Next month marks the 18-year anniversary of punk pariah G.G. Allin's death.
Yes, G.G. Allin is dead, but that hasn't stopped his older brother Merle from using his name to try and make a living. You may have noticed a band called "G.G. Allin's Murder Junkies" are playing this Thursday at Chasers. And while the Murder Junkies have their original bassist (Merle Allin) and drummer (Dino Saches), calling the band "G.G. Allin's Murder Junkies" instead of just "Murder Junkies" is misleading. That would be like the Stooges touring without Iggy Pop and calling themselves "Iggy Pop's Stooges," or Queen touring without Freddie Mercury and calling themselves "Freddie Mercury's Queen."
I'm not saying G.G. Allin was ever a frontman of Pop or Mercury's caliber, either -- my point is that Merle Allin is using his brother's name solely to try and sell show tickets. And false advertising is so not punk rock. The Murder Junkies were G.G. Allin's backing band from 1991 until his death in 1993, and after G.G.'s fatal heroin overdose, Merle decided to continue with the band, but under just the moniker Murder Junkies. There's only one reason to add the G.G. possessive to the band name, and that's to mislead new school punk rockers who were in diapers when G.G. died and wish they could've seen one of his shows.
Let's contrast, then, what a G.G. Allin show was like, versus the handful of G.G.-less Murder Junkies shows I've seen.
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Probably never played a show that didn't end with him covered in blood and pants-less. He was known for assaulting audience members in a variety of ways, whether it was throwing glass bottles or his own poop at people's heads, or punching people who ran up on stage to "dance." There were no casual (or remotely sane) observers in the front rows of a G.G. Allin show. You went to get maimed and messy. Allin often exposed himself to audiences, but alas, never made good on his promise to kill himself on stage one day.
G.G.-less Murder Junkies: Merle Allin and company play a lot of old G.G. Allin songs ("Bite It You Scum" is almost always a guarantee), but you're not going to see the kind of carnage there used to be at G.G. Allin shows. The worst I've ever seen at a Murder Junkies show was Merle Allin taking a swing at some girl's head with his bass when she jumped onstage to dance at a show in Indianapolis (he missed). On the upside, the Murder Junkies actually sound better than when G.G. was alive and singing for them, half-swallowing the mic in a haze of heroin and distorted guitar feedback. So if you want to actually hear some G.G. Allin songs that don't sound like they're being performed in an airplane hangar, go see Murder Junkies. Then again, having "good acoustics" isn't exactly punk rock, either.
G.G. Allin's Murder Junkies are scheduled to perform Thursday, May 12, at Chasers Bar & Night Club in Scottsdale. Admission costs $10.