By the early-1990s, eating your own feces was as in as it was ever going to get in civilized circles. Why? Because of GG Allin. He put that dining option (a.k.a. in the insect world as coprophagia) on the menu. Today the practice is nearly unheard of but the fact that so many of us swerved off course and found extreme behavior sort of refreshing is because of The Murder Junkies’ Allin—who not only smeared himself in excrement, blood and other bodily emissions and ceremoniously flung it on his audiences, but was also convicted of rape in 1989 (it was mutual debasement, he contended) and inhaled drugs like a hundred Lizard Kings—either didn’t give a damn or gave too much of one. When he wasn’t befriending John Wayne Gacy or writing manifestoes he made music with about 900 underground punk bands, most of it barely listenable unless you enjoy being audibly pissed on. In other words: the music was synonymous with the man. It’s no wonder “Suck My Ass It Smells” remains a cult hit some 18 years after Allin’s death of a heroin overdose in 1993. GG Allin was an exercise in vicariism, particularly for the prudish at heart (which he made damn sure was all of us).
A legacy like that, of course, calls for commemoration.
That’s why a toy line of “Throbbleheads” was rolled out last year, because, as innovator Clint Weiler says, “There will never be another GG.” It’s undoubtedly true. Allin was a madman—in fact, his nickname in his native New Hampshire before achieving underground legend was “the madman of Manchester”—and to a milder degree, his unbathed aesthetic is still practiced in fringe areas of Brit Pop. So why shouldn’t there be a GG Allin collectible with the fun palsied cranium of a bobblehead?
“I’ve always been a fan of rock & roll collectibles,” says Weiler, the owner of Aggronautix, who brought out the limited-number line of rock & roll’s most infamous asterisks. “When I saw the vinyl Danzig and the Misfits figures that Medicom released, I thought it would be cool to do the same thing with GG. After doing extensive research, and talking to a lot of people in the designer toy community, I came to the conclusion that it was too expensive to start off doing vinyl. So I created the Throbblehead.”
Weiler actually doesn’t generalize his Throbblehead subjects—which now includes a bloody Andrew W.K., Keith Morris, Tesco Vee, Dwarves and others—but memorializes them within a certain era. The Allin Throbblehead was taken from the post-incarceration phase, 1991, right before director Todd Phillips began following him around with a pinched nose to shoot the documentary, Hated: GG Allin and the Murder Junkies. This of course is called the “condensed carnage edition.” It features Allin in his favorite get-up—blood, peculiarly nasty facial hair, gloves, cowboy boots, tighty-whities that say “EAT ME,” flecks of unspeakable something—with his arms crossed like a man standing in the cold. It’s a perfect touch for a bookshelf . . . although it makes the Kurt Cobain bobblehead seem, I don’t know, just very ordinary and outdone.
I know this because I have a GG Allin Throbblehead now, number 1966 of 2500, looking pretty badass. It sits between a Doctor Who figure (Tom Baker, the fourth and best doctor), a miniature Stanley Cup, a Dan Henderson MMA figure and a small statue of Big Ole, the Viking of Alexandria, Minnesota. The details are in gruesome accordance to the real deal with Allin, and really, there’s craftsmanship to the Aggronautix toys that suggests it’s not exactly a money making endeavor, but a labor of love.
“Yes, it certainly is,” says Weiler. “Everyone involved, including the artist/management, always seems to have a good time conceptualizing, etc. Sometimes the process can be long and arduous, but it's worth it to have the final product looking realistic.”
Almost too realistic, if you know what I mean.
Throbbleheads available at aggronautix.com and at Amoeba Music Hollywood.
(Aggronautix “Throbblehead” images courtesy of Pat Schumacher)