One of the most well-known and outspoken Punk icons of all time is Henry Rollins.
Henry Rollins started his musical career when he took over the lead vocals for the Punk band Black Flag in 1981. Little did Rollins know, but that was just the beginning of a very prolific career that expanded from music to spoken word shows, movie roles, TV hosting, DJ and author.
I’ve personally met Rollins six times over the years, mostly after his spoken word shows, of which I highly recommend watching or attending at least once – it is an experience like none other. I also own almost all of his books – I had them all, and autographed, but they got divided up in my divorce. Luckily I managed to keep the autographed and framed poster from his spoken word tour back in 2001. I waited in bitter cold temperatures in Cleveland to see and talk to Rollins after his show, so I earned that poster!
Rollins has been an inspiration to me, from his books, spoken word tours and his TV show that appeared on IFC, The Henry Rollins Show. He is the embodiment of what Punk means to me – an outspoken, creative and no-holds-barred approach to life.
I highly recommend his book anthology The Portable Henry Rollins, which combines some of his best work from books like the seminal Black Coffee Blues, Do I Come Here Often? and Solopsist.
To further explain Punk and the spirit of Punk Rock Flea Market Lorain, and to help Henry Rollins celebrate his 55th Birthday today, here is a playlist of some of his best spoken word and interviews from YouTube. I can only hope that his words inspire, educate, and entertain you as much as they have me over the years.
Happy Birthday, Henry! I look forward to many more years of your words, both spoken and written.