, Black Sabbath, which at the time was a step up from all the top 40 cover bands that were happening. A big influence on both G.G. and Merle was when they went to Maine and seen the Dictators. Later they got into the Ramones, MC5, and the Stooges, but the Dictators was a turning point. A new direction for RocknRoll. G.G.’s first punk band was Malpractice. G.G. on drums and he was singing at this time. Merle played bass. Jeff Penny and a guy named Brian played guitar. This was late 1976. The band played the Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire club circuit and did pretty well. Club owners kept telling them to turn down or get out.
They released their first original single “Devil’s Angel” b/w “Love Tunnel.” Although highly collectible, Merle admits that he is not too happy with it. G.G.’s fan would definitely want this in their collection. Eventually Malpractice split up and in 1978 G.G. and Merle formed the Jabbers. G.G. now wanted to be the front man, to get close to all the excitement. G.G. and Merle hired Peter Henault, a guitar player from a cover band. Peter was not a punk but a good guitar player. This line up recorded an EP, with G.G. singing and playing drums. “Bored to Death,” “Beat Beat Beat” and “One Man Army.” This record is fucking great! Definitely get it. It is on G.G.’s first album “Always Was, Is, and Always Shall Be.” If you can’t find it any other way, Merle includes it on G.G.’s singles compilation, unfortunately it is only available on cassette from Merle, but he occasionally has the original vinyl for sale. G.G. played guitar well enough to write songs and was able to get the music across to the other players. G.G. was also a damned good drummer, as [t]he early records show. This original version of the Jabbers was short lived. Merle moved to Boston and for the first time the two brothers went their separate ways. Merle formed Thrills in Boston. Thrills soon became one of Boston’s popular attractions in the club circuit. G.G. still had plans for the Jabbers.
G.G. married his high school sweetheart, Sandy. Working as a janitor in a nursing home, he and Sandy stayed married for five years. During those five years G.G. came as close to a “normal” lifestyle as he ever had. The post Merle Jabbers were formed in 1979, in Manchester, New Hampshire. G.G.’s old friend Al Chapel moved to New Hampshire to play bass, Johnny Foron and Rob Basso played guitar, they had a drummer whose name I do not know, and of course G.G. sang. However, G.G. did play drums on the album. The Jabbers went through a lot of line up changes. The Jabbers were playing a lot of shows in Manchester and Boston. Boston had kind of a cool scene happening with bands like DMZ, Real Kids, and the Neighborhoods. The Jabbers opened up for Thrills in Boston, and Merle and G.G. got to play and the same club in different bands. The Jabbers quickly got a reputation of being a “problem” band. The problem of course was G.G. G.G.’s antics on stage earned them a reputation as a band that they could not play the same club twice. By today’s standards, and certainly not by G.G.’s later days, would his antics even be considered outrageous. He would roll around on the floor, take drinks off customer’s tables, and fuck with the audience on the microphone. Certainly not enough to be banned by clubs, but this was New England, 1979.
G.G.’s passion for music destroyed his marriage. His music was too consuming, and he did not have enough room in his life for a wife. Sandy and G.G. divorced , but during the five years of their marriage they were happy.
The Jabbers were a serious band and very important to G.G. I feel it was G.G.’s best work. He sang with great conviction and style. During the Jabber years, G.G.’s addictions were under control, he drank but not to the extremes of his later life, and he was not yet consumed with heroin. Although he never intended the Jabbers to last forever, I feel he was more musically focused in the Jabbers than all the other bands in his career. Tension grew in the Jabbers. The band got tired of rehearsing four times a week and not being able to play out. G.G. would promise that he would play the game, that he’d just go do the shows and not piss off the owners. But of course, as soon as he would start performing, all promises were forgotten. Tired and frustrated the Jabbers broke up. G.G. had away of scaring people out of his life as quickly as he would attract them into his life.
If you are familiar with the Jabbers, then you know what I mean about how great they were. If you’re not, and you only know of G.G.’s later stuff, then you are in for a great surprise. Do yourself a favor, check out the Jabbers, it is some of the best punk rock ever recorded. I did not want to go into G.G.’s later life. I wanted to focus on the Jabbers. So if you were looking for stories of shitting, pissing, fighting, and fucking (Drink, Fight, and Fuck), look elsewhere. G.G.’s life is well documented, even his bizarre funeral. Merle is working on G.G.’s biography right now. I also want to add that there has been speculation that G.G.’s death was suicide. Especially because of how he would promise to kill himself on stage on Halloween. However, prior to his death, he had just recorded a record with the Murder Junkies, with his brother Merle, and Merle told me that G.G. would not have killed himself before he got to see the record come out. I gathered that Merle offered the only form of stability in G.G.’s life. He would always come back to Merle for music and friendship. I am not discounting nor judging G.G.’s notoriety but there are other formats for that. Lastly I want to point out that G.G. was a great singer and song writer. I feel that G.G. go[t] trapped in his life. When people wanted a freak show he was more than happy to give it to them, but the music was the most important thing. G.G. had a lot to offer, and he was the real thing. He lived what he believed. A lot [of] people benefited vicariously through G.G., people who wished they had the balls to do what he did. He lived and died for Rocknroll, unfortunately he died like a rock star.