Greg Ginn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Greg Ginn
Greg Ginn (Black Flag) (Ruhrpott Rodeo 2013) IMGP5891 smial wp.jpg
Greg Ginn performing with Black Flag in 2013
Background information
Birth name Gregory Regis Ginn
Also known as Dale Nixon
Born (1954-06-08) June 8, 1954 (age 62)
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
Years active 1976–present
Labels SST, Cruz
Associated acts Black Flag, Gone, Confront James, El Bad, Mojack, Good For You, The Royal We
Notable instruments
Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite

Gregory Regis Ginn (born June 8, 1954) is an American guitarist, songwriter, and singer.

He is best known for being the leader of and primary songwriter for the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976 to 1986, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013.[1] He was born in Tucson, Arizona.[2]

Since breaking up Black Flag, Ginn has recorded a few solo albums, and has performed with the bands HOR, Fastgato, October Faction, Gone, Killer Tweeker Bees, Confront James, EL BAD, Mojack, The Texas Corrugators, Jambang, Mexican Lions, and he also played bass with Tom Troccoli's Dog.[3] He also owns the Texas-based independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Transmitters when he was a teenager and amateur radio operator (in Hermosa Beach, California).

Ginn was 99th on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".[4] Ginn is the older brother of artist Raymond Ginn who goes under the pseudonym of Raymond Pettibon. Pettibon had contributed a large amount of visual imagery into Black Flag's works, including designing the band's iconic logo.

Black Flag[edit]

Main article: Black Flag (band)

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 independent label, SST Records.

Black Flag remains well-respected within punk subculture, primarily for their tireless promotion of an autonomous DIY punk ethic and aesthetic. They are often regarded as pioneers in the movement of underground do-it-yourself record labels that flourished among the 1980s punk rock bands. Through constant touring throughout the United States and Canada, and occasionally Europe, Black Flag established a dedicated cult following.



For the majority of Black Flag's existence, Ginn used an Ampeg Dan Armstrong Lucite electric guitar with an interchangeable pickup nearly exclusively; it can be seen in use here. The guitar had become extremely worn out after intensive use and was stolen on April 16, 1986. Ginn would play it so hard that sweat (as well as blood) would seep inside the guitar and cause it to short circuit. To fix this problem he soldered the tone and volume knobs in place and installed a waterproof switch. Ginn does not use any effects pedals, and thus every sound he utilised was created with just a guitar and an amp.

After his Ampeg was stolen, he switched to using an Ibanez Roadstar II. According to Ginn, he also used an Ibanez Flying V with a Sound City tube amp for a little while. He has said that this Sound City amp was horrible and was the last time he used a tube amp. He has said that he dislikes tube amps because they round off the sound and he wants a sharper tone.

His current guitar and the one used at the Black Flag reunion shows in 2003 is a custom-made ebony Stratocaster model called "Graffiti." This guitar is unique in that it has a graphite neck and is rather heavy for a Stratocaster copy.

Amplifiers and speakers[edit]

Originally, Ginn used a Peavey Standard Series 260 four channel P.A. head to create his signature tone. He simply plugged directly into the amplifier and played with the volumes turned up to the point to where the signal being produced was naturally overdriven. This procedure created a rather abrasive sound that he tuned alongside of the vocal styling of each singer of the band. This is the sound heard on Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown single, up to the album Damaged. Up until 1982 he also was occasionally seen using Peavey Musician heads and Peavey Standard heads live as well. Ginn later used a rack mounted Roland SIP-300 guitar preamp along with a QSC power amp until 1985 when he began using a Yamaha PG-1 guitar preamp with the same power amp until switching to a Crest PL400 power amp during their last tour. All of Ginn's amps and preamps were solid state, as he preferred them over tube amplifiers.

The earliest speaker cabinets that he used were probably Marshall 4x12's. He used a Sound City 4x12 also. His earliest hand made speaker cabinets were fitted with two Peavey Black Widow 15" speakers. His later speaker cabinets were hand made, and used Electro-Voice speakers. One contained six 12" speakers, and the other with two 15" speakers. He then had two custom built cabinets with two 12" and one 15" speakers each. The type of speakers, being heavy duty and engineered for P.A. use therefore largely contributed to his guitar tone.

Currently, he uses a solid state Sansamp Preamp (overdriven) and uses a Macro-Tech Crown Power Amp with "more wattage than I really need." The power amp drives a custom made 6x12 cabinet.

Partial discography[edit]


  • 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

Black Flag[edit]



  • Your Future (If You Have One) LP (SST Records, 1985) (Producer)

October Faction[edit]

  • October Faction live LP (SST Records, 1985)
  • Second Factionalization LP (SST Records, 1986)

Tom Troccoli's Dog[edit]

  • 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)



  • 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)

Confront James[edit]

  • 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)

El Bad[edit]

  • Bad Motherfucker CD (SST Records, 1996)
  • Trick Or Treat CD (SST Records, 1997)

Hotel X[edit]

  • Uncommon Ground CD (SST Records, 1996) (guest)


  • Model Citizen CD (SST Records, 1997)

Get Me High[edit]

  • Taming The Underground CD (SST Records, 1997)

Killer Tweeker Bees[edit]

  • Tweaker Blues CD (SST Records, 1997)


  • Feral CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)

Limey LBC[edit]

  • Life of Lime CD (SST Records, 2003, unreleased)

The Perfect Rat[edit]

  • Endangered Languages CD (Alone Records, 2007)


  • Connecting CD (SST Records, 2008)
  • 200 Days in Space DVD (SST Records, 2010)

Ten East[edit]

  • Robot's Guide To Freedom CD (Lexicon Devil, 2008)

Libyan Hit Squad[edit]

  • "Full Circle" EP (Ripping Records, 2010) (Guest)

Good For You[edit]

  • Life Is Too Short Not To Hold A Grudge LP (SST Records, 2013)


  1. ^ "Black Flag Is Back". January 25, 2013. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  2. ^ Chick, Stevie (2009). Spray Paint the Walls: The Story of Black Flag. London: Omnibus Press. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-84772-620-9. 
  3. ^ [1] Archived January 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". December 2, 2010. Retrieved 2014-08-22. 

External links[edit]