Sunday, June 24, 2012
G.G. Allin’s latest archival DVD, Blood, Shit, and Fears (MVD Visual), has made me rethink my original impressions. The disc features five shows with the Murder Junkies – three from November 1991 and two from 1993. With all three of the 1991 shows, I can finally see how G.G.’s reputation was built. These shows are electric and G.G. is coherent, focused and dangerous. The only thing that I can compare this to is the DOA: A Right of Passage footage of the Sex Pistols on their first US tour, storming through the Bible Belt South.
The first show was filmed at the Antenna Club in Memphis, TN – you have to wonder what the club owner was thinking by setting up tables and chairs as G.G. made short work of that. He sets the tone for the show by getting the blood flowing early by banging on his forehead with both a beer bottle and his microphone and follows this by playing most of the set from the floor of the club. It is amusing to watch the audience reactions as a bleeding, sh*t covered, naked G.G. gets close to them. (One person pushed G.G. from behind and then ran). It might have been amusing to see the audience reactions when G.G. sh*ts on-stage and shoves the microphone up his *ss but the point of this disc isn’t to ‘gross out’ the viewer, but to capture G.G. Allin at his rawest and most visceral.
The three 1991 shows each run about 15-20 minutes each (all are complete sets) and the other two sets (Fupped Duck, New Orleans and Orpheus Theater, Knoxville) run similar to the Antenna Club show. Each of the shows was filmed with a reasonably still single camera and the audio is as clear as I would expect G.G. Allin to sound in a punk rock dive.
The mood shifts significantly on the two 1993 shows – G.G. appears less coherent and more violent. The clubs seem larger than the ones played on the 1991 tour and audience seems to be expecting a ‘freak show’…which seemed to further enrage G.G. G.G. plays both shows in his bikini underwear so there is none of the “on the edge” mayhem of the 1991 but rather out-and-out violence and hostility on both sides of the stage. G.G. seems particularly annoyed at the Metro show by the repeated calls of “The Mentors” and “El Duce” and demands for him to sh*t onstage to which he responds that he doesn’t owe anyone sh*t and they can meet him backstage if they want debauchery. This isn’t the tightly honed band from 1991 but rather a band that had lost their way and is now playing to a crowd of meatheads and frat-jocks who want to see G.G. before he dies. The video portion of this footage is a good bit shakier than the 1991 shows but I can imagine that the hostility of the crowd often caused the cameraman to dive for cover.
This material isn't for the faint of heart but Blood, Shit, and Fears does a pretty reasonable job of documenting G.G. Allin's final two tours and proving that the stories of the tours weren't just myths and exaggerations.