I idolize two musicians, Bob Mould and Henry Rollins. Mould may be in his fifties but continues to create some of the best and most incendiary music on the planet. The posers from Generation Y would be well served to learn from that genius. Rollins continues to reinvent himself and add to a resume that could be described as one of a true Renaissance Man. How many people do you know that can wear so many different hats, including lead singer of three different bands, spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor and radio DJ?
Years ago Details Magazine (I think in 1994) published an interview with Henry Rollins when the Weight album from the Rollins Band was released. That album contained the song the band may be best known for, “Liar”. Killer video too by the way. Rollins made a comment in that interview that still resonates with me 19 years later; “I didn’t get a Ph.D. I just said, ‘I don’t want to work at Pizza Hut. I don’t want to join the Navy. I guess I’ll have to go out and be awesome.'”
Good luck being as awesome as that guy. However, as long as I have a copy of his 1993 book “Now Watch Him Die” and vivid memories of three different live shows at least things can seem pretty awesome. Those shows include a November 15, 1984 concert when Black Flag opened for The Ramones at the Palace West and Henry had long hair (the last time I saw that band by the way), a July 28, 1994 Rollins Band concert at Mesa Amphitheater with Sausage and Helmet opening, and a marathon November 5, 1998 spoken word performance at Celebrity Theater.
Rather than try to pick just one of the bands Henry Rollins was in I’ll treat you to videos from all three. 10:1 only Bobby Lerma, the rest of the Sunnyslope Crew, and Michael and Tom from The Father Figures will even know the first band, a killer hardcore outfit from D.C by the name of State of Alert featuring a very young Henry Garfield and future members of Faith. Enjoy.