Greg Ginn performing with Black Flag in 2013
|Birth name||Gregory Regis Ginn|
|Born||June 8, 1954|
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Genres||Hardcore punk, punk rock, free jazz, punk jazz, heavy metal|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Guitar, bass guitar, theremin, vocals|
|Associated acts||Black Flag, Gone, Confront James, Mojack, The Nig-Heist|
Gregory Regis "Greg" Ginn (born June 8, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer, best known for being the leader of and primary songwriter for the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976–86, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013. Since the break up of Black Flag, Ginn has recorded solo albums, and performed with such bands as October Faction, Gone, Confront James, Mojack, and others. Ginn was 99th on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
Personal life and producer career
Ginn was born June 8, 1954 in Tucson, Arizona. He began an electronics company in Hermosa Beach, California, called Solid State Tuners, when he was 12 years old and an amateur radio operator. Ginn became a vegetarian at 17 years old in 1971 and has been a vegan since 1998. Ginn is the older brother of artist Raymond Ginn, who goes by the pseudonym of Raymond Pettibon.
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Black Flag is an American hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. The band was established by Greg Ginn, the guitarist, primary songwriter, and sole continuous member through multiple personnel changes in the band. They are widely considered to be one of the first hardcore punk bands. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag briefly reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. Black Flag's sound mixed the raw simplicity of the Ramones with atonal guitar solos and frequent tempo shifts. The lyrics were written mostly by Ginn, and like other punk rock bands of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Black Flag voiced an anti-authoritarian and non-conformist message, in songs punctuated with descriptions of social isolation, neurosis, poverty, and paranoia. These themes were explored further when Henry Rollins joined the band as lead singer in 1981. Most of the band's material was released on Ginn's SST Records.
Use of pseudonym
"Dale Nixon" is a pseudonym and multiple-use name originally used by Ginn to obfuscate the fact that he played bass on the later Black Flag albums, My War and What The... It has since been used by other artists (typically punk), to appear on albums without being in breach of record label contracts that stipulate label exclusivity. Other artists using the "Dale Nixon" moniker include: Dave Grohl of the Melvins on their 1992 album, King Buzzo; and Brian Baker, a founding members of Minor Threat, credited as Nixon on the 1992 Dag Nasty album, Four on the Floor. The name appears once again, listed as a bass player, on the Ryan Adams album Orion; it is likely Ryan himself.
Ginn's earliest guitar was a Dan Armstrong electric guitar. He eventually started using an Ibanez Roadstar and Fender Stratocaster guitars in later albums.
He would play both guitars through an Ampeg SVT-410HLF bass cabinet.
Ginn never uses any effects or distortion pedals, as depicted in the Nervous Breakdown EP.
- Getting Even LP (Cruz Records, 1993)
- Dick LP (Cruz Records, 1993)
- Payday EP (Cruz Records, 1993)
- Don't Tell Me EP (Cruz Records, 1994)
- Let It Burn (Because I Don't Live There Anymore) LP (Cruz Records, 1994)
- Bent Edge LP (SST Records, 2007) – with The Taylor Texas Corrugators
- Goof Off Experts LP (SST Records, 2008) – with The Taylor Texas Corrugators
- Freddie 7" (Electric Cowbell, 2010) – with The Taylor Texas Corrugators
- Legends of Williamson County LP (SST Records, 2010) – with The Taylor Texas Corrugators
- We Are Amused LP (SST Records, 2011) – with The Royal We
- We Are One 12" (SST Records, 2011) – with The Royal We
- Fearless Leaders LP (SST Records, 2013) – with The Royal We
- Nervous Breakdown EP (SST Records, 1979)
- Jealous Again EP (SST Records, 1980)
- Six Pack single (SST Records, 1981)
- Louie, Louie single (Posh Boy Records, 1981)
- Damaged LP (SST Records/Unicorn Records, 1981)
- TV Party single (SST Records/Unicorn Records, 1982)
- Everything Went Black double LP (SST Records, 1983)
- The First Four Years compilation LP (SST Records, 1983)
- My War LP (SST Records, 1983)
- Family Man LP (SST Records, 1984)
- Slip It In LP (SST Records, 1984)
- Live '84 live cassette (SST Records, 1984)
- Loose Nut LP (SST Records, 1985)
- The Process of Weeding Out EP (SST Records, 1985)
- In My Head LP (SST Records, 1985)
- Who's Got the 10½? live LP (SST Records, 1986)
- Annihilate This Week live EP (SST Records, 1987)
- I Can See You EP (SST Records, 1989)
- What The... LP (SST Records, 2013)
- Paranoid Time EP (SST Records, 1980) (Producer)
- Your Future (If You Have One) LP (SST Records, 1985) (Producer)
- October Faction live LP (SST Records, 1985)
- Second Factionalization LP (SST Records, 1986)
Tom Troccoli's Dog
- Tom Troccoli's Dog LP (SST Records, 1985)
- Let's Get Real, Real Gone for a Change LP (SST Records, 1986)
- Gone II – But Never Too Gone! LP (SST Records, 1986)
- Criminal Mind LP (SST Records, 1994)
- Smoking Gun remix EP (SST Records, 1994)
- All The Dirt That's Fit To Print LP (SST Records, 1994)
- Damage Control remix EP (SST Records, 1995)
- Best Left Unsaid LP (SST Records, 1996)
- Country Dumb LP (SST Records, 1998)
- The Epic Trilogy double CD (SST Records, 2007)
- Minuteflag EP (SST Records, 1986)
- Sasquatch Rock LP (SST Records, 1987) (guest)
- Belly to the Ground LP (Cruz Records, 1994) (Producer, guest)
- Merchandizing Murder CD (SST Records, 1995)
- Home Brew CD (SST Records, 1997)
- Rub-A-Dub CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)
- Under The Willow Tree CD (SST Records, 2007)
- The Metal Years CD (SST Records, 2008)
- Hijinks CD (SST Records, 2011)
- Car CD (SST Records, 2013)
- House CD (SST Records, 1995)
- Slo N' Sleazy CD (SST Records, 1996)
- A Faster, More Aggressive Hor CD (SST Records, 1998)
- Bash CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)
- Culture Wars CD (SST Records, 2010)
- Test One Reality CD (SST Records, 1995)
- Just Do It CD (SST Records, 1995)
- Ill Gotten Hatred CD (SST Records, 1996)
- Chemical Exposure CD (SST Records, 1996)
- Black Mountain Bomb CD (SST Records, 1997)
- We Are Humored CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)
- Bad Motherfucker CD (SST Records, 1996)
- Trick Or Treat CD (SST Records, 1997)
- Uncommon Ground CD (SST Records, 1996) (guest)
- Model Citizen CD (SST Records, 1997)
Get Me High
- Taming The Underground CD (SST Records, 1997)
Killer Tweeker Bees
- Tweaker Blues CD (SST Records, 1997)
- Feral CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)
- Life of Lime CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)
The Perfect Rat
- Endangered Languages CD (Alone Records, 2007)
- Connecting CD (SST Records, 2008)
- 200 Days in Space DVD (SST Records, 2010)
- Robot's Guide To Freedom CD (Lexicon Devil, 2008)
Libyan Hit Squad/Round Eye
- "Full Circle" EP (Ripping Records, 2010) (Guest)
Good For You
- Life Is Too Short Not To Hold A Grudge LP (SST Records, 2013)
- Too! LP (SST Records, 2013)
- Fucked Up "7"(SST Records, 2013)
- Full Serving (SST Records, 2013)
Reception and comments from other musicians
Many artists have cited Ginn as an influence or have expressed their admiration for him, including Buzz Osborne of Melvins, Omar Rodríguez-López of The Mars Volta, William DuVall of Alice in Chains, Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan, Kurt Ballou of Converge, Justin Sane of Anti-Flag, RM Hubbert, Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, Zach Blair of Rise Against, Weasel Walter, Andrew Williams of Every Time I Die, Laurent Barnard of Gallows, and Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos.
- "Black Flag Is Back". Blabbermouth.net. January 25, 2013. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
-  Archived January 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
- "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Rollingstone.com. December 2, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2014.
- Chick, Stevie (2009). Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag. London: Omnibus Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-84772-620-9.
- Ritchie, Ryan (June 5, 2013). "VegNews Music Week: Eating Vegan On the Road with Black Flag's Greg Ginn". VegNews. Retrieved May 5, 2017.
- Eakin, Marah (January 7, 2014). "Melvins' Buzz Osborne picks songs by "bands that were good, but blew it"". The A.V. Club. Archived from the original on January 7, 2014. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
[...] Greg Ginn was certainly a huge influence on my guitar playing. I put him up there with people like Eddie Van Halen. [...] he definitely changed everything.
- Cleveland, Barry (November 24, 2009). "Omar Rodriguez Lopez Interview Outtakes". Guitar Player. Archived from the original on June 12, 2014. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- DuVall, William (September 4, 2016). "How Black Flag changed my life, by William DuVall". TeamRock.com. Archived from the original on September 5, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
When Black Flag came along I was like, ‘This is it. This is exactly what the doctor ordered.’ That unhinged guitar playing that Greg Ginn was doing was amazing. As a fan of Hendrix and avant-garde jazz, he was right there at the centre of all of that and he embraced all of it in his playing. I could tell that what he was doing was deliberate, too. It wasn’t just like, ‘Oh this guy can’t play.’ It was discipline. Later on, I got to know Greg Ginn and it was all confirmed for me. He was like, ‘This is method.’
- Massie, Andrew (July 15, 2015). "The Rockpit interviews | BEN WEINMAN | DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN". The Rockpit. Archived from the original on July 24, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
- Ramirez, Carlos (February 19, 2008). "Converge: 'The Best Way To Learn Is Just Start Doing It'". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved April 15, 2017.
- Greer, Jonathan (June 15, 2012). "INTERVIEW: Slow Thrills meets R.M. Hubbert". slowthrills.wordpress.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
- Florino, Rick (October 1, 2012). "Bill Kelliher Talks Primate, "Star Wars", Mastodon, and More". Artistdirect. Archived from the original on October 4, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- Kelly, Amy (April 25, 2011). "Zach Blair Of Rise Against: 'I've Always Been A Student Of Aggression'". Ultimate Guitar Archive. Archived from the original on June 16, 2017. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
[...] I'm not such a fan of crazy, loose playing, but I think Greg Ginn of Black Flag was brilliant and did it in a way where it sounded like he was playing sloppy but that was exactly how he wanted to play it. He was actually playing tighter than anyone I had ever seen. He was making tight sound that way. [...]
- Shteamer, Hank (December 2011). "Interview: Weasel Walter". www.invisibleoranges.com (published May 9, 2012). Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
- Hodgson, Peter (September 29, 2013). "INTERVIEW: Every Time I Die's Andy Williams". iheartguitarblog.com. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. Retrieved April 14, 2017.
[...] People don’t want to hear it, but that’s my main writing influence, Greg Ginn. Anything he wrote on a guitar was what I wanted to do on a guitar. [...]
- Barnard, Laurent (August 28, 2016). "My Top 5 Punk Guitarists by Gallows' Laurent Barnard". TeamRock. Archived from the original on August 29, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
- "Guitarist Interview with Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos". QDR. Silbermedia.com. August 2010. Archived from the original on November 14, 2011. Retrieved March 9, 2017.