Henry Rollins

From Academic Kids

Henry Rollins
Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins (born February 13, 1961) is an American rock music performer, storyteller, author, actor and poet.

Born Henry Garfield in Washington D.C., his parents divorced when he was young, and Rollins was raised primarily by his mother. He was prescribed ritalin as a child, and due to what he characterises as bad behavior and poor choices, he was sent to Bullis Academy, a Washington D.C. military school. He has expressed mixed feelings for his years at Bullis Academy: He disliked the authoritarian atmosphere and the boys-only campus, which impeded his early attempts at dating and made him uncomfortable around women for several years. More positively, he says Bullis helped instill a sense of discipline and a strong work ethic.

Garfield became involved in the punk scene through his close friend Ian MacKaye (who would later head Minor Threat and Fugazi). He then joined State of Alert, which would release one EP before disbanding. Garfield worked at a number of jobs (including at the National Institutes of Health), before becoming the manager of a Haagen Dazs ice cream store.

In 1981, his friend Mitch Parker gave him a copy of Black Flag's Nervous Breakdown EP. Garfield soon became a huge fan, and began exchanging letters with the group. When Black Flag toured the East coast, playing Washington D.C. and New York City, Garfield attended as many performances as he could. At an impromptu show in a bar, he asked to sing "Clocked In." As vocalist Dez Cadena was going to switch to guitar, the band invited Garfield to a rehearsal. Impressed by his stage demeanor, they asked him to become their permanent vocalist, and despite some doubts, he accepted, due in part to MacKaye's encouragement. He adopted his nickname, Rollins, as his last name. His large, muscular figure and intense personality made him a perfect fit as their frontman.

Rollins toured and recorded with Black Flag from 1981 until their breakup in 1986.

He released a solo album and an ep with guitarist Chris Haskett. Soon, he added former Gone members Andrew Weiss and Sim Cain, calling the new group the Rollins Band. They gained popularity through the strength of albums like The End of Silence (1992) and Weight (1994). He also gained roles in movies and television shows (particularly as a VJ on MTV). Rollins is also a successful independent publisher, having been so since he had been with Black Flag, using his own company, Two Thirteen Sixty-One.

Beginning in his later years in Black Flag until present, he has toured as a spoken-word artist, focusing mostly on social topics, as well as recounting his life experiences. His blend of self-deprecating humor and serious discussion of important social issues has gained him great popularity. He has released nine spoken word albums through his 2.13.61 publishing company, which has also released books by Rollins, Joe Cole, Nick Zedd, Nick Cave, and Michael Gira, as well as albums by Rollins Band, Exene Cervenka, The Birthday Party, and Gun Club.

Rollins is an avowed free jazz fan, having released albums by Matthew Shipp and Roscoe Mitchell on his 2.13.61 label. In 1990, Rollins guest hosted a Los Angeles, California college radio program and devoted much of this appearance to saxophone player Albert Ayler's music. [1] (http://www.math.ucdavis.edu/~mawillia/ayler.html)

Rollins is also a co-host of the television program Full Metal Challenge on The Learning Channel as well as the host of a monthy series called Henry's Film Corner on the Independent Film Channel. In 2004 he became an outspoken human rights activist, most vocally a crusader for gay rights. He has pinpointed the rights for gays to marry as a "vital issue impeding on the rights of Americans today." He was the host of a benefit concert called "WedRocks" to raise money for a pro-gay-marriage organization.

He currently lives in Los Angeles, California.



Missing image
Henry Rollins

Musical releases

Spoken word releases

Black Flag releases

Rollins Band releases


partial list

  • Broken Summers Publishers Group West, (November 2003) ISBN 1880985756
  • Unwelcomed Songs Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (September 2002) ISBN 1880985713
  • See a Grown Man Cry, Now Watch Him Die Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (August 1997) ISBN 1880985373
  • Solipsist Publishers' Group West, (August 1998) ISBN 1880985594
  • The Portable Henry Rollins Villard, (February 10, 1998) ISBN 0375750002
  • Get in the Van: On the Road With Black Flag Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, 2nd edition (January 1996) ISBN 1880985241
  • Henry Rollins: The First Five Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (October 1997) ISBN 1880985519
  • Black Coffee Blues
  • Do I Come Here Often? (Black Coffee Blues, Pt. 2), Shannon Wheeler (Illustrator) Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (December 1998) ISBN 1880985616
  • Smile, You're Traveling (Black Coffee Blues Part 3) Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (October 1, 2000) ISBN 1880985691
  • Eye Scream Two Thirteen Sixty-One Pubns, (October 1996) ISBN 1880985322
  • Turned On Flag Henry Rollins by James Parker, Orion Books,

Film and video


External links



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