Tonight Henry Rollins is performing his spoken word at Infinity Hall in Norfolk.
From the Infinity Hall Web site:
“On February 13th of 2011, I will turn fifty years of age. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime occasion than by doing some shows,” Henry explains. “Hopefully, I will be able to evince some imperfect pearls of ancient wisdom to the audience, having made it this far.”
It’s not so much the mere wisdom of age, but the wisdom of experience that audiences are likely to encounter when Henry takes the stage – whether he’s relaying rock n’ roll anecdotes, or tackling more serious topics with his distinctive synthesis of anger, amusement, and global perspective. A relentless traveler on an unyielding quest for firsthand knowledge, Henry’s most recent excursion took him across the Pacific to China, North Korea, Mongolia, Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan and Vietnam.
“All of these destinations gave me a lot to think about, write about and talk about. Wondering if I knew more about North Korea than my guide in Pyongyang was a strange thing to walk around with all day. To see the lasting effects of Tetrachlorodibenzodioxin, otherwise known as Agent Orange, showing up in children generations later in Hanoi was an eye opener, to say the least,” says Henry. “To leave all that and come back to America with all its unique idiosyncrasies always makes me want to know more. These days, as far as things to pay attention to, be frustrated about and seek to change, a conscientious person is fairly spoiled for choice. You know me, I’ll always tell you what I think.”
The same curiosity that has led Rollins around the globe and far from the beaten path has led him to National Geographic for a pair of distinctly different – but decidedly ‘Henry’ – television projects. On December 14, Henry joins the National Geographic Channel’s flagship series Explorer for the special Born To Rage. The show examines research into the so-called “warrior gene,” a single gene found only in men that some scientists think are a possible indicator of violent behavior. In early 2011, Henry dives into the Snake Underworld on Nat Geo WILD, uncovering a world of snake obsession that goes far beyond his own fascination with the slithering reptiles.
“Who ever thought that I’d get to investigate two of my favorite subjects, anger and snakes, with National Geographic?” Henry asks. “I have enjoyed partnering with the Nat Geo Channels for an in-depth look at both fascinating topics.”
Meanwhile, Henry continues to do his weekly radio show on L.A.’s revered NPR affiliate KCRW. Rollins the writer tracks his travels – and shares his thoughts on politics and the state of the world – in his “Straight Talk Espresso” blog at VanityFair.com, and more recently began contributing a music column to LA Weekly’s “West Coast Sound” blog.
I can’t believe it took me so long to get to writing this up. Perhaps it is because I know I can’t go and I’m pouting about it. If you know me at all, you know I am completely in love with Henry Rollins and find him extremely educated, well read, and well spoken. Um, is that first part appropriate to say in a column? Eh, whatever. It’s true. I spent my high school days listening to Black Flag. To this day, Black Flag and Rollins Band are on my iPod and I still have one or two records—the vinyl kind.
During my NYU years, Hank did a reading at the student center, in a tiny room smaller than the classrooms I spend my days in nowadays. It was him, me, my friend Mary, and maybe fifteen other people. He read his poetry. It was wonderful. Swoon . . . sigh.
A few years ago while I was at a book convention in my editing persona, I walked into a man with a Black Flag tattoo on the back his neck. My immediate thought was, “ooh, cool, he has a Black Flag tattoo on the back of his neck.” And then Henry Rollins turned around and I turned into a giddy mess. I have the photo to prove it, but I’m a little embarrassed of how ridiculously giddy (with bad hair) I look in it. So I won’t be posting it, but believe me, it’s one of my most prized fangirl souvenirs.
Since then I have seized any opportunity I could to go see Hank perform, whether it be in person with spoken word or Rollins Band (playing with X, quite possibly the best lineup ever), on IFC’s The Henry Rollins Show, or sitting through Wrong Turn 2 (or almost through—sorry, Henry, I couldn’t even do it for you). And who can forget him as the pink sweatpants-wearing Coach in Feast. And then there was his role of a white supremacist on Sons of Anarchy. I never did catch that but would like to given that the character is about as far away from Rollins’s true humanitarianistic character as you can get and I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about his performance, and the show itself. And lastly, since I have made this all about me, as I usually do, I will just say that Suck is next in my movie que.
So there you have it. Henry Rollins tonight at Infinity Hall in Norfolk; doors open at 7. Buy your tickets here. This is the last New England area show on this tour at this point so don’t miss it like I have to. I can guarantee his words will suck you in and really make you think. I can also tell you that most of all, I find myself inspired by his work. So when you see Hank, listen up, and please give him my wishes for a happy belated birthday, and of couse, my love. xoxoxoxo