On Saturday evening (May 7), Government Issue frontman John Stabb passed away of malignant stomach cancer. He was 54 years old.
Born John Schroeder, Stabb was a fixture in the iconic '80s D.C. hardcore scene, releasing GI's first EP, Legless Bull, in 1980 via Dischord Records (the legendary label responsible for Minor Threat, Void, Faith...countless other formative hardcore bands.) Stabb was beloved in his community, known for his unrelenting energy when performing live.
While the subject matter for G.I. focuses on political and social injustices (not to mention the straight edge anthem of "Rock'n Roll Bullshit,") Stabb made sure those who saw his gigs or had a conversation with him had a good time. He combined humor and hardcore in a self-serious scene hungry for the optimistic outlook, informing a generation that life is supposed to be lived, that punk can and should be fun. R.I.P. Stabb, we're sure you're giving 'em hell in heaven.