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GG Allin Talk Show Appearances Print E-mail
User Rating: / 6
Written by Jay Creepy   
Tuesday, 17 July 2018
Severed Cinema review of GG Allin Talk Show Appearances


Appearances: Geraldo 03-12-1992, Jerry Springer 05-05-1993, Jane Whitney 07-16-93
Cast: GG Allin, Jerry Springer, Jane Whitney, Geraldo Rivera, Merle Allin, Reverend Bud Green, Jeff Coons (voice), Kelly Cutrone, Todd Phillips, Liz Mankowski, Sarah Mankowski, John Mankowski, The Club Kids.
Years: 1992-1993
Country: USA
Language: English
Runtime: 2h 7min

Back in 2014, I reviewed the documentary, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies for Severed Cinema (see review) and kind of put over my love for the man. I began my review by saying that people remember GG Allin as a violent, sexist, racist, piss drinking, hard supping, shit throwing madman who slurred and screamed his way through so many badly recorded albums and singles. He hated everyone, so he was more a complete human racist, and he tried his best to show it was 24-7 to him, not just a stage show. A GG concert was like a trip into a minefield, especially if you dared to stay by the front row. It was as good as guaranteed you'd have a GG fist in your face or a handful of GG shit lobbed at you. So being that the media and TV adore a good controversial icon like anyone tucked away at home reading the newspaper, leave it to a handful of straight-laced talk show hosts to try and crack the hard shell of GG Allin.

“When most of us think of art, we probably picture the Mona Lisa or one of the works by Picasso.” says talk show fella, Geraldo Rivera as he walks up to a nude sculpture, his face plastered by a sickly 'I will touch your children when you leave me alone with them' grin. Geraldo points out the explicit image on display. His point is about the controversy raging in the USA (in 1992) regarding what is art and what is smut. He carries on with a couple of examples – which for daytime TV aren't very upsetting of course. In doing so, however, he comes across as a middle-aged teacher trying to get down with modern society and kids. The debate of course is how far should the public control what is, in fact, freedom of speech. “Some fear that it isn't too far off book burning.” he says. The Catcher in the Rye, Cat Stephens, 2 Live Crew, and The Beatles are all mentioned in this long introduction.

“GG is a rock and roller who makes even the most extreme punk groups pale in comparison.” finally it's time to turn to our guests. He'd been in the news recently for relieving himself on stage live. When asked why, he states; “My body is the rock ‘n roll temple, and my flesh, blood, and body fluids are a communion to the people whether they like it or not. I'm not out to please anybody. My rock ‘n roll is not to entertain but to annihilate.” The crowd starts to come alive when he says he hates everybody, some claps and some big smiles. He says he's sick of music being run by people with money and he wants to bring danger back to it.

Also on the stage is Rev Bud Green. He likes to pass out “free marijuana joints” at concerts. They're both on the same record label, by the way. Bud says when he releases his album, he plans to put a joint in each tape. “And a razor blade.” adds GG. Bud starts laughing, GG has that expression saying, 'Yeah, I'm the man.'

“Did you have a troubled childhood?” Geraldo asks GG after the razor blade comment which starts a few giggles in the audience. GG explains how he was involved in petty crime before finding rock and roll. Without music, he thinks he would have been a serial killer. GG, as Geraldo talks over him, says he has a lot of anger and hate inside within him. He gives out a sample of lyrics and wins a bigger round of applause from the straight-laced crowd.

We soon see the infamous 'Piss Christ.' “The objective of the artist is to look at something in a more complex fashion.” states a supporter of extreme art. Plus we have the mandatory opposite, in this case, a chap from the group Morality in Media. This guy is a lawyer and he gets rather worked up as he goes on a tirade about the legal ramifications and contradictions in what he's seen so far. As the debates begin, we almost forget GG until he injects some sardonic bile into proceedings saying he doesn't care whether people like his work or not, he exists to inflict pain on his audience and himself. “People come ‘cause they want to see something very dangerous. There's no fake blood, there's no props like what you'll see from bands on most major labels. You'll see real blood, real broken bones – and that's beautiful. That's art!”

An audience member soon states that it is freedom of speech, and he doesn't have to go and see GG Allin if he doesn't want to, but he understands GG's stance which has the man himself nodding, face like a bulldog licking broken glass. It's not long before he's ripping into a woman who sees him as, basically, scum.

In a nutshell, Geraldo commands and receives a fair balance. Supporters and haters all get a fair chance to discuss everything from nudity in public, to art, to a lot of things. The audience have fun, and GG is quite chilled out for the majority of the show. So let's move on half a year into mid-1993, and see how Jerry Springer deals with everything. As he explains, GG will have to face off with the father of a teen girl who worships GG Allin. She's sat next to him on stage, and she's a love-struck 17-year-old meeting her idol for the first time. It's Liz Mankowski, who soon became his girlfriend. (After his death, she apparently settled, had kids and went on to be a social worker. If anyone knows different, let me know).

“Rock ‘n roll isn't about how you look, what car you drive, how much money you have – rock ‘n roll is about the fury within you. It's revenge. Rock ‘n roll is your enemy. And I'm your enemy!” GG makes himself clear within minutes that he's focused and aggressive this time round. Two minutes from the beginning and he's laying into Jerry and the country itself, he brings over some good points, but most are lost on the head shaking grim audience. His basis is the kids are in danger because they don’t understand tragedy and danger due to suppression and censorship. He mentions rape at his shows as a lesson of life which obviously bristles people. Jerry bags a long haired lad who said, “Right on.” Jerry puts the mic to his face. “Do you think it's a good thing that people get raped at his show?” The kid says, it's not a good thing, but if you go to his show you know what to expect. Then Jerry removes the kid’s legs in front of a fair few viewers. “So you think that his message is okay, that it's okay for him to take a young woman from his audience and rape her?” suddenly he turns to GG. “Who are you to say 'I'm gonna teach you a lesson of life, I'm gonna rape you?!

“If I'm a victim, I'm gonna grow strength from being a victim cause I'm not gonna let it happen again!” shouts GG. So, next we're onto Liz who says she identifies with what GG says. “I'm not saying I want to get raped, but if I go to a concert and he does something to me, then I've just asked for it.” Her point is, it turns out that it is like before, if you go to a GG concert expect trouble. If you go in like it's all okay then you're blind.

“Sorry, I thought you went to a concert to hear music.” quips a lady in the audience. GG nods and says she will hear music. “You'll hear some of the best damn music you'll ever hear!” Out of nowhere erupts a conflict as a punk lad and a woman who has taken offence to GG's version of Rock ‘n Roll verbally slug it out. Jerry stands between them as they argue. Yeah, it's his show, it has to happen somewhere along the line. A bloke asks if his followers would be happy for him to kill them. One kid shouts, “It's a war!” GG agrees. His followers have put him in the hospital before, it's not a one sided thing. Then the guy does a great swerve which stuns Jerry. This clean cut musician dude agrees and says it's good what GG and his followers have. They know what is going to happen. At that, Jerry hastily takes his microphone away. Quickly moving onwards and the next guests are Liz's father and her sister. Sarah Mankowsi says how conversations about GG Allin usually end by her walking out of the room. Liz likes to be degraded and hurt, it transpires.

Further on and his parents are brought up. He says he doesn't blame them for anything, but he reveals a few troubling facts from his childhood which silences the audience. John, Liz's dad, calls him a nightmare, GG says he needs to know what is happening on the streets.

Quote of the DVD comes from a young lady who asks him, “Do you have a Mother?” To which he replies, “Yeah, I was born, so yeah I've got a Mother.” The whole thing descends into a one-sided tirade against one man, and he holds his own, as a lawyer who represented the outcome of a suicide pact caused by rock ‘n roll (Judas Priest) comes out to explain why GG Allin is so dangerous. Let's not forget the standard big lady who shouts, “If yo come hit me, you'll be out! You'll be out!” and the sheep all baa their approval. GG loves it when she screams that he is the Devil.

It's all what we expect from Springer. So let's flick over to Jane Whitney, two months later. He's proper dressed up for the occasion. This time round he is getting ready to rally his followers against the government, against the police, because he is the new messiah and the King of the underground. His own death wasn't far away when he sat on that stage and ranted. This is a different GG to the almost mellow dude a year ago on Geraldo. Merle stands up and explains that there's something new every night, unlike other boring bands. Anyone who comes along expecting just a freak-show will receive a lot of bother. For the first ten minutes or so, GG shouts and yells, and stands up, and doesn't give much other than repetitive shit we've heard. “But when you reach your peak, and you commit suicide, you're going to hell.” bleats a woman, “Because I know that.” she says. Nuff said, that's the mentality.

This time it's simply shock tactics, everything sounds rehearsed, even Liz (she's still with him) and his new 'daughter', Wendy. All too word perfect. In the two prior programmes, there were good debates from either side. This is one awful mess. Wendy in particular speaks like a brainwashed cult member and she gets really irritating after a while. I dunno, I felt it was all just for audience gasps and reactions.

“My advice for these two lovely girls is follow Christ, do not follow this man!” I mean, this crowd must be handpicked. The next guests are existing only to turn up at clubs, run around, have fun, and take drugs. Our religious band of GG haters are far kinder to them. Then a cop sits down and has a shouting match with GG. It’s non-stop back and forth between the cop and GG Allin. One bloke stands up and says that the cop is scarier, because at least GG fights alone, a cop brings a whole gang. The show goes on...

All of these episodes are on YouTube shown in rough quality. In fact this lobbed together eBay DVD which I bought years ago isn't top-notch picture sharp either. Saying that, Whitney is watchable and the sound level is far more bearable.

Overall they are vital components in the vast jigsaw puzzle which creates GG Allin and his world. Jane Whitney is a sludge, mind you, yet the other two are far more diverse with varied opinions and you hear GG at his most razor sharp in both of them as he does offer very good arguments. I would have liked to have heard more from members of The Murder Junkies, especially in Jane Whitney's show instead of, say, Wendy, and the endless shouting of the man himself, but y' know, as far as interviews go with a deceased musician, you treasure what you have I suppose.




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