Post-riot grrrl quartet How Tragic is fronted by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Paige Campbell. She writes poetic and playful punk songs, teeming with cathartic hooks, buzz saw guitars, pummeling drums, and rubbery basslines
As a vocalist, Paige is emotionally dynamic; her range encompasses chilling-but-sensual phrasing, raspy and impassioned singing, gruff punk rock shouting, and powerhouse belting. Her lyrics are from the heart, and brim with clever turns of phrases, kitschy horror-punk imagery, and brazen sensitivity. The Brooklyn-based quartet’s tunes would fit comfortably on a Spotify playlist alongside artists such as L7, Lunachicks, Hole, The Distillers, The Gits, The Misfits, and The Descendents.
How Tragic’s debut EP, ‘Past Lives’, features four tight and tuneful tracks Paige co-produced alongside producer, engineer, and mixer Matt Chiaravelle (Courtney Love, Debbie Harry, Warren Zevon) at Flux Studios and Mercy Sound Studios. ‘Past Lives’ was mastered by Grammy-nominated mastering engineer Joe Lambert. How Tragic are currently writing new material as a band, and will be releasing new music in the near future. Instagram / Website
Kevin Michael “GG” Allin was born Jesus Christ Allin on August 29, 1956. One of the most divisive members of the punk rock community he courted controversy wherever and whenever he could. Love him or loathe him he certainly left an impression on the punk rock scene in the 80s and early ’90s. Passing away on this day back in 93 is possibly one of the least surprising things to have happened in punk rock. Let’s face it GG was never going to grow old and after promising to take his own life on stage as part of his act many times he sort of quietly slid off his mortal coil in tragic circumstances. Playing his last ever show in NYC the club turned off the power after a couple of songs which caused Allin to trash what wasn’t already trashed and then roaming the street almost naked covered in blood and shit the performer ended up partying at a friends house where he took a lethal Heroin overdose and never woke up being pronounced the morning after by paramedics exactly where he laid down the night before.
I guess whilst it wasn’t a surprise to hear the news it’s still a shame to hear about anyone passing away under such tragic circumstances. Allin was fairly prolific throughout his career and moving from his early more glam roots he passed through punk, hardcore and country as well as spoken words performances Allin was no slouch when it came to what he considered art.
Even in death, the Allin circus continued when he was laid to rest his open casket was videotaped and he can be seen wearing a jock strap accompanied by a bottle of booze whilst friends posed with his corpse, placing drugs and whiskey into his mouth. As the funeral ended, his brother Merle put a pair of headphones on Allin. plugged them into a cassette player which had a copy of The Suicide Sessions on it.
The film ‘Hated’ features the footage of that final performance and chaos that went on after. Sadly GG’s grave was frequently vandalised urinated on, cigarette butts left as well as feces and alcohol left by so-called fans, an act that was greatly discouraged by his mother Arleta. His tombstone has since been removed because of this.
Musically he was a Beatles fan and that was reflected in his early songs other bands that greatly influenced him were the likes of Alice Cooper, the Stooges and Kiss. when he put the Jabbers together.
Allin became popular when ROIR released a cassette-only ‘Hated in the Nation’ containing tracks from the Jabbers, the Scumfucs and Cedar Street Sluts. All unavailable elsewhere. The tape also featured recordings with the likes of J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on lead guitar and Mark Kramer on bass. The most famous person to work with GG would have to be none other than Dee Dee Ramone who toured with the band as part of the Murder Junkies.
It wasn’t until the mid ’80s that he began to spiral out of control as his commercial career failed to take off he took full advantage of his underground personal and the myths began to appear (remember kids this is pre-internet) Allin was already making record designed to offend and provoke and he certainly achieved that with titles and collaborations to cause outrage (which they certainly did) the subject matter was attacking gay people, promoting drug use and his fascination with serial killers like Gacy led him to go visit the guy in prison. Live he couldn’t finish a set either because the fans stopped it or the police and/or venue interrupted him for his behavior.
There was nothing big or clever about his behavior from the mid-’80s as he tried to stir up a hornet’s nest at every opportunity by saying repulsive comments about women, children, and boasting of his antics. The music had long since stopped being relevant and instead he’d turned into a parody of himself and covered in ones own blood and poop began to fade into history and be a figure of fun that people would poke fun at and goad on to carry out his threat of killing himself on stage. In 91 he recorded with Antiseen what he described as his best album that most closely connected with himself.
If you’ve never heard him or fancy seeing what all the fuss was about then I suggest you check out ‘Hated’ it sure is an extreme ride and one you won’t forget in a hurry. I hope finally after such a chaotic life GG found his peace and afterlife and he can finally rest in peace.
you can pick up his records on the net but this company Aggronautix make a whole bunch of GG related collectibles as well as other bands and iconic figures in punk you really should check them out.
Also passing on this day back in ’81 a guy named Robert “Bob” Davis better known as Chuck Wagon from the punk band the Dickies. Chuck was a talented multi-instrumentalist who played Drums, Bass, Rhythm Guitars, keyboards and Saxophone. He will be best remembered for their iconic debut record ‘The Incredible Shrinking Dickies’. He also returned to the band to record its follow up ‘Dawn Of The Dickies’ as well as playing a few tracks on the third album which came out after his untimely suicide. suffering from depression after the breakup of his relationship Wagon returned after a show with the band and shot himself with a rifle this was 1981 and he was only twenty Five years young. Rest in peace Bob.
Finally today former Gun Club guitarist Rob Graves also known as Rob Ritter. Rob died of a Heroin Overdose on this day in ’90. Rob played with the Gun Club, 45 Grave as well as a bunch of other lesser known bands like The Bags and. Graves played on Gun Clubs early 80s ‘Fires Of Love’ and ‘Miami’ as well as 45 Grave ‘Sleep In Safety’. Gun Club will always be remembered as the vehicle used by Jeffrey Lee Pierce but 45 Graves were part of the art Goth Rock scene with their striking images and this outlandish video for ‘Party Time’. Its believed that Hole and Courtney Love dedicated ‘Pretty On The Inside’ to Rob when it came out.