Feb 14, 2006


I don't recall when I first heard about GG Allin. I think it was at some point during my undergrad years in the late 80s. I hung out with a slightly alternative crowd. One of the girls I knew had a boyfriend who was heavily into the punk scene and had an obsession with GG. Most of what I learned was anecdotal as his music and videos were hard to come by back then. But he is such a striking character in the rock pantheon, that the stories were enough to make anyone perk up and listen. In essence his fans held him up as the ideal of punk rock - an anti-authoritarian, rebellious, anti-corporate sellout, punk rocker. It's hard to argue with that assessment. I suspect most people liked him or at least paid attention to him because his life was a complete freak show.

By way of analogy GG Allin is to the Sex Pistols as the Sex Pistols are to Pat Boone. Here's a run down of the type of things GG was notorious for: performing naked, taking laxatives before a show in order to defecate on stage, rolling around in said defecation, throwing said defecation at the audience, attacking the audience, egging the audience on to attack him, cutting himself onstage, pummeling his head with the microphone onstage, consuming massive quantities of any kind of drug or alcohol, mugging, breaking & entering, having a fascination with serial killers, visiting John Wayne Gacy in jail, etc. Certainly a repulsive character but also an interesting one. Even though he repeatedly threatened to kill himself on stage he eventually overdosed from drugs (big surprise) in 1993 at the age of 36.

"Hated" is a documentary about GG Allin and can be rented from Netflix. In a word the documentary is a big disappointment. It was shot and cut by a student at the NYU film school. Presumably he didn't graduate. It's just disjointed clips of performances and interviews with other band members and fans. Nothing ties together. No great insights into what turns someone into a GG Allin. They guy doesn't even know how to hold a camera reasonably still while shooting. If you need to see some of GG's antics the rental will provide you with a view of everything he was known for. But in terms of understanding either the motivations behind GG or the fans it's just a trainwreck. In a word Hated is a good title and description for this movie.

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