Henry Rollins is one of my heroes. Lead singer, novelist, spoken poet, comedian, actor, activist, journalist – and definitely not in the UK often enough – even though it’s taken the guy a while to learn to love the place (as he so often explains, it’s a case of finding all the non-racists and non-idiots)…
Being a hero that sadly, I’ve never seen in the flesh. That’s thanks to bad timing and not enough dollar for tickets, but it’s always appreciated then when someone in the world shares their bootleg of a full Rollins show, as below. Thanks internet. If you’re reading this, please watch it now, just in case Comedy Central UK decide it’s intellectual copy-theft.
Henry Rollins is still the punk political legend he always was.
In the absence of decent Citizenship Lessons for 11-16 year-olds in the UK (so aptly abbreviated to PVG when I was a schoolgirl); I genuinely think this video would go some way to helping and giving the 50-minute Meaning of Life to the current generation of tech-savvy, frustrated, uber-intelligent kids with no time to waste and yet they still learn all the wussy crap that will be irrelevant in 10 years time; disempowered auto-didacts brought up on computers yet locked up in a Victorian education system presided over by Michael Gove, the parliamentary version of Miss Havisham, holding the dreams of millions of kids hostage… oh, apologies – one seems to have digressed.
What I intend to demonstrate here is simply this: Henry Rollins is a punk and politics legend, a poet, a writer; one of a dying breed across the spoken world and rock community: strong, smart (and fast with it); funny – and skilled at elucidating the emotional complexity of universal situations.
This is awesome and empowering, too: Rollins talks lucidly about having ADHD as well as cherry picking the darkest along with the most hilarious moments of his experience from life on the road thus far.
All is distilled to bring us the same inherent, yet hard-won love of humanity and all the awful messiness it oozes.
He doesn’t look too shabby in a suit and specs, either.