Some Slices of Henry Rollins

Since my ‘youth’ I’ve listened to the music, spoken word and read books written by ‘punk’ vocalist Henry Rollins. There’s a lot of good stuff in there. For his Black Flag days, I’d go and listen to their ‘Damaged’ album if you just want to sample one.

For his spoken word, I’d say ‘Boxed Life (1992)’ is best, but him reading his own book ‘Get in the Van’ is also excellent. The book itself is very well written, with some excellent illustrations by punk artist ‘Raymond Pettibon’. Notably the book contains some of the gorier things he saw on tour with Black Flag which are missing from the double-CD spoken edition.

I’ve seen Rollins live a few times - first was in his Rollins Band days in the early 90s, when he co-headlined a tour in the UK with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, which was a fabulous gig at the Birmingham Hummingbird. I’ve seen him do his stand up / spoken word live shows a few times in London. He’s also a really good guest on interview shows like (First We Feast), and the Joe Rogan Experience. For a while he did a podcast, but sadly he’s put that on hiatus.

Nowadays, Henry has a show on KRCW radio, and has put out some great personal playlists during the COVID pandemic.

If you’ve not heard or tried any of his stuff, give it a go. It’s been interesting watch the angry man of of punk focus himself over the years, and when you see what made him angry, I think a lot of people could empathise.