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Greg Ginn

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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 punk rock band Black Flag, which he founded and led from 1976 to 1986 and 2013 to present.

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, and he also played bass with Tom Troccoli’s Dog. He also owns the South Bay based, independent record label, SST, originally begun as an electronics company called Solid State Transmitters when he was a teenager. He remains very active in music; in a recent interview he states he still performs “about six nights a week.” 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.

Ginn’s guitar sound is distinctive, often recognizable within a few notes. His guitar tone is typically characterized by a lack of highs and a high amount of mids, which creates a muffled sound. Black Flag singer Henry Rollins has repeatedly compared Ginn’s playing not to any other guitarists, but to free jazz saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Eric Dolphy. These may initially appear unlikely comparisons, but a closer examination reveals some similarities: Like both saxophonists, Ginn tends towards highly emotive playing and has a thorough grasp of musical harmony, though often choosing to play notes that are technically “incorrect” but which frequently carry a greater visceral impact than “proper” playing. Ginn is an avid jazz fan, stating he generally prefers music by saxophone or piano players.

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