Henry Rollins is the kind of guy who can (and does) say whatever the fuck he wants. And we all know why: A lil' somethin' called Black Flag. From when the second Flag disbanded, its final singer didn't waste a second wallowing in the aftermath.
He sprang into action. And ever since, Rollins has participated in a plethora of increasingly nonmusical projects -- pontificating on crap culture for MTV, penning book after book after book, acting in movies and cable dramas, hosting his own talk show on IFC, even narrating National Geographic documentaries on outlaw biker gangs. In fact, his upcoming spoken-word engagement at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale is part of a tour to promote a recently published collection of photographs from his time spent in North Korea, Mongolia, Bhutan, Vietnam, India, Tibet, Sudan, Uganda, Haiti, and Cuba.
But all that's only the tip of the iceberg.
5. Rollins Band
Everyone knows that at the end of the long, mosh-pit-and-loogie-filled day, Black Flag belonged to Greg Ginn. And as chief executor of the most important hard-core punk band of all time -- not to mention the legendary SST Records (Dinosaur Jr., Husker Du, Sonic Youth, the list goes on) -- Ginn earned quite a reputation as a control-obsessed killjoy, which might have something to do with why his band went through about 20 members in a single decade. After the five violent, chaotic, and intense years that Hank spent serving in Greg's army, he knew damned well what he was going to name his new punkadelic band.
4. Rollins Wit
Fun fact: Before settling on the egomaniacal handle Rollins Band, Hank thought it might be a good idea to go with -- brace yourself -- an even dumber band name, Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters. Such wit!
3. Rollins Poetry
Anytime you try to make fun of someone's poetry (the crappy symbols, the melodramatic diction, the self-important tone of recitation), some ninny just has to commend the poet for his or her bravery in sharing such intimate writing with the whole world. But that's not why people don't make fun of Henry Rollins' poetry. (Well, to his face.) The real reason that no one dares make light of Hank's poesie is because he can beat any critic's ass. That said, we recommend skipping Rollins' free verse and going right for Get in the Van, Rollins' superjuicy Black Flag memoir.
2. Rollins Meme
Last year, a video interview titled "Henry Rollins vs. Hipsters" went viral. The synopsis: "Henry gets mocked by local hipsters at the record store and fights back immediately." Choice Rollins quote: "What? I'm the 45-year-old narc?" But while Hank certainly came off kinda douchey, we can't blame him for his defensiveness. After dealing with pissed-off, dissatisfied Black Flag fans for years and years, it only makes sense that he's on high alert all the time. Basically, he's become so used to dodging skinheads about to bludgeon him with a sock full of quarters as punishment for growing his hair long that when those record-shopping gals gave him a friendly heckle, Rollins attacked.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Rollins Movie
Starring a pre-tiger blood Charlie Sheen and, of course, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, late '90s kidnapping comedy The Chase is not only the best moment of Henry Rollins' post-Black Flag career. It's likely to stand as his most culturally relevant contribution ever.
Henry Rollins at 7 p.m. Friday, March 9, at Revolution Live, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $25 plus fees. Call 954-449-1025, or visit jointherevolution.net or ticketmaster.com.