On Saturday night, John Stabb, frontman of the early DC hardcore standard-bearers Government Issue, died after a battle with stomach cancer. Government Issue made the annoucement on their Facebook page. Stabb was 54.
Stabb, born John Schroeder, started the punk band the Stab in 1980. They changed their name to Government Issue, and he used their name as his punk name. Government Issue released Legless Bull, their first 7″ EP, on Dischord in 1981. They were a standout during that early hardcore era, thanks in part to Stabb and his intense, frenetic, obnoxious-in-a-good-way stage energy. (For a while, Minor Threat guitarist Brian Baker was also a member.) G.I. would release six albums in the ’80s before breaking up in 1989. They went through many lineup changes, but Stabb was a constant throughout.
After the band’s breakup, Stabb released solo records, and he also played with bands like Betty Blue and the Factory Incident, while former G.I. members went on to form bands like Jawbox and Wool. Government Issue reunited for shows in 2007 and 2010. Watch some videos of them playing live below.