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  • GG Allin | Heroin Overdose Death

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    GG Allin | Heroin Overdose Death

    The death of a person by drug overdose can be a shocking surprise, something that friends and loved ones tearfully never saw coming. 

    However, this was not the case for American punk rocker GG Allin, whose rampant drug and alcohol abuse, paired with his erratic, reckless, unapologetic behavior and alleged mental instability, made his subsequent death at age 36 tragically predictable.

    How GG Allin Died

    On June 27, 1993, Allin played at a club called The Gas Station in New York City. The gig ended abruptly after only three songs due to a melee in the audience and the power being cut. So Allin instead led a mob of fans to the streets.

    Nearly naked and covered in blood and feces, Allin was eventually taken to the apartment of his friend and punk insider Johnny Puke where he had reportedly used a large amount of cocaine earlier that day. 

    Allin soon began snorting heroin with those around him until the party wound down in the early hours. He died during the night.

    A few days later “the most spectacular degenerate in rock ‘n’ roll history” was dressed in his trademark leather jacket and jockstrap and was buried in a cemetery in Littleton, New Hampshire, with a bottle of Jim Beam and a microphone.

    About GG Allin

    Early childhood distress and trauma are common risk factors for future drug or alcohol abuse and addiction. Allin, born Jesus Christ Allin in 1956, grew up with a terrifying and abusive religious fanatic as a father, Merle Allin Sr. 

    Allin’s father kept him, his older brother Merle Jr., and his mother in a log cabin in New Hampshire without power or running water, repeatedly threatening to kill them all through murder-suicide. 

    As Allin would later write, he (“Jeje”), his brother, and his mother “were more like prisoners than a family.”

    Allin’s mother, Arleta, divorced his father and took him and his brother away when Allin was six. Following this, Allin, renamed Kevin Michael Allin, had a more stable but still troubled childhood.

    Early Alcohol & Drug Use

    Living with his mother and stepfather, he struggled greatly in school where he was placed in special education classes and bullied relentlessly. By high school, he was acting out by cross-dressing, drinking and using drugs, and stealing from homes and cars.

    Punk Rock

    Inspired by Alice Cooper in the late 70s, Allin formed his first punk rock band, Little Sister’s Date, at 14. Graduating high school in 1975, he formed the band Malpractice with his older brother and two friends. 

    Two years later he joined The Jabbers, singing and playing drums on most songs for his 1980 debut album Always Was, Is and Always Shall Be.

    This arrangement ended with the band’s dissolution in 1984 as Allin’s behavior grew increasingly volatile. 


    “The Madman of Manchester” would then go on to front for underground hardcore bands including the Scumfucs, the Texas Nazis, the Cedar St. Sluts, Antiseen, and the Murder Junkies through 1991, while also dabbling in spoken word and outlaw country music in the vein of Hank Williams.

    On-State Antics

    His lyrics carried themes of violence, misanthropy, and nihilism and his antics while on-stage included nudity, self-mutilation, defecating on stage, assaulting audience members, and more.

    In interviews and written pieces, Allin would claim that the punk rock shows he performed in were a form of art and a challenge to the constricting boundaries of societal norms. 

    He publicly planned to commit suicide on stage on Halloween night when his “powers” were at their peak, or otherwise cause his fans to commit suicide or be murdered.

    Substance Abuse

    Unsurprisingly, Allin’s extreme stage acts and off-stage lifestyle led him to be frequently banned, boycotted, jailed, sued, hospitalized, and even institutionalized during his short career. 

    None of this, however, dissuaded him or prompted him to seek treatment for what one psychiatric evaluator diagnosed as “mixed personality disorder with narcissistic, borderline and masochistic features,” or for his rampant alcohol and drug abuse.

    In fact, Allin was well known for having an addiction to alcohol throughout his career, and for openly abusing any drugs that were on-hand regardless of their legal status or risk. 

    He would openly claim that substance abuse was a part of his rock and roll lifestyle and that he did not care for the potential consequences.

    Recovery Is Possible

    While GG Allin lived an unconventional life, his untimely death highlights the very real risks of drug and alcohol abuse. 

    While Allin embraced these risks and died for it, we hope that you are willing to take the first step and get the help you need to put drug or alcohol abuse in your past and make life-long recovery possible for yourself and your loved ones.

    To learn how we can help in your journey, please contact us today.

    Written by Ark Behavioral Health Editorial Team
    ©2024 Ark National Holdings, LLC. | All Rights Reserved.
    This page does not provide medical advice.
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