After making a concious decision to get a bit of culture in 2008, I was striding purposefully through the streets of Wellington, wondering exactly how I was going to accomplish this. Inspiration in the form of having to wait at a corner for the lights to change struck me. Well, it was more the coincidence of having Low Self Opinion blasting through my headphones, and seeing a poster for Mr Rollins on the lamp post in front of me. Aha! I thought - just the ticket. So I spoke to my bro, and we booked some tickets to see the angry Black Flag front man doing his spoken word tour through Australasia.
He was the front man for the punk band Black Flag, from 1981 to 1986, and after that disbanded he formed his own band and record label 2.13.61 (his birthdate). He also began doing spoken word tours, based on times when the mic was free during gigs and they needed someone to fill the gaps. As he said himself, it wasn't long until he was doing all the talking with some musical interludes, with the bands he had been supporting, now doing support for him.
Having turned 47 recently, Henry says he feels like an old bastard. But that hasn't changed his outlook on life or his enjoyment of new experiences. He frequently tours some rather odd places around the world, introducing everyone to Henry's brand of investigative tourism. He usually hears of a place that everyone says he shouldn't go to, and immediately books a ticket. After going to these far flung, and often dangerous areas of the planet, meeting the local citizens and makin new friends, he returns to the States and tells everyone about it. Its "my way of fucking with the man!"
We spent an enjoyable 3 hours and change listening to Henry Rollins explain his world, and many of his life experiences. It was fascinating, funny, poignant, hilarious, worrying and ultimately an excellent night out. But thanks to the Paramount theatre in Wellington, it also took a physical toll. I'm not a massive guy, but my legs are obviously long enough that I'm outside the average leg length for someone in 1812, which is when the stupid bloody seats were put in. My knees are still giving me gyp days later, and I swear my butt lost all circulation for at least 24 hours after the show.
But it was worth it - he's a great person to listen to, and as stream of conciousness goes he's the fucking master. He spoke for the 3 and some odd hours it seemed without taking a breath or a sip of water. I reckon if you get the chance, go see him and listen - amazing guy, loves the mic and good orator. He's doing the Edinburgh festival according to his website, 18 Aug - 25 Aug, so if your over there get along and check him out.
Otherwise, check out some of Henry's other stuff - he has released numerous spoken word albums, appeared on many TV shows, and also filmed a TV Series called the Henry Rollins Show for ITV last year.