by John Chambrone
ST. PETERSBURG— One of the more famous singers to emerge from the 1980s punk rock scene, Henry Rollins has been all over the place lately. The front man for the Rollins Band reunited with his bandmates recently and embarked on a month long tour. During their recent Janus Landing performance, Rollins reminded the crowd that he hasn’t played under that famous tent since 1997.
One of the cool things about Rollins is his savage stage performance. He is an entertainer who gives his all, and his stage presence alone is worth the price of admission. By the second song, the shirtless Rollins was glistening with sweat and showed no signs of slowing down.
In the early 1980s, Rollins fronted Black Flag before forming the Rollins Band in 1986. The Rollins Band got their big break when singer Perry Farrell asked them to join him Rollins Rolling Along on the inaugural Lollapalooza festival tour in the summer of 1991. Three years later they released the song and video, “Liar,” that was all over MTV. By 1997, they signed to Dream Works records, but Rollins broke up the band after their tour was over. By the end of the 90s he became restless and launched a short-lived incarnation of the Rollins Band, and later reformed it with lthe original line up.
A master of many trades, Rollins owns a publishing company that releases books, CDs and DVDs. He hosts the Independent Film Channel’s The Henry Rollins Show — a talk show featuring celebrity guests, musical acts and original field segments — on Saturdays at 10 PM, and a weekly radio show, “Harmonies In My Head,” on LA’s Indie 103.1 FM Tuesdays from 8–10 PM. (www.indie103.fm). He appeared in The Alibi, with Steve Coogan and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, and has a lead role in the Project Greenlight feature Feast.
A proud American, he regularly tours with the USO and has been all over the world. No stranger to Afghanistan, Siberia, South Korea, Iraq, Kuwait, Honduras and Qatar, this politically charged individual will go wherever it takes to entertain and meet US troops. His 2004 tour, Shock and Awe, has been recorded and put on DVD. This year he took his 25 Years of Bullshit tour to Europe after performing it around the U.S. Rollins has been busy recently filming Wrong Turn 2, the sequel to the horror flick. Rollins plays a Survivor-type game show host where cannibalistic creatures attack. Due to Rollins’ frank opinions and no holes barred nature, he is a sought-after public speaker.
That raw energy contributed to his Grammy win for best spoken word. Rollins is attractive, clean-cut, intelligent, has never been married, is well versed and speaks very candidly about how wrong the gay marriage ban is. For years folks have questioned his sexuality. Rollins can’t help but laugh about it. In a few interviews he has responded, “It’s not even annoying. It’s just so funny to me, because where that comes from, for somebody being gay is a bad thing .. to say, ‘He’s gay,’ like it’s a putdown. To me, you come out of the chute, you’re something. You’re straight, you’re gay, you’re bi, or you’re Condoleezza Rice…. To me, it’s about as interesting as talking about laundry. It’s really not an issue.”
He is an advocate for gay rights and definitely uses his voice to be heard. America is the place where you should not even have to think twice about Kevin and Sean wanting to get married. To discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation is repellent and completely despicable to me.” When asked if he ever considered being gay, he said, “Never had any interest. I find females overwhelmingly attractive.” No wonder he has so many gay fans, he ‘gets’ us. FMI www.henryrollins.com; www.21361.com.
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