Greg Ginn

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Greg Ginn
Ginn performing in 2019
Background information
Birth nameGregory Regis Ginn
Born (1954-06-08) June 8, 1954 (age 68)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Genres Hardcore punk, punk rock, free jazz, punk jazz, heavy metal
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter, record producer
Instrument(s)Guitar, bass, vocals
Years active1976–present
Labels SST, Cruz

Gregory Regis Ginn (born June 8, 1954) is an American guitarist, bassist, singer and songwriter, best known for being the leader, primary songwriter, and the only continuous member of the hardcore punk band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976 to 1986, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion in 2013. [1] Since the breakup of Black Flag, Ginn has recorded solo albums, and performed with such bands as October Faction, Gone, Confront James, Mojack, and others. [2] He was 99th on Rolling Stone 's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". [3]


Personal life

Ginn was born June 8, 1954, in Tucson, Arizona. [4] 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. [5] Ginn is the older brother of artist Raymond Ginn, who goes by the pseudonym of Raymond Pettibon.

Ginn owns the Texas-based independent record label SST Records (SST), an outgrowth of his original Solid State Tuners company.

On October 10, 2014, Ginn's ex-wife Marina filed a motion in court to prevent Ginn from having access to their children, claiming Ginn was "routinely denying them food and threatening them," "abusing alcohol and drugs in front of them," had "forced [the children] to do cleaning chores until 2 a.m." "locked [them] in a room alone with no contact with the outside world through cell phone or emails," and had "throw[n] cups of water in their face." She also claimed he had told his daughters "you're hot" and "whistled at them," and told them "they are getting fat and need to lose weight and that their diets will have to be more strenuous." [6] Ex-Black Flag member Ron Reyes later submitted an affidavit to the court supporting Marina Ginn's statements. [7]

Black Flag

Ginn performing with Black Flag in 2013 Greg Ginn (Black Flag) (Ruhrpott Rodeo 2013) IMGP5891 smial wp.jpg
Ginn performing with Black Flag in 2013

Black Flag is an American hardcore punk band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. The band was established by 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, who filled in on drums for the Melvins' 1992 album King Buzzo , and Brian Baker, a founding member 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.

Legacy and praise

Many artists have cited Ginn as an influence or have expressed their admiration for him, including Buzz Osborne of Melvins, [8] Omar Rodríguez-López of The Mars Volta, [9] William DuVall of Alice in Chains, [10] Ben Weinman of The Dillinger Escape Plan, [11] Kurt Ballou of Converge, [12] Justin Sane of Anti-Flag,[ citation needed ] RM Hubbert, [13] Bill Kelliher of Mastodon, [14] Zach Blair of Rise Against, [15] Weasel Walter, [16] Andrew Williams of Every Time I Die, [17] Laurent Barnard of Gallows, [18] and Nick Reinhart of Tera Melos. [19]



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.

Partial discography


Black Flag



October Faction

Tom Troccoli's Dog







Confront James

El Bad

Hotel X


Get Me High

Killer Tweeker Bees


Limey LBC

The Perfect Rat


Ten East

Libyan Hit Squad/Round Eye

Good for You

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Black Flag is an American punk rock band formed in 1976 in Hermosa Beach, California. Initially called Panic, 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, as well as one of the pioneers of post-hardcore. After breaking up in 1986, Black Flag reunited in 2003 and again in 2013. The second reunion lasted well over a year, during which they released their first studio album in nearly three decades, What The... (2013). The band announced their third reunion in January 2019.

SST Records is an American independent record label formed in 1978 in Long Beach, California by musician Greg Ginn. The company was formed in 1966 by Ginn at age 12 as Solid State Tuners, a small business through which he sold electronics equipment. Ginn repurposed the company as a record label to release material by his band Black Flag.

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October Faction was one of the many off-shoots of punk band Black Flag. A supergroup of SST alumni that mixed jazz and hard rock mainly as an instrumental vehicle, the band included Chuck Dukowski on bass and vocals, Greg Ginn on guitar, Greg Cameron (SWA) on drums, Joe Baiza on guitar, and Tom Troccoli on blues harp and vocals. Never an actual working band as much as an occasional jam band, the band released a live recording in 1985 and studio LP in 1986.

SWA was an American band originally started as a concept defined by Chuck Dukowski, former bassist of Black Flag, while he was still a member of that band. The name was created by assigning an alphabetical value to numbers on a gaming die, then rolling the die three times. Dukowski would later claim that the name was offered up by Joe Carducci and was accepted by the rest of the band, despite CDukowski's own discomfort with it. SWA has had the dubious distinction of being considered the "worst" band to ever record for SST Records by many label aficionados and, in one fanzine article, Steve Albini claimed that among the worst things a person could do was "listen to SWA" and "be SWA". However, others have come to the band's defense. The band existed from the mid 1980s until 1992 and released five albums on SST Records, all of which are currently out of print.

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Würm was a sludge metal band started in 1973 by bass player Chuck Dukowski, who would later join Black Flag. They released two LP's on Greg Ginn's SST Records and some tracks on compilations. They were active from 1973 to 1977 and from 1982 to 1983.

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The Nig-Heist was a punk-comedy-shock rock band led by Steve "Mugger" Corbin, a roadie and live sound engineer for Black Flag and employee of SST Records. The Nig-Heist featured a revolving-door roster of members of the bands who were on tour with Black Flag at the moment. The band used to open for Black Flag on tour and recorded a 7", an LP and had tracks on compilations. They were notorious for their risqué stage antics, including band members playing naked, Mugger wearing a long-haired wig and insulting the crowd. Their songs were overtly vulgar and explicit in a funny way. Their motto was: "The band that cums in your mouth, not in your hands".

Overkill L.A. or SST Overkill is a hardcore punk/speed metal band started in 1980 in Los Angeles and which recorded two records on SST Records and some tracks on compilations. The band started as Overkill but they were rechristened Overkill L.A. by SST Records when they re-released their albums in the '90s and SST Overkill when they reunited in 2005.


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