The Tfronky Pick of the Week – Henry Rollins

Henry RollinsI 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.




  1. Ed Arnaud · February 18, 2013

    Hi! Great post! I just stumbled upon your blog today. I’ll be following it now. I like your post on The Father Figures also. I was at the Ramones & Black Flag show also in Phoenix at the Palace West. One of my favorite concerts of all time. I used to have all my ticket stubs from shows I attended in the 80’s but since lost them. I was wondering if you have your Palace West show ticket stub still. And if you do, would you be willing to do me the favor of scanning it and sending it to me? I would really appreciate it. Please see my website for some Black Flag pics I took in 1983 in Tucson. Thank you! Ed

    • tfronky · February 18, 2013

      Thanks Ed! As a matter of fact I do have that stub, along with just about every ticket stub I have accumulated over the years. I don’t have a scanner but if you want I’ll take a pic of the stub and email it to you later tonight.

      What a show that was, crazy that the Palace West wasn’t smart enough to have more than the two guys on stage to keep us from stage diving all night and ripping the seats out of the front row! Henry was wearing red Converse and a Speedo that night, wasn’t he?

      Look forward to checking out your site and there are many more Father Figures posts on the blog. They are my favorite local band right now and the drummer is one of my best friends.

      • Ed Arnaud · February 18, 2013

        That’s great you have all your ticket stubs. That would be awesome if you could send a pic of the stub. I want to print it out and laminate it and carry it in my wallet just to show my friends.

        I thought it was a strange place to have a punk show. Cool old theater though. First and only time I’ve been there. Wow, I don’t remember the red Converse. What I remember (may not be accurate) was Henry wearing some athletic shorts that were pulled down enough to show us a whole lot of butt crack. I do remember the long hair. I also saw them in March 84 in Tucson plus the show I photographed in 83. We were lucky to have them frequent Arizona.

        Do the Father Figures ever play in Tucson? I’d like to check them out. Take photos & video. I’ve been getting into filming lately. Total amateur, but I’m having fun.

    • tfronky · March 27, 2013

      Hey Ed,

      Did you get the pic of the ticket stub I emailed you?


  2. Briv · March 16, 2013

    Wow. I can not believe I stumbled across this blog. I was just looking for info on the Ramones-Black Flag concert at the Palace West. I was at that concert as well and arrived at the exact same time as the Ramones did. We were walking down the alley in back when their bus arrived and saw them walk in. It was an awesome concert.

  3. Breeze · May 2, 2014

    I read that same Details article, and that same quote has stuck with me as well.

    • tfronky · May 17, 2014

      Wish I could find the magazine again, lost my copy years ago.

  4. David Gomez · November 14, 2014

    Thant was a good memory, I still have my details magazine because of the impact of that quote, now 20 years later!!

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