[Q&A] Selling baked goods with Gail Face at GG Allin’s 20th anniversary memorial show
Photos by Barry Thompson
GG ALLIN presents a historical dilemma.
On the one hand, he was not a good person. Most of us have watched his 1993 appearance on The Jerry Springer Show. It’s well and fine to chortle while watching the rubes in Springer’s audience fail to comprehend the late New Hampshire-born punk icon as he vehemently advocates physical and sexual violence. But it wasn’t all just an act. Dude was legit psycho. Also, he liked to poop on stage. Sometimes he threw his poop into the crowd, sometimes he rolled around in his poop, and sometimes he ate his poop. It was gross.
But plenty of people defecate in public and slash themselves with broken glass, and their deaths aren’t observed with a commemorative rock ‘n roll concert 20 years later. What makes Allin so special? This is a man who sacrificed his safety, dignity, humanity, and any possibility of future happiness or a life that wouldn’t end prematurely for the sake of an abstract concept — rock n’ roll. Allin was the opposite of a monk who goes decades without speaking or masturbating, in that he sought the antithesis of enlightenment, which is not a good thing. But it is interesting! In addition, he could also write a pretty good song when he felt like it.
This past Saturday afternoon’s festivities at The Midway Cafe — a “Remembrance” of GG’s shuffling loose the mortal coil, which happened back on June 28, 1993 — didn’t directly honor the troubled troubadour’s ghost. Proceeds were marked for Allin’s estranged, adult daughter, Nico Ann Deneault, I couldn’t ride out the entire 10-plus band bill, headlined by reformed members of Allin’s pre-downward spiral outfit, the Jabbers.
But I can say that no one spilled any bodily fluids during the explosions of perilous hardcore punk from Taxi Driver and Antibodies. In fact, the environment was wholesome enough for ABs’ singer Tony D to let his eight-year-old daughter take charge of his band’s merch table.
And speaking of wholesome, a bake sale set up behind the bar had racked up at least $150 by the time its proprietor, veteran artisan of baked goods GAIL FACE, fielded these questions below. It’s impossible to know what one of rock’s greatest monsters would think if he knew an audience at a show in his name ate brownies and cookies instead of awful and disgusting things like poop and splinters.
But GG Allin is dead. Who cares what he would have thought about sugar cookies? (Which were delicious, by the way.)
Barry Thompson: Why do this?
Gail Face: I’m really good friends with the Jabbers. I think they’re all really good guys, and I’m not a big fan of Merle [Allin, who performs under the banner of another project his bro made famous — the Murder Junkies]. He hasn’t contributed anything to GG’s daughter’s family, so she doesn’t have much. The Jabbers have been around for a long time. Meanwhile, Merle doesn’t show up for gigs. He’ll plan a show and just won’t show up. It’s just… he’s just all about himself. He’s just making money off his brother, y’know?
I read on Wikipedia that GG’s daughter isn’t especially psyched about her lineage?
No, but some of the Jabbers are friends with her mom so we thought this was a good idea. She never made anything. She just disassociates herself so, y’know, this could give her something good to remember him by.
She never got a big cut of GG’s royalties?
Not at all. Also, it’s more of a positive family thing in there — not the exploitiveness her father was associated with.
What’s GG’s legacy to you?
I think he was a very talented individual who just went down like a trainwreck. It’s a really sad story.
I think he was an underrated songwriter. Agree?
Underrated as a songwriter and as a drummer. I just think that the only attention he gets is for the craziness, whereas the Jabbers have really great songs. It’s more positive. It’s poppier. It’s more relatable than GG’s later stuff.
What did you bake?
I made brownies, chocolate chip cookies, brownie bars, and sugar cookies.
I was half-expecting cookies covered in, like, blood and broken glass.
Well, somebody donated some special brownies, but I didn’t make them.
How’d you decide what to bake for this thing?
Whatever was easiest. Whatever I thought would sell at something like this. Nothing too fancy.
Why do punks love baked goods so much?
I think beer makes them hungry, and they need the energy for moshing.
What’s the most punk rock think you baked?
Those sugar cookies. They’re the quickest, fastest thing I made. They’re going fast, and they’re making the most money.