How Did GG Allin Die? The Demise of Punk’s Wildest Degenerate, 30 Years Later

how did gg allin die gg allins grave
The grave site of punk singer GG Allin in Saint Rose Cemetery, Littleton, New Hampshire, USA. Image by Sweed666 on Wikimedia Commons.

Last updated on September 7th, 2023 at 01:46 am

There are hardly words to describe the craziness that was notorious punk rocker GG Allin. He took punk to its ultimate expression with his vulgar and excessive music and lifestyle. June 28, 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of his death.

How did GG Allin die? Discover everything you need to know about the tragic death, outrageous music career, and net worth of this true rock n’ roll original. 

How Did GG Allin Die?

GG Allin died of an accidental heroin overdose. 

When Did G.G. Allin Die?

GG Allin died on the morning of June 28, 1993.

How Old Was G.G. Allin When He Died?

Sadly, the ultimate bad boy of the punk scene was 36 years old when he died. He was just under two months away from turning 37.

GG Allin’s Final Show

GG Allin spent his last day on earth, June 27, 1993, preparing for a show at The Gas Station, a small club in Manhattan.

He and his friend, Johnny Puke, spent the day drinking beer and doing cocaine. 

Once the show finally started, GG immediately broke a microphone, which prompted the person in charge of sound to stop the show. After a verbal barrage from Allin, the sound guy barricaded himself, with his dog for protection, in a sound booth.

Somehow, Allin found another microphone and played three songs at the gig. Always the degenerate wild man, his “performance” included defecation, throwing feces at the crowd, and some violent altercations. 

After the show, he took to the streets of New York City, covered in blood and feces. While some saw his parading around The Gas Station as defiance, his friend Johnny Puke says he was merely trying to find his hotel.

Regardless, the crowd from the show followed him, and pandemonium ensued. Somehow, even though he was covered in blood and feces, he eventually found a cab that took him back to his hotel. 

Related: 25 Best Punk Songs

G.G. Allin’s Death

Allin, his girlfriend Liz Mankowski, Johnny Puke, and his girlfriend ended up at Puke’s apartment later at night. 

They partied into the morning hours, where they did heroin and washed it down with beer and Jim Beam. Clearly, Allin and his crew were not straight edge.

Eventually, Allin fell asleep, so Liz, Puke, and his girlfriend took Polaroids with Allin’s snoring body. They ended up confiscated by police and were never recovered.

Puke’s girlfriend found Allin cold, stiff, and blue the next morning. 

“I went over to where GG was laying, and he was wearing a cut-off jean jacket, Liz’s skirt, those boots, and a silver Nazi helmet that he loved,” Johnny Puke said of finding his friend.

They called the cops, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. There wasn’t even any need to take him to the Emergency Room.

GG Allin’s death from a drug overdose surprised many in the punk community. Some figured he’d actually kill himself on stage, which he had promised many times. 

For more information about the day GG Allin passed away and the time surrounding it, check out GG Allin biography I Was a Murder Junkie: The Last Days of GG Allin.

Related: 25 Greatest Punk Bands

GG Allin’s Funeral 

The punk rock icon’s funeral occurred in his home state of New Hampshire on July 3, 1993. It was held at St. Rose Cemetery, Littleton.

Infamously, it was an open-casket funeral, with Allin dressed in his trademark cut-off jean jacket and jock strap. His corpse was still bloated from his overdose and covered in feces and blood from his last show. 

GG Allin’s funeral ended up turning into a party that was dubbed ‘The Final Hellride.’ Friends put alcohol in the casket and posed for photos with him with cigarettes in his mouth. 

Where is GG Allin Buried? 

GG Allin is buried at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Cemetery in Littleton, New Hampshire.

The gravesite originally contained an ornate headstone that read, ‘For my mission ends in termination, vicinity of death, LIVE FAST DIE.’ 

Unfortunately, fans would often vandalize and desecrate the tombstone to honor him. 

This rightly distressed his mother, though, who had his gravestone removed. Today, all that remains is the plain stone it once rested on. 

gg allins grave
The grave site of punk singer GG Allin in Saint Rose Cemetery, Littleton, New Hampshire, USA. Image by Sweed666 on Wikimedia Commons.

When Was GG Allin Born?

GG Allin’s birthdate is August 29, 1956. The late August birthday makes GG Allin’s Zodiac sign Virgo.

What is GG Allin’s Real Name?

GG Allin’s real name is Jesus Christ Allin. No, I’m not making that up.

When he was born, his father, Merle Colby Allin Sr., said that Jesus appeared to him and revealed that his son would be a Christlike figure. He thus insisted to Allin’s mother, Arleta, that they name him Jesus Christ.

In a way, he wasn’t wrong, because GG Allin does have a cult following.

Why did he go by GG and not Jesus? It’s actually kind of a cute story.

His younger brother, Merle Allin Jr., couldn’t pronounce his name when he was a kid, only being able to say ‘jeje.’ Thus, GG Allin was born. 

Eventually, GG Allin’s mother legally changed his name to Kevin Michael Allen.

Related: Best Rock Songs: The Ultimate Top 40

Where is GG Allin From?

GG Allin was born in Lancaster, New Hampshire.

GG Allin’s Ethnicity

An East Coast kid through and through, GG Allin was white. Very white.  

How Tall is GG Allin

GG Allin was slightly above average height at 5’11”.

How Did GG Allin Become Famous?

Music in Minnesota is a family site, so I’ll make this as PG as possible.

GG Allin was famous for taking punk to its extreme. He was punk rock’s id, taking its attitude to its extreme, logical conclusion.

To put it mildly, he did this by defying convention and ignoring all manners.

His music was vulgar, filled with cursing, calls to violence, misogyny, and vileness. Many people, not surprisingly, found it quite offensive.

Did GG Allin cut himself on stage? That was only the beginning of his controversial stage antics. 

At his live shows, Allin would often defecate on himself and throw it at the audience, fight with crowd members (verbally and physically), and cause general pandemonium. 

He often only got through a few songs before venues would pull the plug.

Related: 11 Bizarre Ozzy Osbourne Facts

GG Allin’s Early Life

His father, Merle Sr., was a religious fanatic and often expressed his desire to kill himself and his family. His mother divorced him in 1961, eventually re-marrying. The couple raised GG and his brother Merle. 

Raised in a working-class family, Allin was a poor student and appeared to deal with mental issues. He was put in special ed classes, held back in the third grade, and was often bullied. His time at Concord High School was less than stellar.

Rock n roll was a constant escape for poor GG, helping him navigate challenging times. In interviews, he said his early influences were 60s British Invasion bands like the Dave Clark Five and Mott the Hoople. 

He was also into bands like the Velvet Underground, the garage rock and proto-punk of the late 60s, and glam rock like the New York Dolls.

Related: 21 Best 60s Songs

GG Allin’s Early Career

The most controversial man of the punk era began playing drums at a young age and forming bands with Merle, his younger brother.

After punk exploded in the mid-70s, Allin played drums in several bands, including Little Sister’s Date and Malpractice. He first gained notoriety as lead vocalist and sometimes drummer with punk rock band the Jabbers.

Their debut album, Always Was, Is, and Always Shall Be, was released on cassette in 1981. They followed up their first album with EPs Animal #1 in 1982 and No Rules in 1983. 

Around this time, he also recorded a single with two members of legendary 60s proto-punks the MC5.

After many lineup changes, the Jabbers disbanded in 1984 due to the increasingly erratic onstage behavior of their lead singer, our hero, GG Allin.

The Rise of GG Allin and GG Allin’s Music

From there, the man christened Jesus Christ started gaining a cult following for his wild music and even more outlandish behavior. 

He released many albums until his untimely death, some on Blood, his record label. Many featured the band he had with his brother, The Murder Junkies.

Some of the albums in GG Allin’s discography that are family-friendly enough to list in this article are Hated in the Nation (1987), You Give Love a Bad Name (1987), Suicide Sessions (1989), Doctrine of Mayhem (1990), and Brutality and Bloodshed for All (1993).

Most of his song titles are beyond the pale as well, but some include “When I Die,” “Bite It You Scum,” and “Outskirts of Life.”

Perhaps surprisingly, GG Allin’s music was somewhat varied in sound, especially for the more straightforward punk rock music of the era.

Though most of his material was punk influenced, he also dabbled in other genres, sometimes adding in melodic pop/rock and hardcore as well. Though not much of a drummer or guitarist, Allin had a certain scuzzy charm as a vocalist.

He even recorded many country and folk songs, though usually with his own inappropriate lyrics. His EP The Troubled Troubadour included re-writes of popular songs by Hank Williams Jr. and David Allan Coe.

The music of GG Allin wasn’t the best punk in the world, but it wasn’t the worst, either. It was relatively creative 80s punk rock, which is why it still has its share of hardcore listeners.

If you want an example of how GG Allin could sing a pretty melody, check out his cover of Warren Zevon’s “Carmelita.”

GG Allin’s Career Highlights

Though he was hated by many, GG had some significant career highlights. 

For example, Mkykel Board of popular Maximum RocknRoll magazine was an early patron, often giving him extensive magazine write-ups.

His first albums were released on David Peel’s Orange label. Peel was a famous New York musician whose friends included John Lennon.

Some musicians who played with Allin include Dinosaur Jr. frontman J Mascis and Bongwater’s Mark Kramer. At one point, he was managed by Genya Ravan, who produced legendary punks the Dead Boys.

He also appeared on many talk shows, including Jerry Springer, Geraldo, and The Jane Whitney Show.

Related: 30 Best 70s songs: Punk, Disco, and More

GG Allin’s Trouble with the Law and Prison Time

Considering his wild lifestyle, it isn’t surprising that GG Allin was arrested many times and spent some time in prison.

The shock rocker faced multiple arrests during his career, primarily for indecent exposure and lewd behavior.

He was arrested in 1989 for “assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder” for a prolonged sexual escapade. Eventually found guilty of felonious assault, he was imprisoned for three months. 

Was GG Allin Crazy?

Interestingly, GG Allin was given a psychological evaluation during his assault trial.

The person who evaluated him found him “courteous, cooperative, and candid,” stating that Allin was comfortable with his hedonistic lifestyle and didn’t appear psychotic. 

This is consistent with Allin’s claims in his more lucid moments. 

While in prison, he wrote The GG Allin Manifesto, which outlined his philosophy of individualism, anti-authoritarianism, rebellion, and misanthropy. 

During an appearance on Geraldo, he claimed that his body was a temple of rock n’ roll, which made his body – and bodily fluids – communion for the people. 

His drummer additionally claimed that the violence of his persona and stage act was a commentary on the violence in society. 

Was any of this sincere, or is it all rationalizations? We’ll never know.

Regardless, Allin’s music and life took the anti-authority and anti-society philosophy of the punk rock scene to its extreme, logical conclusion. 

In a way, GG Allin was the only authentic hardcore punk. He often derided the punk scene because it didn’t truly live out its supposedly rebellious ideology. 

A classic punk like Johnny Rotten or Dee Dee Ramone looks like Mr. Rodgers compared to GG Allin.

GG Allin Movie

There are two GG Allin movies about his life story – currently, at least.

Documentary Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies was released in 1993. Allin even attended a screening of an early version, where he threw beer bottles at the screen, injuring a woman. He ducked out before the police arrived.

Despite that, he apparently enjoyed the film, complimenting the director in the following weeks. The documentary includes concert footage of Allin in addition to interviews with fans and detractors.

2017 saw the release of GG Allin: All in the Family, which focused on his upbringing. The film’s alternative title is GG Allin: One Hell of a Family

In late 2022, it was announced that a GG Allin biopic would be directed by Jonas Åkerlund, best known for his film about black metal, 2018’s Lords of Chaos.

Even though GG Allin died 30 years ago, which seems like a long time ago, fascination about him is at an all-time high. 

GG Allin’s Net Worth

GG Allin’s net worth was $100,000 at the time of his death. While not rich, he amassed a decent amount of wealth in his lifetime. 

How Did GG Allin Get Rich?

GG Allin made the majority of his money from his music career. He released dozens of singles, EPs, and albums and was a popular concert attraction.

Allin was also an entrepreneur, leading his own label, Blood Records, which also brought in some cash. 

He also gained a bit of income from television appearances, though he didn’t earn much from them.

Related: The Worst Singers of All Time 

How Much Money Did GG Allin Make?

GG Allin’s revenue fluctuated during his career depending on the labels he was signed to. He paid a lot of fines and served some jail and prison time, too, which also occasionally kept him from earning a salary.

All that’s known definitively is that GG Allin was worth a hundred thousand dollars at the time of his death. He likely could have made more, but he certainly paid a price for his erratic behavior. 

For example, he only made a little money touring because most venues wouldn’t book him. He was even beyond the pale for most of the punk subculture.

GG Allin’s Cars

Due to his wild lifestyle, GG Allin smartly chose not to drive much.

However, there is a famous picture of Allin in front of Elvis’ pink Cadillac. 

GG Allin’s House

The only places GG Allin ever called home were the houses he lived in growing up. You could say that he didn’t have much of an estate.

There’s a somewhat adorable picture of GG, his brother Merle, and their mother outside her house on the cover of GG Allin: One Hell of a Family

GG Allin’s Children 

One GG Allin fact that’s often overlooked is that he had a child.

Allin was well-known for being into younger women, and he impregnated teenage fan Tracy Deneualt in 1985.

They had one daughter, Nico Ann Deneault, born on March 13, 1986. 

Predictably, GG Allin’s daughter Nico has distanced herself from her family. 

GG Allin’s Siblings

GG Allin’s brother Merle Allin Jr. was by his side his whole life. He was Allin’s bassist and vocally supported his brother’s lifestyle.

Who was GG Allin Married To

Another strange GG Allin fact: he was married. GG Allin’s wife was named Sandra Farrow. They married in 1976 and divorced in 1985. 

GG Allin’s other girlfriends included Tracy Denault, the mother of his child, and Liz Mankowski, who was with him when he died. 

GG Allin’s Parents

G.G. Allin was born to Merle Allin Sr. and Arleta Gunther. He was relatively close with his mother, and his abusive father exited his life at an early age. 

GG Allin’s Tattoos

GG Allin had tattoos all over his body, but most of them are so vulgar that we can’t list them. You can check some of them out for yourself here. 

His most memorable tattoo is of a headstone with the words ‘Live Fast, Die, GG’ written around it. 

GG Allin’s Legacy

Anti-establishment punk rock hero GG Allin has a cult following that persists to this day, as the upcoming biopic about his life proves. 

His authenticity and revolutionary lifestyle make him one of the most influential characters in the history of punk – indeed, in music history.

While not as legendary as punk music luminaries like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Ramones, or the Sex Pistols, his music and life of debauchery are still remembered today. 

The American punk movement has yet to see another character like GG Allin.

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Written by Erik Ritland

Erik Ritland is a songwriter, musician, journalist, and podcaster based in Nashville, Tennessee. He’s released over a dozen albums since 2002, most recently Old Dog Almost Gone (2021), the first-ever multimedia album, and his latest collection of all original material, A Scientific Search (2020). During his 15+ years as a music journalist, Erik has written hundreds of articles for Music in Minnesota, Something Else Reviews, his own blog Rambling On, and more. In addition to continuing his music career, Erik currently runs The Cosmic American, a music journalism website, and is the editor of Music in Minnesota.


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