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Almost anything is possible in music, but where are the limits? There is a difference between playing the devil on stage and actually being the devil in the real world. | Photo: Maksym Vlasenko (Unsplash)
Almost anything is possible in music, but where are the limits? There is a difference between playing the devil on stage and actually being the devil in the real world. | Photo: Maksym Vlasenko (Unsplash)
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TOP 3 Musicians from Hell

In the music world, there is no shortage of all kinds of extravagance, of constant breaking of the boundaries of normality and a disregard for the limits of the acceptable. Art is meant to outrage, raise questions and disturb. But what if you open the gates of hell? Today we look at the top 3 musicians who don't treat Satan as PR, but as a conviction.

1. GG Alin

A madman from Lancaster (New Hampshire, USA), who has spent his whole life doing everything he could to piss off as many people as possible, was born with the biblical name Jesus Christ Allin. This is because his father was visited by the Son of God in a dream. Little did the poor man know that instead of the Messiah, his son would turn into a monster who would smear himself with blood or excrement during his show. His brother started calling him "Je Je" because he couldn't pronounce "Jesus". This then became GG.

Members of his own band described Allin as "uncontrollable, uncompromising and cruel". GG has also fronted various other groups that had, to put it mildly, slightly racy names: The Jabbers, The Cedar Street Sluts, The Scumfucs, The Murder Junkies and The Texas Nazis.

Allin introduced his famous "poop punk movement" in 1985 at a concert in Peoria, Illinois. When he literally – and intentionally – sh***ed on stage, there was chaos in the audience as people panicked to get as far away from the unbearable smell as possible.

No wonder Allin was addicted to heroin and alcohol for years. Later, he also began consuming laxatives, as he regularly defecated on stage during his performances, often smearing the faeces on himself and then throwing them at the audience, whom he also repeatedly physically assaulted. During one particularly successful show, he managed to stuff the entire microphone up his anus...

His mantra? "With GG, you don't get what you expect – you get what you deserve." Allin consistently claimed he was going to commit suicide onstage during one of his concerts, but eventually died of a heroin overdose instead at the age of thirty-six (June 28, 1993). He was buried as he wished: with a bottle of Jim Beam.

2. Gary Glitter

This man is considered a publicly hated figure in his native Britain. Gary Glitter (real name Paul Francis Gadd) was successful in the early 1970s. He wrote hits like "Rock and Roll (Parts 1 and 2)," "Do You Wanna Touch Me", "I Love You Love Me Love," "I'm the Leader of the Gang (I Am)" and "Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again". He is known for his energetic live performances with an extreme glam rock image full of glittery suits, make-up and high boots. He sold more than 20 million records and had 26 hit singles that spent a total of 180 weeks in the UK Singles Chart, with 12 of them reaching the top 10 and three of them reaching number one.

However, Glitter's career ended after he was jailed in 1999 for downloading child pornography. He was also convicted of child sexual abuse in 2006 and a series of sex crimes (including attempted rape) in 2015. 

The disgraced singer then went on the run and staged a world tour to escape authorities. However, he failed in his attempt to disappear in Southeast Asia, committing more and worse offences along the way (he sexually assaulted underaged victims in Cambodia and Vietnam).

Eventually, Glitter was caught and served time in several countries, but strangely enough, he is currently free (he was released on February 3, 2023, from a prison in Dorset, UK) and has even announced plans to record a new album. I think I speak for most music fans when I declare that this pervert should go and kneel on frozen peas in the corner and beg for forgiveness every day instead of returning to the recording studio.

3. Charles Manson

He is best known as the central figure in the dark, psychosexual, conspiracy-ridden cult that was responsible for the brutal murders of actress Sharon Tate and six other people in August 1969.

However, before that, he was a musician – between 1967 and 1969, he tried to make it in Hollywood. The Beach Boys even recorded a cover version of one of his songs, "Cease to Exist". The song, with altered lyrics and under the title "Never Learn Not to Love", was released in December 1968 on the B-side of the single "Bluebirds over the Mountain".

Incredibly, Manson kept releasing music and spoken word both during the trial and his time in prison. He also recorded an album of acoustic pop songs called "Completion" produced by Henry Rollins. Only five copies were pressed: two belong to Rollins, while the other three are believed to have remained with Manson. The album has never been released publicly.

Manson was a maniac and a mentally ill patient who interpreted the lyrics of the Beatles' "Helter Skelter" as an impending apocalyptic race war (the song was on the White Album, which only added more "context" to Manson's deranged mind). He latched onto the idea of an approaching war between the black and white populations of America. He was an advocate of neo-Nazism, telling members of his clan that blacks in America would rise and kill all whites except Manson and his "family". However, they were supposedly not intelligent enough to survive on their own and therefore would need a white man to lead them. They will thus serve Manson as their "master". It's hard to imagine that anyone believed this sick-brain invention, isn't it? 

Manson's cult and persona are a painful chapter of hippie culture's lost dream. Manson opened Pandora's box of neo-Nazism and occult conspiracy theories that pervaded America in the 1970s and beyond.

Maybe some representatives of gangsta rap culture, church burners from the black metal scene or occasional paedophiles, deviants and murderers who sometimes appear on the music scene could make it to the list. However, the above-mentioned trio stand at the top of this infernal pyramid due to their influence on the cultural scene, their popularity and the extent of the crimes they have committed.

But now that I think about it, compared to Glitter and Mason, GG Allin strikes me as nothing more than a pitiful figure who tortured mostly himself.

Tagy top 3 charles manson gg allin gary glitter

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Marek Bero
Bass Gym 101 books, touring & session bass player, football tactics aficionado.