Lenin Was Punk

GG Allin and VI Lenin

When notorious punk singer GG Allin died in 1993 of a heroin overdose, having promised to commit suicide onstage, some of his fans may have been disappointed. The singer’s stage presence was ballistic, difficult yet enthralling to bear.

Instead of hauling in cow’s blood like Ozzy might have, Allin would bash his face in with his mic. Dude makes Henry Rollins seem like Taylor Swift. He wasn’t interested in appeasing angry young boys.

GG Allin was something different. His self-mutilation and coprophagia deserves to be considered in a psychiatric context, not a musical one. “I’m fucking God,” he used to say. We assume he meant that he is God, rather than the other erotic alternative. Short of prophetically, but instead oddly, his father named GG “Jesus Christ” after the latter had paid him a visit, which may point to a history of mental illness in the Allin family. Yet, it seems unfair to call a person insane for simply eating feces and ramming a mic into one’s head until they draw blood. Jesus, we shall remember, himself was greatly misunderstood. As for GG’s penchant for coprophagia, shit’s real.

Sixty-nine years prior, as Vladmir Lenin’s corpse lay in state in Moscow’s House of the Unions, hundreds of thousands of mourners waited agelessly in line for a view of him. They saw neither a face bashed in, or the mic with which it was done. The Russian civil war and the socialist revolution was enough. Three angry chords would have been distracting. Modern conquest is not fire, or food, but followers. (That Twitter has changed the meaning of this is only a little upsetting.) Allin and Lenin, finally united in their ultimate pose, both wanted to slit open history and put a little of themselves inside.

Blood is the natural lube for which revolutions are conceived. Of Lenin’s followers, in line one-by-one, his foe Churchill said, “Their worst misfortune was his birth…their next worst his death.” This of course was rhetorical. What he meant was he hated the bugger, and was glad that punk was dead.

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