Henry Rollins [Spoken Words]

Henry Rollins [Spoken Words]

Henry Rollins has done a lot in his life. It’s a safe bet to say that he didn’t have the slightest idea how far he would go one early summer night back in 1980 when he jumped up on stage at a Washington D.C. club to sing alongside the band, Black Flag. They were impressed by his impromptu performance and called him up a few days later to ask him to come to New York City to sit in with them at practice. They were looking for a new vocalist and wanted to test Rollins’s mettle in this capacity. After running through their entire play-list they knew he was the one and offered him the job. He accepted without hesitation.

So began what would turn out to be one of the most turbulent times in Rollins’s life. He had just crossed over into his twenties and abruptly severed all his ties in the D.C. area. He sold his car, his possessions, quit his job and moved out of his apartment to join Black Flag on the road. It was now summer of 1981. For the next five years the band ripped along at a manic pace, jumping from one end of the country to the other and back again, playing anywhere that would let them set up. They would leap across the Atlantic to tour in the U.K. and Europe and then back to the States again for more shows, performing in front of audiences that were occasionally receptive, but mainly abusive and sometimes downright hostile.

During this time Black Flag played shows with some of the premier punk and metal bands of the era, opening for the likes of the Misfits and the Ramones, meeting and hanging out with the members of these bands and more, like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and the Bad Brains. In winter of 1984 the band completed their tour for the year and Rollins retreated from the outside world almost entirely, spending the first five months of “85 living in a shed in a friend”s backyard, doing nothing but reading, writing and listening to music.

Around this time he began doing spoken word performances. And he would emerge from time to time to go to a local tattoo parlor to have work done on a large design on his back: an ornate sun with a glowering face and above this, across his shoulders, in bold, black lettering, the words SEARCH AND DESTROY. A hard upbringing, teenage years spent working low paying jobs and now the harsh realities of a dirt poor punk rock band on tour had brought out the warrior in Rollins. There would be no more backing down for him. This phrase on his back had become his life’s philosophy. Search for what you want out of life and destroy any obstacle that gets in your way. In May of that year he emerged ready to go back out on tour.

Eventually though, all things come to an end. After touring for most of the rest of 1985 the band took a break and then picked up again at the beginning of “86 but by then all the time spent running themselves ragged, and all the harsh treatment they”d endured over the past five years had finally taken its toll. About two months after the band finished performing Rollins got a call from Greg Ginn, guitarist and Black Flag’s founding member, telling him that he’d had enough and was leaving the band.

That was that. One of the most groundbreaking bands of the punk rock movement had come to an end. That didn’t slow Henry Rollins down in the slightest. By 1987 he had assembled, and was touring with, the Rollins Band. The following year he founded 2.13.61 publications and began publishing his own essays and articles as well as that of many of his friends from Black Flag’s heyday. In addition, he was now making regular spoken word appearances at venues all over the country. For the next ten years he never stopped working. In fact, by late 1997 his agent informed him that he’d accumulated so many hundreds of thousands of frequent flier miles that he could go just about anywhere he wanted for free.

So, at long last, Rollins decided to take some time off and spent the better part of 1998 traveling through Africa, then to Madagascar, then north into Europe and finally into Russia. He returned home to L.A. feeling revitalized and promptly went right back into his non-stop schedule.

Four years later Rollins reunited with some of the members of Black Flag to put together an album and tour to raise money to help the West Memphis Three. Rollins and company found themselves recording the songs of Black Flag alongside the likes of Lemmy Kilmeister of Motorhead, Tom Araya of Slayer and Iggy Pop among others. The tour wrapped in mid 2003 and both it and the album were a huge success. But even then Henry Rollins did not stop to rest on his laurels. He kept working, as always.

In 2005 the Independent Film Channel contacted him with a proposition. They had a concept for a show designed around Rollins and his views where he would interview other figures in the Film and Entertainment industry. And so, he became the host of the Henry Rollins Show. And this brings us up to the present. Since Black Flag broke up Henry Rollins has never slowed down. If he is not facing a challenge of some kind than he feels that he is getting nothing out of life. He has endured the hell of starvation, crushing fatigue and enmity on tour with Black Flag. He has endured the shooting death of his long-time friend and collaborator Joe Cole. He has endured being written off by critics. And he has come through each obstacle more determined than before.

Henry Rollins.com / The Henry Rollins Show / Harmony In My Head / Rollins Archive / Henry Rollins @ IMDb / Henry Rollins @ Wikipedia

Henry's Film Corner (2004/05)
Episode 1: Download - MegaUpload
Episode 2: Download - MegaUpload
Episode 3: Download - MegaUpload
Episode 4: Download - MegaUpload
Episode 5: Download - MegaUpload

[Spoken Words MP3]
1988 - Henry Rollins - Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ 25.10.1988 here or here
1990 - Ancienne Belgique, Brüssels 14.04.1990 RapidShare/MegaUpload
1990 - Live At McCabe's
1999 - Eric The Pilot PASS: Com3dY
2001 - A Rollins In The Wry PASS: Com3dY
2001 - Live In London PASS: Com3dY
2001 - The Boxed Life PART 1/PART 2 PASS: Com3dY
2001 - Live at the Westbeth Theater PASS: Com3dY
2003 - Live At Luna Park PASS: Com3dY
2004 - Nights Behind The Tree Line
2005 - Rival Hotel, Stockholm 18.01.2005

Provoked (Live)
2007 - Moore Theatre, Seattle, Washington 31.10.2007
2007 - Keswick Theater, Glenside, Pennsylvania 06.10.2007
2007 - The Canal Club, Richmond, Virginia 29.09.2007

1990 - Don Bajema, Lydia Lunch, Hubert Selby Jr. & Henry Rollins - Our Fathers Who Aren't In Heaven part1/par2 or here on megaupload
2002 - Rise Above Interview Disc Rapidshare/MegaUpload