Henry Rollins, Author, raconteur, Humanitarian & former lead singer of the seminal American *Hardcore Punk Band Black Flag is coming to town, Lismore, N.S.W. Australia this coming Tuesday the 13th. of September 2016 and will appear at the Star Court Theatre.
I'll be meeting him before the show which will be a complete treasure to have as a memory for I think everyone needs to see Henry at least once in their lifetime as he is a man who's many and varied life experiences most likely have some kind of connection to yours in an odd kind of way.
For me personally I hadn't heard of Black Flag when I was younger living in America, my parents bailed America with my brothers and myself half way through the Reagan Regime in late 1984 fortunately for us as they could see where the Country was heading and they were right looking back on it now without ANY doubt!
I lived on the east coast of the country and back then publicity for bands out of L.A. especially *Hardcore Punk Bands was never on any Music Companies top priorities and so they never made it to the other side which was due to several reasons, money primarily while other bands were more heavily promoted like Rush, Van Halen & even Loverboy, a Canadian Band believe it or not!
Some interesting things about Henry, he was born and raised in Washington, D.C. it wasn't long before he did a 180 though and crossed the country for new beginnings & different realities in the death culture capital of America, Los Angeles, California.
"Clocking on" was the first song Henry ever sang with Black Flag after Keith Morris gave him the microphone at one of their (Black Flag) gigs, Henry was known to them of course as he'd had his own band prior to that in D.C. being S.O.A. or State Of Alert.
With the first gig and his rendition of their song along with his full-on to the death stage presence Keith Morris knew his days were now up as the Black Flag front man as Rollins very quickly stood in and more than filled the shoes of Morris.
Keith Morris called it quits as he was also going through a serious bout with drugs at the time and was pulling the performance level and impact of the band down to the depths of obscurity.
Henry's time with his new band members was a time of considerable personal growth and development not just as the lead Singer of Black Flag but also his mentoring by people like Chuck Dukowski, the original Bass Guitarist for the Band as Henry has recalled in interviews in the past.
Henry's stories of his past are both hilarious and in some cases very traumatic and would mentally jar the average person I believe, this ability to transverse both sides of the greatest emotional divide with the skill and ease of Nijinsky has to be ALOT harder than he makes it appear.
The untimely and early death of his very good mate Joe Cole is for one story never to be forgotten, Henry tells it twenty years later like it had happened yesterday with great clarity and conviction as only he knows.
Another one of Henry's mates by the name of John Macias, lead Singer of the L.A. Band Circle One, with song titles like "F.O", "G.I. combat" and "Destroy Exxon" John Macias was certainly known by the Police who made it clear that they were in charge which was never going to be John's belief when it came to them, the pigs, one of John's quotes which lives on until today "God will see that you die, Pig" is even copyrighted.
John was also a P.U.N.X. founding member & like Joe Cole met the fate of an early death at the hands of the very Los Angeles Police whom he sang about with great contempt for them later shooting John six times on the sidewalk he was walking on after decamping from the nearby McDonalds puke box just off Santa Monica pier after punching a woman customer in the face and minutes earlier throwing a Security guard off the Santa Monica Pier when he had a "mental breakdown" which was not known to many at the time, especially the Police although Circle One Drummer Jody Hill recalls John's mental illness which was never treated or even assessed.
Henry walked the last steps of his now dead friend after returning to town from being on tour and found where John was shot and killed and was shocked to see the dried blood from his friend still present on the scene, he took a leaf with John's dried blood still on it and took it home in memory of John his mate, dead at twenty nine.
Henry was more than involved in the West Memphis three case, a notorious multiple child murder crime with very strong Occult overtones & rituals taking place and the imprisonment of three individuals who Henry thought had not received proper justice with the three's First, fourth, fifth, six and fifteenth Constitutional Amendment provisions being ignored and or completely omitted in their defence case.
Henry among other Musicians did multiple tours as fund raising for the WM3 and in the end with the total being estimated between sixteen and twenty million dollars for the non stop legal battle which was primarily aimed at the West Memphis Police and finding holes in the case as well as grinding them down into submission with the prosecuting Lawyers leaving them overwhelmed in paper work leaving little other than nothing else to do but release the three as the toll payed by the Town & the legal department had been a real nightmare which included the families of the three dead eight year olds.
My pastel art portrait of Henry Rollins is below titled "Blue Henry" 2016
I leave it here with one of my favourite quotes of Henry's;
"People don't change, they just learn to disguise themselves better" on the Dennis Miller Show in 1992