There are few personas I admire more than GG Allin. Darth Vader, Michael Myers, Ted Bundy, and Nathan Gale might comprise all of that short list. But as an avid collector of the man’s recorded output, ranging from Brutality and Bloodshed for All to the Malpractice days, I am a music-first GG fan. I think it’s sad that all he’s remembered for is his ridiculously over-the-top stage show (even earning a cutaway spoof on a recent episode of The Cleveland Show for fuck’s sake). He was more than just a Shock Rock freak show to yours truly. He was a great songwriter who could pen a catchy tune like few can or ever will. That said, at least he’ll be remembered for something, and as I step down from my soapbox, I have to admit his live performances were hard to turn away from. This DVD serves to remind us just how captivating that bloody, shitty train-wreck was. Blood Shit and Fears captures five truly remarkable gigs. Remarkable in the fact that none of them end prematurely with GG leaving in the back of either an ambulance or a police car. The first three shows, from November of ‘91, showcase a fresh-out-of-jail, energized, focused, relatively sober GG Allin. I say that because all of the infamous chaos —shitting, shit-eating, shit-throwing, microphone forehead-bashing, and mic stand-launching— seems fairly orchestrated, and, as I said, GG makes it through the songs and sets in one piece. Fast-forward to the last two shows from May of ‘93 —just a month before his last show and untimely death— and you can see the difference. This fresh-out-of-jail GG is a bloated, incoherent, stumbling, vomiting mess who seems more interested in attacking crowd members than singing the lyrics. What a terrifying experience being in the audience must’ve been. The setlists from the first four gigs are nearly identical, with classic anthems like “Bite It You Scum” and “Outlaw Scumfuc” as highlights, while the last show works in more of the Brutality and Bloodshed material, GG’s bark a borderline Death growl by this point. Surprisingly most of these gigs look and sound fairly decent given the hazardous conditions they were filmed in and the equipment used. Overall, this is a solid collection of sets from the Murder Junkies era, displaying this troubled legend in all his reckless glory. There’ll never be another GG Allin, and there’ll never be a stage show as fearless and obscene as this.
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Justin Melkmann said:
Jack, I too am “music-first GG fan”. Loved your review. I’ve got a comic about my obsession with GG I’d like to send you. Hit me up if you’re interested.
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