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Monday, October 15, 2007


The late and not-so-great GG Allin (born Jesus Christ Allin; no, really) was the undisputed most vile and disgusting front man ever to (dis)grace the rock ‘n’ roll stage, and his legacy of outright vulgarity lives on thanks to his former backing band, the Murder Junkies, carrying the torch of filth, and this DVD chronicles the band’s first European tour, some twelve years after GG’s inevitable demise via overdose.

A posthumous collection of the troubadour's musical stylings.

Allin’s recorded body of work spanned about thirteen years and was an alleged attempt at re-infusing danger into the moribund corpse he felt rock ‘n’ roll, particularly punk, had become, a mission he tackled with drug and alcohol-fueled gusto while unleashing some of the most over-the-top, intentionally offensive and puerile songs ever conceived. Non-hits such as “I Wanna Fuck Myself” (which got covered by Faith No More, believe it or not), “I Wanna Rape You,” “I Wanna Piss On You,” “Fucking the Dog,” “Abuse Myself I Wanna Die,” "Bloody Mary's Bloody Cunt," “Suck My Ass It Smells,” and the deathless “Expose Yourself To Kids” found an audience that either took Allin seriously for his untameable stance, or found his lyrical antics downright hilarious (after all, the guy did rhyme “ass” with “ass” on several occasions). It was the kind of stuff a particularly nasty eight-year-old would have penned, provided he had a profane and scatological vocabulary that extended beyond “doody” and “pee-pee” and reveled in exhibiting all of the earmarks of a budding sociopath.

GG Allin: Pat Boone he wasn't.

Then there were the infamous stage shows, live excursions into sadism, nudity, public defecation and general abuse that somehow attracted audiences who had no problem with being the target of a madman who would dive naked save for a pair of well-worn cowboy boots from the stage, kicking and punching as his astonishingly tiny masculine appendage bobbed obscenely before he flung his own feces at the very people who voluntarily paid money to be subjected to his degradations. These gigs would last on average for perhaps ten to twenty minutes until the local authorities arrived and shut down the proceedings, but over the years they became infamous for guaranteeing that the customer would see a no-holds-barred, pestilent freak show.

Then, to the surprise of absolutely no one, GG croaked, and his brother, Merle, continued to record and tour with the Murder Junkies, but while they still had their loyal fan base of disenfranchised misfits, drunks, anti-social rockers, and unbelievably slutty and undiscerning groupies, what questionable magic the band had dissipated with GG’s life force.

The wake of GG Allin: good night, funnyman.

Milking the corpse and catalog of GG Allin for all it was worth, Merle and the band produced new material that was reminiscent of what one might get if they filtered GG’s conceptual bent through a defective cloning machine that retained the vulgarity, but excised the sheer, unbridled madness that made it compelling (if admittedly tasteless in the extreme). It was loud, crass, garden variety punk rock with little to distinguish itself save for it being performed by the band once fronted by an infamous modern day savage who didn’t care about anything, including himself.

That said, this DVD chronicles the Murder Junkies on a thirty-day European tour that amounts to nothing more than a poorly compiled curiosity culled from various stops along the way. Other than overhearing a snippet about the tour commencing in Switzerland, we are given no clue as to where else the tour went, either on the DVD or in the disc’s cover copy, so if not for a couple of home movie segments shot in and around the castle where Mary Shelley wrote FRANKENSTEIN, for all the viewer knows this DVD could have been shot in a basement in suburban New Jersey.

The band’s lineup consists of the usual suspects — Merle Allin on bass and vocals, Scotty Wood on vocals and guitar, Dino Sex, the infamous nude drummer —

with the addition of front man J.B. Beverly (of the honky-tonk group the Wayward Drifters), and the tunes offer a grab bag of Murder Junkies originals and GG Allin covers, all of which is eaten up by the obviously wasted audience of headbanging Euro-degenerates in attendance. They wail and grunt along with Beverly, and their drunken slurring in no way detracts from his performance since the sound quality fluctuates between crystal clear growls and muffled bellowing that sounds like it was recorded through a three-foot-deep laundry basket full of wet tube socks. The visual quality won’t dethrone David Lean any time soon, either, as it’s basically a bunch of haphazard hand-held camcorder setups that simply record the frat-party-at-four-AM histrionics.

The whole shebang is pretty much a waste of time, a fact the band probably realized, hence the inclusion of a spoken word “performance” by GG that will be familiar to those who’ve seen the GG Allin documentary, HATED (1993). Shot near Boston in 1988, it’s just GG railing against a newspaper article that calls him on his unkept promises to commit suicide on stage, but that simple setup proves to be the launching pad for a torrent of obscenity, self-mutilation, megalomaniacal ranting, and physical assault upon a female audience member who dared voice dissent with the obviously bombed prophet of destruction’s words (other audience members come to the woman’s rescue and kick the crap out of GG). It’s a complete and utter train wreck, and is sadly the only item of interest on the entire DVD.

Bottom Line: this film is a sad case in point of a band needing to know when to hang it and move on, and considering that the Murder Junkies never contributed much to the hard rock genre in the first place it’s a realization that’s been along time in coming. Too bad the Murder Junkies haven’t twigged to it. TRUST YER BUNCHE!!!

1 comment:

Pooh Huffy said...

Actually there are two DVDs.