Henry Rollins
American singer-songwriter-actor
Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins is an American spoken word artist, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, radio DJ, activist and former singer-songwriter. After performing for the short-lived Washington D.C. -based band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band Black Flag from August 1981 until mid-1986.
Henry Rollins's personal information overview.
News abour Henry Rollins from around the web
Punk music icon Henry Rollins and others to pay tribute to Johnny Ramone
LATimes - 8 months
The Johnny Ramone Tribute 2016 event, set for on July 24 at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, will feature screenings of two classic punk rock films and a panel discussion about those movies led by two classic L.A. punk rockers, organizers said. Former Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins and X bassist-singer-songwriter...
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LATimes article
Henry Rollins Reading Dr. Seuss Is Sobering But Gosh Darn Entertaining
Huffington Post - 8 months
Musician, writer, journalist, publisher, actor, comedian, motivational speaker, spoken word artist, activist and (would it surprise anyone if he was also) immortal, Henry Rollins is a rare cultural gem. One might say the same of beloved author Dr. Seuss. So why not have one read the work of another? Rollins read the work of Dr. Seuss for Funny or Die, and he manages to be both sobering and immensely entertaining. Henry Rollins Reads Dr. Seuss from Funny Or Die -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
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Huffington Post article
Henry Rollins and music have kinda parted ways
Chicago Times - about 1 year
Henry Rollins has literally forgotten how to write a song. Once the leader of punk prototypes Black Flag and, later, the Rollins Band, he hasn't made an album of music in almost 15 years. "It was a time," Rollins writes in an email interview, "and it has passed." Rollins successfully segued into...
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Chicago Times article
Henry Rollins brings life to horror-noir 'He Never Died'
LATimes - about 1 year
Back when Henry Rollins was the frontman for L.A. punk band Black Flag, he got a lot of aesthetic mileage out of the contrast between his muscular body, permanent grimace and poet's soul. Writer-director Jason Krawczyk finds that same uneasy balance in his horror-noir "He Never Died," a future...
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LATimes article
Review: In ‘He Never Died,’ Mastering Longevity if Not Social Skills
NYTimes - about 1 year
Henry Rollins plays Jack, who has spent centuries perfecting the art of being nondescript, in this enjoyably strange horror film.
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NYTimes article
Rocktober's Festival Supreme Chock Full of Comedy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Is it possible to have too much comedy? Festival Supreme seems to be insistent on testing that limit, adding a fourth stage this year. The third annual Festival, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, was chock full of comedians, sketch acts, rock bands, and oddities this past weekend. Even with Jenny Slate, Good Neighbor, and Adam Devine dropping out, Supreme lords, Jack Black and Kyle Gass would never let the crowd down, and quickly replaced them with Reggie Watts, Henry Rollins, Greg Behrendt, Bill Burr and Tig Notaro. This added to an already jam-packed schedule, which created some conundrums. Who do you watch? Who do you leave behind? It was a veritable comedy Sophie's Choice. The event kicked off with one of the standouts of the day, the goofy and absurdist sketch of 2 Headed Dog. Dave "Gruber" Allen encouraged the crowd to take as many photos as we liked because there were no rules. The anarchy that followed fit that attitude. Notable sketches inc ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Rocktober's Festival Supreme Chock Full of Comedy
Huffington Post - over 1 year
Is it possible to have too much comedy? Festival Supreme seems to be insistent on testing that limit, adding a fourth stage this year. The third annual Festival, which took place at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles, was chock full of comedians, sketch acts, rock bands, and oddities this past weekend. Even with Jenny Slate, Good Neighbor, and Adam Devine dropping out, Supreme lords, Jack Black and Kyle Gass would never let the crowd down, and quickly replaced them with Reggie Watts, Henry Rollins, Greg Behrendt, Bill Burr and Tig Notaro. This added to an already jam-packed schedule, which created some conundrums. Who do you watch? Who do you leave behind? It was a veritable comedy Sophie's Choice. The event kicked off with one of the standouts of the day, the goofy and absurdist sketch of 2 Headed Dog. Dave "Gruber" Allen encouraged the crowd to take as many photos as we liked because there were no rules. The anarchy that followed fit that attitude. Notable sketches inclu ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
L.A.'s punk rock lion, Henry Rollins: 'This is the most amazing century to be alive in'
LATimes - almost 2 years
On Saturday, Henry Rollins gave a speech. On Saturday, Henry Rollins gave a speech.
Article Link:
LATimes article
Legendary No Wave Performer Lydia Lunch Returns to New York with So Real It Hurts at the Howl! Happening Gallery, May 8 to June 5
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
Note: The following interview contains graphic language. Legendary No Wave musician (Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, Queen of Siam) writer (Paradoxia: A Predator's Diary, Will Work For Drugs), spoken word artist (Oral Fixation, Conspiracy of Women), and actress (R. Kerns' Right Side of My Brain and Fingered) makes her return to New York with a new photographic exhibition and installation called So Real It Hurts at Howl! Happening, a new gallery and performance space in the East Village, from May 8 to June 5th. Since 1977 Lydia Lunch has been offending sensibilities with her relentless and unfiltered challenges to sex, gender, politics, religion, war, technology, consumerism, the arts, the media .... you name it, no institution has been spared. Known in the '70s and '80s New York underground art scene as the provocateur's provocateur (she once told a TV interviewer that she didn't want people to buy her book - she wanted them to steal it), Lunch makes most gadflies look like sell out ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Why Reading the 'New Yorker' Will Get You Punched in the Head
Huffington Post - almost 2 years
I saw a blinding white light -- or rather felt -- it as the sucker punch hit the left side of my temple. Later, staggering on The Bowery, I would be amazed that my Goorin Brothers newsboy hat stayed on my head and that my library book (Duff by Kody Keplingeri) would remain in my back pocket. I had taken two shots to the noggin and the next day my shoulder would feel pulled out of the socket (had the guy grabbed my arm or had it happened as I pushed towards him before the second white light punch?). The day after that, my left tricep would be sore perhaps where the two girls were banging on me. All in all, I was fine, nothing a day of ice packs and Netflix (American Horror Story season one) couldn't fix. I was sorry to miss the rest of The Dwarves punk show at the Bowery Electric, but glad not to be blindsided by punches. It was a good show, but I won't be attending anymore punk concerts and I blame the New Yorker magazine. The New Yorker has had a lot of punk history stories -- the ...
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Huffington Post article
SXSW: Henry Rollins and his 'massive punk-rock fraud'
Chicago Tribune - almost 2 years
To hear Henry Rollins tell it, the fearsome Black Flag singer has been desperately spending the last few decades trying to disguise his inadequacy. Touring alongside bands such as Husker Du and Saccharine Trust in the '80s, he recognized "I was less talented, so I needed plan B, C, D and E ..."
Article Link:
Chicago Tribune article
SXSW Film Festival Announces Midnight Slate
NYTimes - about 2 years
The lineup includes the horror documentary "The Nightmare" and "He Never Died," featuring Henry Rollins as an immortal cannibal.
Article Link:
NYTimes article
Henry Rollins celebrates Cool 'Disco' Dan
LATimes - about 3 years
The Sunday Conversation: Henry Rollins discusses 'The Legend of Cool "Disco" Dan,' D.C. in the '80s, Black Flag reunions and lawsuits, and playing a cannibal in 'He Never Died.' After joining the L.A. hard-core band Black Flag, Henry Rollins became one of the most intense frontmen in rock. Yet even he had to take a back seat to the hold that Cool "Disco" Dan held over his hometown of Washington, D.C., in the '80s.
Article Link:
LATimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Henry Rollins
  • 2015
    In August 2015, Rollins discussed his support for Bernie Sanders as a candidate in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primaries.
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  • 2012
    In the months leading up to the 2012 United States Presidential election, Rollins broadcast a YouTube series called "Capitalism 2012", in which he toured the capital cities of the US states, interviewing people about current issues.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins also has toured all over the world doing spoken word performances and his shows frequently last for over three hours. His spoken word style encompasses stand up comedy, accounts of experiences he's had in the world of music and during his extensive travels around the globe, self-deprecating stories about his own shortcomings, introspective recollections from his own life (such as the death of his friend, Joe Cole), commentaries on society and playful, sometimes vulgar, anecdotes. Rollins was a playable character in both Def Jam: Fight for NY and Def Jam Fight for NY: The Takeover. Rollins is also the voice of Mace Griffin in Mace Griffin: Bounty Hunter. Rollins has become an outspoken human rights activist, most vocally for gay rights. Rollins frequently speaks out on social justice on his spoken word tours and promotes equality, regardless of sexuality. He was the host of the WedRock benefit concert, which raised money for a pro-gay-marriage organization.
    In 2012, he hosted the National Geographic Wild series "Animal Underworld", investigating where the real boundaries lay in human-animal relationships.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins also appeared in the Hawaii Five-0 episode "Hoʻopio" that aired on May 6, 2013. In November 2013, Rollins started hosting the show 10 Things You Don't Know About on the History Channel's H2. In 2014, he voiced the antagonist Zaheer in the third season of the animated series The Legend of Korra.
  • 2010
    In a later radio interview in February 2010 Rollins summed up his approach to activism, "This is where my anger takes me, to places like this, not into abuse but into proactive, clean movement."
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  • 2009
    On December 3, 2009, Rollins wrote of his support for the victims of the Bhopal disaster in India, in an article for Vanity Fair 25 years–to the day–after the methyl isocyanate gas leak from the Union Carbide Corporation's pesticide factory exposed more than half a million local people to poisonous gas and resulted in the death of 17,000.
    More Details Hide Details He spent time in Bhopal with the people, to listen to their stories.
    In April 2009, Rollins helped IAVA launch the second phase of the campaign which engages the friends and family of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at SupportYourVet.org.
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  • 2008
    Continuing his activism on behalf of US troops and veterans, Rollins joined Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) in 2008 to launch a public service advertisement campaign, CommunityofVeterans.org, which helps veterans coming home from war reintegrate into their communities.
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    In September 2008, Rollins began contributing to the "Politics & Power" blog at the online version of Vanity Fair magazine.
    More Details Hide Details Since March 2009, his posts have appeared under their own sub-title, Straight Talk Espresso. His posts consistently direct harsh criticism at conservative politicians and pundits, although he does occasionally target those on the left. In August 2010, he began writing a music column for LA Weekly in Los Angeles. In 2012, Rollins began publishing articles with The Huffington Post and alternative news website WordswithMeaning!
  • 2007
    Rollins appeared in the 2007 direct-to-DVD sequel to Wrong Turn (2003), Wrong Turn 2: Dead End as a retired Marine Corps officer who hosts his own show which tests the contestants' will to survive.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins has also appeared in Punk: Attitude, a documentary on the punk scene, and in American Hardcore (2006). In 2012, Henry Rollins appeared in a short documentary entitled "Who Shot Rock and Roll" discussing the early punk scene in Los Angeles as well as photographs of himself in Black Flag taken by esteemed photographer Edward Colver. Some feature-length movies Henry Rollins has appeared in include: Rollins has written a variety of books, including Black Coffee Blues, Do I Come Here Often?, The First Five (a compilation of High Adventure in the Great Outdoors, Pissing in the Gene Pool, Bang!, Art to Choke Hearts, and One From None), See a Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die, Smile, You're Traveling, Get in the Van, Eye Scream, Broken Summers, Roomanitarian, and Solipsist. For the audiobook version of the 2006 novel World War Z Rollins voiced the character of T. Sean Collins, a mercenary hired to protect celebrities during a mass panic caused by an onslaught of the undead. Rollins' other audiobook recordings include 3:10 to Yuma and his own autobiographical book Get in the Van, for which he won a Grammy Award.
    In 2007, Rollins published Fanatic!
    More Details Hide Details Vol. 2 through 2.13.61. Fanatic! Vol. 3 was released in the fall of 2008. On February 18, 2009, KCRW announced that Rollins would be hosting a live show on Saturday nights starting March 7, 2009, which has since been moved to Sunday nights at 8PM. In 2011 Rollins was interviewed on Episode 121 of American Public Media's podcast, "The Dinner Party Download", posted on November 3, 2011.
  • 2005
    In late 2005, Rollins announced the show's return and began the first episode by playing the show's namesake Buzzcocks song.
    More Details Hide Details In 2008, the show was continuing each week despite Rollins's constant touring with new pre-recorded shows between live broadcasts. In 2009 Indie 103.1 went off the air, although it continues to broadcast over the Internet.
    Rollins posted playlists and commentary on-line; these lists were expanded with more information and published in book form as Fanatic! through 2.13.61 in November 2005.
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    Rollins put the show on a short hiatus to undertake a spoken-word tour in early 2005.
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  • 2004
    On May 19, 2004, Rollins began hosting a weekly radio show, Harmony in My Head, on Indie 103.1 radio in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details The show aired every Monday evening, with Rollins playing music ranging from early rock and jump blues to hard rock, blues rock, folk rock, punk rock, heavy metal and rockabilly, and touching on hip hop, jazz, world music, reggae, classical music and more. Harmony in my Head often emphasizes B-sides, live bootlegs and other rarities, and nearly every episode has featured a song either by the Beastie Boys or British group The Fall.
  • 2002
    He co-hosted the British television show Full Metal Challenge, in which teams built vehicles to compete in various driving and racing contests, from 2002 to 2003 on Channel 4 and TLC.
    More Details Hide Details He has made a number of cameo appearances in television series such as MTV's Jackass and an episode of Californication, where he played himself hosting a radio show. In 2006, Rollins appeared in a documentary series by VH1 and The Sundance Channel called The Drug Years. Rollins appears in FX's Sons of Anarchy's second season, which premiered in the fall of 2009 in the United States. Rollins plays A.J. Weston, a white-supremacist gang leader and new antagonist in the show's fictional town of Charming, California, who poses a deadly threat to the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. In 2009, Rollins voiced "Trucker" in American Dad! 's fourth season (episode eight). Rollins voiced Benjamin Knox/Bonk in the 2000 animated film Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. In 2010, Rollins appeared as a guest judge on Season 2 episode 6 of RuPaul's Drag Race. In 2011, he was interviewed in the National Geographic Explorer episode "Born to Rage", regarding his possible link to the MAO gene (warrior gene) and violent behavior.
    In 2002 Rollins guest-starred on an episode of the sitcom The Drew Carey Show as a man whom Oswald found on eBay and paid to come to his house and "kick his ass".
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  • 2001
    He also hosted Fox's short-lived 2001 horror anthology Night Visions.
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    Rollins, busy with the Rollins Band, did not present more programs until 2001, but made appearances on a number of other television shows, including Welcome to Paradox in 1998 in the episode "All Our Sins Forgotten", as a therapist who develops a device that can erase the bad memories of his patients.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins also voiced Mad Stan in Batman Beyond in 1999 and 2000. Rollins was a host of film review programme Henry's Film Corner on the Independent Film Channel, before presenting the weekly The Henry Rollins Show on the channel. The Henry Rollins Show is now being shown weekly on Film24 along with Henry Rollins Uncut. The show also lead to a promotional tour in Europe that led to Henry being dubbed a “bad boy goodwill ambassador” by a NY reviewer.
    In a 2001 interview with Howard Stern, Rollins was asked about rumors that he had Joe Cole's brain in his house.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins stated that he only has the soil from the spot Cole was killed. During the interview, Rollins also speculated that the reason they were targeted may have been because days prior to the incident, record producer Rick Rubin - who was a fan of Rollins Band - had requested to hear the then newly recorded album, The End of Silence, and turned up and parked outside their Venice Beach home in his Rolls-Royce, carrying a cell phone. Because of the notoriety of the neighborhood, Rollins suspected that this would bring trouble because of the implication that they had a lot of money in the home; he even wrote in his journal the night of Rubin's visit: "My place is going to get popped". Rollins has included Cole's story in his spoken word performances. As Rollins rose to prominence with the Rollins Band, he began to present and appear on television. These included Alternative Nation and MTV Sports in 1993 and 1994 respectively. Rollins also co starred in The Chase with Charlie Sheen. In 1995 Rollins appeared on an episode of Unsolved Mysteries that explored the murder of his best friend Joe Cole and present State of the Union Undressed on Comedy Central. Rollins began to present and narrate VH1 Legends in 1996.
    The Rollins Band released several more albums, including 2001's Nice and 2003's Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs to Benefit the West Memphis Three.
    More Details Hide Details After 2003, the band became inactive as Rollins focused on radio and television work. During a 2006 appearance on Tom Green Live! Rollins stated that he "may never do music again", a feeling which he reiterated in 2011 when talking to Trebuchet magazine. In an interview with Culture Brats, Henry admitted he had sworn off music for good – "... and I must say that I miss it every day. I just don't know honestly what I could do with it that's different." In 2014, Rollins admitted a disdain for rehashing old music for the sake of it - "I don’t want to play old music. To me, it is fighting battles that are already over and calling yourself a warrior. For me, I see no courage or adventure in doing the old thing over again. If others want to, that’s for them. For myself, I have to move on. Life is too short to live in the past. There is a lot to be done." On the same topic, Henry more recently said in 2016 "For me, music was a time and a place. I never really enjoyed being in a band. It was in me and it needed to come out, like a 25-year exorcism. One day, I woke up, and I didn’t have any more lyrics. I just had nothing to contribute to the form, and I was done with band practice and travelling in groups."
  • 1998
    By 1998, Rollins felt that the relationship with his backing band had run its course, and the line-up disbanded.
    More Details Hide Details He had produced a Los Angeles hard rock band called Mother Superior, and invited them to form a new incarnation of the Rollins Band. Their first album, Get Some Go Again, was released two years later.
    In 1998, Rollins released Think Tank, his first set of non-book-related spoken material in five years.
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  • 1997
    The Rollins Band signed to Dreamworks Records in 1997 and soon released Come in and Burn, but it did not receive as much critical acclaim as their previous material.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins continued to release spoken-word book readings, releasing Black Coffee Blues in the same year.
  • 1996
    He released Everything, a recording of a chapter of his book Eye Scream with free jazz backing, in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details He continued to appear in various films, including Heat, Johnny Mnemonic and Lost Highway.
  • 1995
    In 1995, the Rollins Band's record label, Imago Records, declared itself bankrupt.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins began focusing on his spoken word career.
  • 1994
    Following the band's breakup, Rollins did not appear in any films until 1994's The Chase.
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    With the increased exposure, Rollins made several appearances on American music channels MTV and VH1 around this time, and made his Hollywood film debut in 1994 in The Chase playing a police officer.
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    Rollins was named 1994's "Man of the Year" by the American men's magazine Details and became a contributing columnist to the magazine.
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    According to critic Steve Huey, 1994 was Rollins's "breakout year".
    More Details Hide Details The Rollins Band appeared at Woodstock 94 and released Weight, which ranked on the Billboard Top 40. Rollins released Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag, a double-disc set of him reading from his Black Flag tour diary of the same name; he won the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording as a result.
  • 1992
    Although traumatized by Cole's death, as chronicled in his book Now Watch Him Die, Rollins continued to release new material; the spoken-word album Human Butt appeared in 1992 on his own record label, 2.13.61.
    More Details Hide Details The Rollins Band released The End of Silence, Rollins's first charting album. The following year, Rollins released a spoken-word double album, The Boxed Life. The Rollins Band embarked upon the End of Silence tour; bassist Weiss was fired towards its end and replaced by funk and jazz bassist Melvin Gibbs.
  • 1991
    However, in December 1991, Rollins and his best friend Joe Cole were accosted by two armed robbers outside Rollins's home.
    More Details Hide Details Cole was murdered by a gunshot to the head, Rollins escaped without injury but police suspected him in the murder and detained him for ten hours.
    In 1991 the Rollins Band signed a distribution deal with Imago Records and appeared at the Lollapalooza festival; both improved the band's presence.
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  • 1988
    The band continued to tour throughout 1988; in 1989 another Rollins Band album, Hard Volume was released.
    More Details Hide Details Another live album, Turned On, and another spoken word release, Live at McCabe's, followed in 1990.
  • 1987
    He released two solo records in 1987, Hot Animal Machine, a collaboration with guitarist Chris Haskett, and Drive by Shooting, recorded as "Henrietta Collins and the Wifebeating Childhaters"; Rollins also released his second spoken word album, Big Ugly Mouth in the same year. Along with Haskett, Rollins soon added Andrew Weiss and Sim Cain, both former members of Ginn's side-project Gone, and called the new group Rollins Band. The band toured relentlessly, and their 1987 debut album, Life Time, was quickly followed by the outtakes and live collection Do It.
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    Following the band's breakup, Rollins established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, and formed the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups from 1987 until 2003, and during 2006.
    More Details Hide Details Since Black Flag disbanded, Rollins has hosted numerous radio shows, such as Harmony in My Head on Indie 103, and television shows such as The Henry Rollins Show, MTV's 120 Minutes, and Jackass. He had recurring dramatic roles in the second season of Sons of Anarchy, in the final seasons of the animated series The Legend of Korra as Zaheer, and has also had roles in several films. Rollins has campaigned for various political causes in the United States, including promoting LGBT rights, World Hunger Relief, the West Memphis Three and an end to war in particular. As of 2013, Rollins is the host of the educational history television series 10 Things You Don't Know About, joining the show for its second and third seasons. New episodes air weekly on H2 in the U.S. Rollins was born in Washington, D.C., the only child of Iris and Paul Garfield. When he was three years old, his parents divorced and he was raised by his mother in Glover Park, an affluent neighborhood of Washington. As a child and teenager, Rollins was sexually assaulted. He suffered from depression and low self-esteem. In the fourth grade, he was diagnosed with hyperactivity and took Ritalin for several years so that he could focus during school. He attended The Bullis School, an all-male preparatory school in Potomac, Maryland (Bullis became co-educational in 1981 after Rollins graduated).
  • 1986
    Before Black Flag disbanded in August 1986, Rollins had already toured as a solo spoken word artist.
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  • 1984
    During the Unicorn legal dispute, Rollins had started a weight-lifting program, and by their 1984 tours, he had become visibly well-built; journalist Michael Azerrad later commented that "his powerful physique was a metaphor for the impregnable emotional shield he was developing around himself."
    More Details Hide Details Rollins has since replied that "no, the training was just basically a way to push myself."
  • 1983
    By 1983, Rollins' stage persona was increasingly alienating him from the rest of Black Flag.
    More Details Hide Details During a show in England, Rollins assaulted a member of the audience, who attacked Ginn; Ginn later scolded Rollins, calling him a "macho asshole". A legal dispute with Unicorn Records held up further Black Flag releases until 1984, and Ginn was slowing the band's tempo down so that they would remain innovative. In August 1983, guitarist Dez Cadena had left the band; a stalemate lingered between Dukowski and Ginn, who wanted Dukowski to leave, before Ginn fired Dukowski outright. 1984's heavy metal music-influenced My War featured Rollins screaming and wailing throughout many of the songs; the band's members also grew their hair to confuse the band's hardcore punk audience. Black Flag's change in musical style and appearance alienated many of their original fans, who focused their displeasure on Rollins by punching him in the mouth, stabbing him with pens, or scratching him with their nails, among other methods. He often fought back, dragging audience members on stage and assaulting them. During a Black Flag concert, Rollins punched a fan repeatedly in the face that had continuously reached for his microphone. Rollins became increasingly alienated from the audience; in his tour diary, Rollins wrote "When they spit at me, when they grab at me, they aren't hurting me. When I push out and mangle the flesh of another, it's falling so short of what I really want to do to them."
  • 1982
    Rollins began his film career appearing in several independent films featuring the band Black Flag. His film debut was in 1982's The Slog Movie, about the West Coast punk scene.
    More Details Hide Details An appearance in 1985's Black Flag Live followed. Rollins' first film appearance without Black Flag was the short film The Right Side of My Brain with Lydia Lunch in 1985.
    His stage persona impressed several critics; after a 1982 show in Anacortes, Washington, Sub Pop critic Calvin Johnson wrote: "Henry was incredible.
    More Details Hide Details Pacing back and forth, lunging, lurching, growling; it was all real, the most intense emotional experiences I have ever seen."
  • 1981
    Rollins played his first show with Black Flag on August 21, 1981 at Cuckoo's Nest in Costa Mesa, California.
    More Details Hide Details Rollins was in a different environment in Los Angeles; the police soon realized he was a member of Black Flag, and he was hassled as a result. Rollins later said: "That really scared me. It freaked me out that an adult would do that. My little eyes were opened big time." Before concerts, as the rest of the band tuned up, Rollins would stride about the stage dressed only in a pair of black shorts, grinding his teeth; to focus before the show, he would squeeze a pool ball.
    After joining Black Flag in 1981, Rollins quit his job at Häagen-Dazs, sold his car, and moved to Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details Upon arriving in Los Angeles, Rollins got the Black Flag logo tattooed on his left biceps and also on the back of his neck, chose the stage name of Rollins, a surname he and MacKaye had used as teenagers.
    When Black Flag returned to the East Coast in 1981, Rollins attended as many of their concerts as he could.
    More Details Hide Details At an impromptu show in a New York bar, Black Flag's vocalist Dez Cadena allowed Rollins to sing "Clocked In", a song Rollins had asked the band to play in light of the fact that he had to drive back to Washington, D.C. to begin work. Unbeknownst to Rollins, Cadena wanted to switch to guitar, and the band was looking for a new vocalist. The band was impressed with Rollins' singing and stage demeanor, and the next day, after a semi-formal audition at Tu Casa Studio in New York City, they asked him to become their permanent vocalist. Despite some doubts, he accepted, in part because of MacKaye's encouragement. His high level of energy and intense personality suited the band's style, but Rollins' diverse tastes in music were a key factor in his being selected as singer; Black Flag's founder Greg Ginn was growing restless creatively and wanted a singer who was willing to move beyond simple, three-chord punk.
  • 1980
    Rollins soon became a fan of the band, exchanging letters with bassist Chuck Dukowski and later inviting the band to stay in his parents' home when Black Flag toured the East Coast in December 1980.
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    In 1980, a friend gave Rollins and MacKaye a copy of Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown EP.
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  • 1979
    From 1979 to 1980, Rollins was working as a roadie for Washington bands, including Teen Idles.
    More Details Hide Details When the band's singer Nathan Strejcek failed to appear for practice sessions, Rollins convinced the Teen Idles to let him sing. Word of Rollins's ability spread around the punk rock scene in Washington; Bad Brains singer H.R. would sometimes get Rollins on stage to sing with him. In 1980, the Washington punk band the Extorts lost their frontman Lyle Preslar to Minor Threat. Rollins joined the rest of the band to form State of Alert (S.O.A.), and became its frontman and vocalist. He put words to the band's five songs and wrote several more. S.O.A. recorded their sole EP, No Policy, and released it in 1981 on MacKaye's Dischord Records. S.O.A. disbanded after a total of a dozen concerts and one EP. Rollins had enjoyed being the band's frontman, and had earned a reputation for fighting in shows. He later said, "I was like nineteen and a young man all full of steam and loved to get in the dust-ups." By this time, Rollins had become the manager of the Georgetown Häagen-Dazs ice cream store; his steady employment had helped to finance the S.O.A. EP.
    After high school, Rollins attended American University in Washington D.C. for one semester, but dropped out in December 1979.
    More Details Hide Details He began working minimum-wage jobs, including a job as a courier for kidney samples at the National Institutes of Health. Rollins developed an interest in punk rock after he and his friend Ian MacKaye procured a copy of The Ramones's eponymous debut album; he later described it as a "akin to shooting heroin."
  • 1961
    Born on February 13, 1961.
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