Henry Rollins has led an interesting life. In the early 80s, he was the uber-intense frontman of legendary hardcore punk band Black Flag. After Black Flag broke up, he formed the Rollins Band and continued to record and tour, while also releasing a series of spoken-word albums (and won a Grammy for one of them). He’s published multiple books of diaries, essays, and stories, he’s appeared in more than 20 films, and last year he became a running character in the TV biker drama Sons of Anarchy. And he continues to tour the world as a one-man show.
Whenever he opens his mouth, which is basically always open, something interesting usually comes out. A few days ago he touched down in Dublin and gave an interview to TimesOnline (UK), which you can find here. The whole interview is worth reading, but this passage in particular caught our eye:
A couple of years ago Rollins went to see Van Halen on their reunion tour. “And they were good,” he says. “I know all the lyrics. I like those records. But to watch men in their fifties play music they wrote in their twenties, there’s something distinctly sad about that.” A famous friend of his, he says, “sells a gajillion records. But he has to go out and play the same 20 songs each night. He says, ‘Well, that’s what the people want’. That’s one school of thought. I’m more from the Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane school: What they want? Who gives a fuck what they want? The art says we move on. So as I hurtle toward 50 I’m trying to be brave. I want to do stuff that looks like I am. I’ve got grey hair, a leg that kind of thunks around. I’m still mad as hell. I’m just trying to rouse rabble in a different way.”
Seems to us that Mr. Rollins has hit the fucking nail on the fucking head. His words resonated in our addled brains as we browsed the latest metal news on Blabbermouth this morning. There we saw the following reports about the following bands/performers — all on the very first page of Blabbermouth reports. My mood? Bored shitless.
“Legendary Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen was interviewed at the Seymour Duncan booth at this year’s NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show . . . .”
“Reactivated late ’80s/early ’90s technical-thrash metallers BELIEVER have uploaded video footage of their October 30, 2009 concert at The Note in West Chester, Pennsylvania . . . .”
“Joe D. of the Syracuse, New York radio station WAQX-FM 95.7 (95X) conducted an interview with METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich when the band played Albany on November 12. . . .”
Hardcore legends Agnostic Front will be performing a headlining show in Brooklyn on February 26 in connection with the re-release of albums from 1983 and 1984 . . . . “‘We haven’t played together since ’84, this is the CLASSIC lineup together again doing vintage AF songs and some classics. We couldn’t be more excited to do this!” said vocalist Roger Miret.'”
“During VELVET REVOLVER/ex-GUNS N’ ROSES guitarist Slash‘s appearance at the Marshall booth at this year’s NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) show on Saturday (January 16), it was announced that his debut solo album, “Slash”, will be released in the U.S. on April 6. . . .”
“Former KISS and current GRAND FUNK RAILROAD guitarist Bruce Kulickwas the featured guest on this past Sunday’s (January 17) edition of the ‘Long Live Rock’ show. . . .”
“Video footage of Don Dokken (DOKKEN), Uli Jon Roth (SCORPIONS),Carmine Appice (OZZY OSBOURNE, VANILLA FUDGE, BLUE MURDER),Doug Aldrich (WHITESNAKE, DIO) and Paul Gilbert (MR. BIG, RACER X) jamming on Friday, January 15 at the Grove of Anaheim in Anaheim, California as part of the “NAMM Jam” can be viewed below. . . .”
“According to promoters Zed! and Venezia Spettacoli, the “Classic Rock Night” featuring the IAN PAICE & TOLO MARTON BAND on February 4 at Gran Teatro in Padova, Italy, will be a celebration of the 40th anniversary of DEEP PURPLE‘s “In Rock” album and will also mark 40 years since the passing of Jimi Hendrix. It will showcase a project which Paice and Marton have been working on together. The setlist will include a DEEP PURPLE tribute, a few TOLO MARTON tracks, a few HENDRIX tracks and a rock medley inspired by movie soundtracks. . . .”
“Swiss hard rock veterans KROKUS will release their new album,“Hoodoo”, on February 26 . . . . The classic KROKUS lineup reunited for an appearance on November 18, 2007 on a TV show honoring the greatest Swiss songs of all time.”
And if this wasn’t bad enough, I had the misfortune of seeing on Metal Sucks the recent photo of Axl Rose that we’ve added to this page. Dude! Do you avoid mirrors like a vampire? Because if you could see yourself as others see you, you wouldn’t know whether to spew or laff your ass off. But I’m pretty sure those would be the only two choices.
I know Henry Rollins keeps himself very busy, but maybe he could carve out a few more hours and provide some career counseling to these people and others like them. It wouldn’t take long. The message could be pretty simple: Shut the fuck up.