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Gregory Regis Ginn (born June 8, 1954) is a 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.

Since breaking up Black Flag, Ginn has recorded a few solo albums, and has performed with the bands HOR, Fastgato, The October Faction, Gone, Confront James, EL BAD, Mojack, The Texas Corrugators, Jambang, and he also played bass with Tom Troccoli's Dog. [9676]. He also owns the Texasmarker-based, independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Transmitters when he was a teenager in Long Beach, Californiamarker. He remains very active in music; in a recent interview he states he still performs "about six nights a week." [9677] This is similar to how he was with Black Flag; with them he was very strict about practicing and would practice for up to 7 hours a day, 6 days a week according to Henry Rollins.

Black Flag singer Henry Rollins has compared Ginn's playing style to that of free jazz saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy rather than to other guitarists. Ginn is an avid jazz fan, stating he generally prefers music by saxophone or piano players.

Rollins has also said that Ginn is perhaps the reason for Black Flag's success stating that, "Black Flag had at least one ingredient they only made one of and that's Greg Ginn, that's the big deal with that band."

One review of Black Flag's Slip It In (1984) notes that Ginn's "playing was becoming increasingly avant-garde and exciting. Rather than simply coughing up one clichéd solo after another, he wandered harmolodically up and down the fretboard as a jazz player like Blood Ulmer would, making the material more interesting than what most Black Flag-influenced bands were playing." [9678]

Ginn made it to 99th on Rolling Stone's list of "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".


Greg has two brothers and two sisters. His father, Regis, was a teacher and self-published author and his mother, Õie, was an immigrant from Estoniamarker. The two met while Regis served in World War II as a B-17 navigator for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Ginn's younger brother, Raymond Pettibon, is an award-winning artist whose early works have appeared on album artwork for Black Flag and other SST bands; Pettibon also designed the Black Flag logo. The two had a falling out over the treatment of Raymond's artwork by SST and have not spoken since the mid-1980s.

Ginn's nephew Alex founded the punk band 1208.

Ginn is also active in cat-rescue, possessing approximately 30 cats, having reformed Black Flag in September 2003 for a cat rescue benefit.

Ginn has two daughters; Dori was born in 2004 and Karis in 2007.

In 2007, Greg moved from Long Beach, Californiamarker to Taylor, Texasmarker.



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

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 stylings of each singer of the band. This is the sound you hear on Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown single, up to the album Damaged. 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 notably dense 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, which he likes a lot.

Partial Discography


  • 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

Black Flag



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

October Faction

  • 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 Gone, 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)

Hotel X

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


  • Model Citizen CD (SST Records, 1997)

Get Me High

  • Taming The Underground CD (SST Records, 1997)


  • Merchandizing Murder CD (SST Records, 1995)
  • Home Brew CD (SST Records, 1997)
  • Rub-A-Dub CD (SST Records, 2003)
  • Under The Willow Tree CD (SST Records, 2007)
  • The Metal years CD (SST Records, 2008)


  • House CD (SST Records, 1995)
  • Slo N' Sleazy CD (SST Records, 1996)
  • A Faster, More Aggressive Hor CD (SST Records, 1998)
  • How Much? CD (SST Records, 2003)


  • Feral CD (SST Records, 2003)

Confront James

  • 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)

El Bad

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

Killer Tweeker Bees

  • Tweaker Blues CD (SST Records, 1997)

The Perfect Rat

  • Endangered Languages CD (Alone Records, 2007)


  • Connecting CD (SST Records, 2008)

Ten East

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


External links

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