I am a big fan of Henry Rollins, especially his spoken word and writing. I respect the guy for playing hard all these years, touring almost nonstop for over 20 years, and always giving 100% at whatever he is doing at the moment. In the last year he has done two spoken word tours, hosted a radio show on L.A.'s Indie 103.1 FM, and has managed to visit the troops in Afganistan, South Korea, and Japan. His most recent gig has been film critic. Have you seen his weekly movie review show on the Independent Film Channel? It kills. Most of all, I like the fact that he is a real fan of music, both old and new. I don't think he sees himself as a rock star, but as a fan, like most of us. The following is from his most recent online newsletter, in which he weighs in on some of the events of the past couple of weeks. Hank has always been up on what is going down politically. I think he sums up what a lot of us have been feeling.
"I don’t know if any of you have been following the news, but knowing this crowd, I think the answer is a yes. The aggressive moves China is making for Unocal is interesting. The for and against arguments are really something. Hearing that we would basically be giving a Communist country some really intense technology that could potentially be used against us, (which is a real concern to me and CNN’s Lou Dobbs at least) and the other side, the CATO Institute, that seems to think the sale of Unocal to China would be just dandy and no problem at all. I hope this thing doesn’t turn into a partisan issue."
"Also of interest to me is the Rove leak probe. A lot of people are weighing in on this one and it’s great to watch Scott McClellan fend off the press core and Ann Coulter and the Fox News thugs relegate all this to Liberal whining. I wish the press wasn’t so cowed by the Bush Administration. I wish more people were angry at what’s happening in Iraq."
"Interesting how the press is all over the London bombings story, as they should be, but over 200 people get blown to pieces in Iraq and it’s just some news slotted in a small space under Tiger Woods’ golf shoe."
"Also interesting and disturbing to read James Wolcott’s article, To Live and Die in Iraq, in the August Vanity Fair. In the article he pulls info from USA Today that claims an alarming statistic of vehicular deaths of vets back from Iraq and Afghanistan. “From October 2003 to September 2004, when troops first returned from Iraq, 132 soldiers died in vehicle accidents—a 28% jump from the previous 12 months. Two thirds of them were veterans of Iraq or Afghanistan.” The rate has increased 23% since then. I guess these guys and gals are coming home pretty wound up."
Henry has plans to do a U.S. spoken word tour this fall, hopefully I will be able to catch him when he hits Boston. The last time I saw him in Boston he talked for nearly 3 hours, stopping only once to drink some water. He spent a good hour on his recent USO visit to Afghanistan, and his anti-war/Bush/Cheney/Haliburton, pro-soldier views of Iraq. The funniest part of the show was his six-year "relationship" with Sheryl Crow, unbeknownst to her, and his newest "crush", Ann Coulter. He also told stories of the West Memphis 3 Tour, what it was like to play Black Flag songs again, past Rollins Band tours in England and Japan, as well as spending time with Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer before their deaths. He seemed more upbeat and optimistic than previous spoken word concerts I've heard from the past, and I forgot how funny he could be, I was in stitches the whole time.
Listening to: Peter Tosh- Live & Dangerous: Boston 1976