“Henry at Henry” by Maria Garcia Teutsch
Henry Rollins has rocked my world for as long as I can remember. When I first heard him sing with Black Flag my body hummed for hours afterwards.
Henry Rollins is still as relevant today as he ever was. His spoken word shows open the door to many fledgling poets and writers. His words are like a wrecking ball smashing the ivory tower which has held literature hostage for years. He sets it free.
He takes on politics, literature and music with intelligence and eloquence in his spoken word shows. He rants, he shouts, he gets your attention, and he is unrelenting. His words are weapons, his words are wildflowers, his words will smack you down and then help you up again, his words will leave you wanting more, and he’ll give you more, without expectation, without mandate, but with a definite idea of the possibilities which reside in each of us.
Like Walt Whitman, his words will help you to believe that transcendence is possible, that language matters, that the right to freely express yourself matters, and that maybe, just maybe, you too have something to say.
–Program Notes by Maria Garcia Teutsch for Henry Rollin’s concert at the Henry Miller Memorial Library
Below is an excerpt of an interview with Henry Rollins (Oct. 2011 interview in Bookslut)
“You’re Allowed to Write Like That?”
“Henry Miller changed my life. Lydia Lunch loaned Black Spring to me and said read this. November 1983. I was twenty-two years and seven months old. I read that book and I’ve never recovered. That was like the first Clash album for me. You’re allowed to write like that? It never occurred to me. And he made me think writing was easy. I thought he was just a dude saying stuff. But then you try to write like that yourself and you realize he’s a black belt ninja motherfucker. It’s anything but easy. He only makes it look easy because he’s so good.” –Henry Rollins