WPGU Presents: Henry Rollins Review

Even though Henry Rollins–musician, activist, performer, and former front-man of Black Flag–is fifty years old (hence the show’s title, 50) he’s still living “eventfully, curiously, and furiously.” His show presented by WPGU show last Friday, was two and a half hours of spoken word. Some stories were about his time in Black Flag, others about his visit to North Korea. All stories shared a common theme: they were hilarious in a way only an angry old man can be.

Rollins explained to the crowd the time a young, unknown Metallica came to a Black Flag concert; scarring Denis Hopper at an art gallery; how CVS is a really depressing, shitty place; and how travel can broaden a person’s experience. All the stories were told with pithy and wit: if you thought a punk singer wouldn’t have an excellent vocabulary and stable of literary allusions, you probably haven’t listened to enough punk music (my I suggest, “Damaged”, by Black Flag?). Rollins also relayed a story about his experiences in North Korea (if you didn’t know, North Korea’s pretty picky who they allow in and out of the country) and he saw the North Korean people rattle on about how great various Jong Ills are. In fact, they’re being brainwashed, but there might not be anything we can do about it. Bummer.

Rollins’ stories were perhaps best appreciated by fans–if you like left wing politics, making fun of corporate, mass culture, and hearing the behind the scenes of Black Flag, this show was for you. If not, you might be a really boring dude, and there’s probably ways to rectify that. Go out and read a book. Then, next time Rollins comes to town, you can enjoy his intellect. Rollins gave the crowd with one piece that everyone can benefit from:

“Women will still dig you if you can use poly-syllabic words; in fact, it might get their thongs off quicker,” Rollins explained to the crowd. See, I told all of you there’s a reason to learn what the word opalescent means! I told you! But overall, Rollins was just as awesome as I expected him to be (if you found this recap interesting, perhaps you’d like my interview [link to that plox?]) Rollins is the kind of person who’s made a strange, yet impacting difference in a lot of young, anti-authority-minded Americans’ lives. Perhaps that’s why my friend had Rollins sign her hip and had his signature tattooed on her skin the next day (remember: tattoos are permanent). So, if you didn’t see Rollins, hopefully this adequately described what you missed. Now, if you’ll excuse me I just found out I have a “Six Pack” and nothing to do. Perhaps I’ll throw a “TV Party” tonight.


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