|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 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 to 1986, and again in 2003. The band announced another reunion on January 25, 2013. 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. Ginn was 99th on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".
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.
Ginn owns the Texas-based independent record label, SST Records (SST), an outgrowth of his original Solid State Tuners company.
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 SST Records.
"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.
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.
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.
[...] 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.
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.’
[...] 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. [...]
[...] 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. [...]