Today’s Feature, September 10th & 11th: Henry Rollins

September 10, 2007 at 9:52 am (Today's Feature)

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Whether I actively try or not, I do want to be considered “cool.” Most people try to be cool, some succeed, and some will make the argument that the coolest people in the world don’t bother worrying about it. I can’t say for sure, but I doubt the focus of this feature really cares if you find him cool or not. Let’s be honest. When you’re dealing with a guy like Henry Rollins, you’re pretty much playing by his rules. Who is cooler than mother f’n Henry Rollins? Front man of Black Flag and The Rollins Band, an actor, and the host of his own television show, Rollins is one of those artists you dream about sitting down and having a beer with; a guy that commands respect without thinking about asking for it.

One of my earliest memories of Henry Rollins was watching the music video for “Liar” (and I’m sure many of you are in the same boat), and being scared to death. I was 11 years old and here was this shirtless, untamed man, beat red, screaming:

“Wonder why things are going so well / You want to know why? / cause I’m a liar, yeah, I’m a liar / I’ll tear (rip) your mind up, I’ll burn your soul / I’ll turn you into me, I’ll turn you into me.”

While I didn’t exactly understand what the hell he was talking about at the time, I did eventually. And that song is tremendous – it’s honest, it’s accurate, it’s mean and it sweats pure testosterone – it’s definitive Henry Rollins. Rollins however will tell you that he doesn’t have a “sound,” that he’s “just a guy yelling.” If that’s how he wants to describe himself, then he can…but I won’t totally agree (just don’t tell him that).

In fact, Rollins’ current work deals a lot in an art form that doesn’t involve much yelling at all. His “Spoken Word” tours are exactly that – he speaks onstage, sharing stories about “the Bush Crime Family” or the last country he was in. He also chats with his audience about social justice and equality, making a point that all of us should understand, that “there are a lot of people in America who just can’t handle the weight and responsibility of freedom.”
Look for Rollins on the Independent Film Channel hosting “The Henry Rollins Show” and for more work from his record label and publishing company, 2.13.61. I’d tell you to read on for the answers to his XXQ’s, on PensEyeView.com …but you’ve probably skipped this intro and have jumped right in.

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