by Michael Bowling

I knew, of course, who GG Allin was. I had opened for his band as
drummer for Homewrecker, when he played at the Electric Ballroom in
Knoxville, Tennessee, some two years before. That show prepared me,
maybe, for what was to happen, but still, it was too trippy, too unreal.

I was in New York that weekend at the invititation of Johnny Puke, who
I had known before as singer of Johnson City, Tennessee band Stinky
Finger. Johnny heard that I would be flying out of Kennedy, so invited
me to stay at his place.

You gotta come stay here, he told me, because Im promoting a GG
Allin show, at the Gas Station, and then GGs gonna be staying with me
for the night. You know that this is gonna some party!
With much trepidation, I went.

We met after the soundcheck in Johnnys apartment, along with Dwanna
Yount, Johnnys girlfriend and an old friend of mine, from back in her
Kevin Hurley days, when Kevin and I shared a flat in Tennessee. GG was
quite relaxed, talking normally, asking me, Can you hand me that
lighter, please? I was astounded. I dont know what I expected, but
this was not it. He asked me about bands I had played in, what music I
liked, and generally was a well-spoken guy.

I asked him the one question I had wanted to ask a long time, namely
How do you pick your victims during shows, GG? Is it just random?
Random, hell, he shot back, I just look for the fucker with fear in
his eyes. I usually leave the other fucks alone...

We partied a bit, I met his girlfriend, Lynn I believe her name was,
and went across the street to the show. After the opening bands played
(there were three or four of them, I think...) GG and the Murder Junkies
came on. They were in top form, really setting the place on fire.
(After the show I heard Merle, GGs brother, confide to Johnny, this
was one of the best shows weve played in a long time...) The set had
gone about 3 or 4 songs when GG told some kid in the crowd, Fuck
You!. The kid shouted back, No, fuck YOU!, and thus began the
melee. GG stormed into the crowd, fists flying, coming, unluckily for
me (or so I thought at the time), right at me. I started to bolt, then,
remembering his statement about victims and how he chooses them,
remained rooted to my spot, hand casually resting on my beer, trying to
look as unafraid as I could.

It worked. He threw a punch, dodged one coming at him, and then, face
to face with me, gave a little grin, turned aside, and continued his
little private war. As more people joined in, I knew that the show was
over, so I went outside, walked across the street, and into Johnnys
apartment building, going upstairs and
out on the roof, to get a birds eye view of the action.

By the time I reached the roof, GG was leading a little parade of punks
around the block, in and out of cars, and had gotten back to the street
in front of the club, naked, lying in the road, legs splayed up in the
air, when the cops screeched in. I saw him stand up and run to the
building door, hiding, as the cops jumped out of their cars, looking
everywhere but right behind them, not ten feet away, to where GG stood
huddled against the wall. If they had seen him, maybe this story would
have ended differently.

I ran downstairs, trying to reach the apartment in time to buzz the
lock before the cops had him. It was a moot point by this time, as
Johnny or Dwanna, I dont know which one, had already opened the door
into the building, assuring that GG wouldnt be spending the night in

The aftermath of the show created a festive atmosphere inside the
apartment, with a few friends of Johnnys and GGs coming in, I dont
know who all, and partying beginning with wild abandon...

At some point early in the evening GG started talking about a European
tour, asking me where I was going in Europe (at the time it was Vienna,
not Prague) and whether or not I could work with Johnny getting some
club contacts and stuff like that. GG, I said, I know absolutely no
one in Europe. But if you guys get anything together, Ill be glad to
help if I can. He moved on to other subjects. I got an advance on a
new record today, he smiled as he spoke, I got about nineteen hundred
dollars in my pocket. Were gonna party tonight, Johnny! Later on,
the partying got heavier and heavier, as GG started making trips
outside and down the block, procuring the recreational substances.

The odd thing was that there were no needles at this little party. I
was busy with my beer and pipe, but not too busy to check out what some
of the others were doing. And maybe I just expected, as it was New York
City, for there to be a lot of shooting up, but no, the nose was the
preferred choice of entry vehicles that night.

Ah, fuck it. He died of a heroin overdose, everyone knows that. Why
be coy? He was snorting dope, and a little coke. I just sometimes feel
that it was unfair. I mean, this guy had obviously been shooting up for
years. He probably felt that it would be impossible for him to die of
an overdose as long as he only snorted it....

The night wore on. By this time, I had heard enough GG stories to last
me a lifetime. And this was not some fifteen-year old punk telling me
he thought GG was cool because he had heard that GG ate shit once.
Whatever. This was straight from the horses mouth, so to speak, and I
was mesmerized. I remember at one point in the conversation GG turning
to me and asking, What do you think about it, Mike? About what, I
said, I wasnt listening(I was pretty fucked up by this time...).
About this bitch I went to jail over last time. She said she loved me,
and wanted to go home with me, and told me I could do anything I wanted
to her. So I looked at her tits, she had nice tits, and said I was
gonna cut up her tits. She just loved that. We left together, I got
her back and cut up her tits. They charged me with felony assault, I
think it was. Bitch.

What can you say to something like that? So I just agreed. Bitch

Around two in the morning I was up on the roof with GGs girlfriend,
Lynn, talking about life in general, and her life with GG in specific.
She had bruised eyes from a fight with GG, and she said she was gonna
leave him if he did it again. Fuck, this girl was only a babe, and had
lived through so much already.

Lynn, look who your boyfriend is, I told her, Hes GG Allin, come
on, I mean, this guy is the most hardcore motherfucker on the face of
the earth. He made his reputation on violence, hes probably not gonna

I know, she answered, I just wish he would...

Dwanna came up later, and started talking with Lynn about things, so I
got up and wandered downstairs. GG was passed out by this time, leaned
up against the wall, still in the dress he had borrowed from Lynn
earlier for the show. Johnny had a polaroid, and we started taking
pictures. Johnny next to GG, holding a beer and toasting the camera, if
I remember correctly, me with GG, doing something stupid, Ill bet.. I
just remember wanting to have a picture of me and GG together so I could
show friends later that I had met him. We took five or so shots, lining
them up on the table. Others with GG, him alone, whatever.
To this day I dont know where those pictures are.

Around four I started getting really tired. I had to fly out the next
day, so I thought it would be best if I went to sleep. Before sleep
took me over, though, I noticed one more thing. GG woke up, leaned
forward, grabbed the straw, and snorted that another line right up, eyes
rolling. I think by this time that he didnt even know where was. Ive
often wondered if this was the line that killed him. I crashed out
shortly after that.

The next morning, someone shook me awake. It was Lynn.

GGs not breathing, she whispered to me. Mike, GGs not
breathing. I rolled over and moaned, then replied, Lynn, hes just
passed out. The guy drank so much shit last night hes just gonna be
hard to wake up.

That seemed to satisfy her, at least for the moment. But before I had
even managed to drop off again, she said something that made the hairs
on the back of my head stand up. Mike, hes cooooooooold.

Oh, shit, no way was this happening, I told myself as I got up and went
to look. Before I had even got to him, touching his arm and trying to
find a pulse, I knew he was dead. His face looked dead, thats the only
way I can describe it. And the hardened glob of red spit hanging from
the corner of his mouth and reaching down to floor was telling, as
well. I tried to life his arm. It was already a little stiff. He was

Johnny, I said, still whispering, I dunno why... JOHNNY, WAKE UP,
PLEASE, I repeated, louder this time.
Dude, GGs dead.
Hes Dead. Hes not breathing. Get the FUCK OVER HERE!

At this point everything got really trippy. I had already had trouble,
the night before, believing that I was actually sitting next to GG Allin
and calmly discussing the finer points of this or that, without cucumber
enemas, laxative snacks, or slit tits. This, however, was different.
This was like a dream sequence. There was Johnny, standing up and
rubbing his eyes, nudging awake his girlfriend, there was Lynn, kneeling
by GG, mumbling Hes NOT dead. over and over, there was me, not
knowing what to do, wanting to wake up from this dream, and there was
GG, lying on the floor, all the life gone out of him.

Holy fuck, the baal of punk,
what a way to die, just sniffing junk.

Well, we called the cops. They came, and after a couple of hours they
took him away. Things started getting a little crazy. Johnny had
called Merle, who was staying at the St. Marks, to tell him the bad
news. Merle apparently didnt believe him, at first. I found out later
that GG had had people call Merle before, with all sorts of stories
about his demise or whatnot, and that Merle had pretty much gotten used
to it. When he finally realized that Johnny wasnt joking, he came

The cops took us all down to the police station to take our statements,
then separated us. This was not a good sign, I thought. Waiting my
turn, I wondered what they might be thinking to cause them to separate
us. I mean, sure, a guy had died of an overdose, and sure, maybe some
laws had been broken, but we were innocent bystanders, werent we? We
hadnt done anything wrong, surely.

When the detective ushered me in, he gave me a wry smile and asked me
what my name was. Michael Bowling, I said, trying to utilize my
southern accent as much as possible, just a rube up to the big city for
a visit. He wrote it down, looked up, smiled again (he was quite a nice
guy, actually, never offending me or acting like I was scum, which I
probably am) and handed me a little bundle of something, with a
different smile, now an inquiring one, gracing his face. Can you
explain this to me, Mr. Bowling?, he asked.

Now what could it be? While waiting for the cops, we had cleaned the
place up a little bit, throwing away empty baggies and stashing pipes,
things like that, just so we wouldnt have more trouble than we were
already in for, so I couldnt imagine what I might possibly be able to
explain to him. I looked down at his hand, and froze.

In his outstetched palm, were the pictures. The polaroids we had
taken. Staring up at me from the one on top was my drunken self, with
my hand around GGs shoulders, his eyes closed and mouth hanging open.

Oh, no, I thought to myself. This cant be happening. For the second
time that day, I wondered if I was still asleep, and would soon awaken
to the sounds of Johnny and GG making plans for the day, while Lynn and
Dwanna sat drinking coffee or whatever. I was in a daze.

Uh, I know what youre thinking. Oh, shit, I know what youre
thinking, I stammered. This is not what it looks like. He was not
dead when we took that. Hell, he was snoring. Youve got to realize,
this guy was a punkrock star. We just wanted to have pictures taken
with him.

He just sat looking at me, letting me ramble on, drawing the noose
tighter and tighter. I obliged him. I just couldnt seem to shut up.
Look, I swear, we took those pictures at around 4 a.m., before we fell
asleep. GG was not dead. We didnt find him dead until about nine this
morning. Shit.

Yeah, thats what everybody else told me. I guess you guys are
telling the truth, after all, he said, but, you know, these photos
sure made it seem a little suspicious. You can go now, but plan on
being available for the inquest, if there is one. I wouldnt plan on
taking any trips.

Im suppposed to be flying out to London at 8 p.m., I replied, I
already have a ticket. Thats why I was in New York in the first

OK, he said, after staring hard for a couple of seconds, Fill this
out, with addresses of your parents and your home address, and you can

That was the last I heard of GG Allin until about a week later, sitting
in a hostel in Prague, talking to five crazy Swedes. We were rolling
big joints and talking about music, who rules, who sucks, that kind of
stuff, when one of em asks me, And what about GG Allin? Ill bet you
never heard of him, hes the king!

Hes dead, did you know that? I asked.
No way, he shot back, GGll never die!
And for what was to be the first of many times, I replied, Youre not
gonna believe this, but....

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