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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Punk Rock godfather, Henry Rollins, to spill his heart at The Depot

By Trevor Hale

In 1981, Henry Garfield was working 60 hours a week managing an ice cream parlor just outside Washington, D.C. One night, he went to New York City to see a show by a semi-known punk band called Black Flag. Garfield asked the band to play “Clocked In” for him, since he had to leave the show to make it back to work on time. The band agreed, but with a catch: Garfield had to sing. After the song, he went back to the scoop. A few days later, he got a call from the band asking him to join it in L.A. as its new singer.

With that, he quit his job, jumped in the van and the Henry Rollins legacy began.

Rollins, currently in the middle of his latest spoken word tour, has been a constant presence in the punk/hardcore scene for more than 25 years, fronting the groups Black Flag and Rollins Band. He’s achieved a film resume working for directors such as Michael Mann and David Lynch, his Los Angeles radio show “Harmony in My Head” has been an area staple since 2004 and his weekly IFC film show has given him a television presence as well. In addition to all that, Rollins is an established author, having released numerous books ranging from poetry to short fiction to his Black Flag and Rollins Band tour diaries.

The tour diaries, and his writing in general, are direct and honest. He opens himself up in a very candid way that most, especially those involved with the hardcore/punk scene, would shy away from. In the mid-1980s, he released his first spoken-word record and found his niche. He had always felt comfortable on-stage singing or screaming, but it was clear from the get-go that Rollins had a knack for simply speaking.

His shows are funny, thoughtful and entertaining. He covers a wide variety of subjects, and — if past shows are any indication — nothing is off limits. His impassioned rants are the best part of his IFC show, and his new tour “Provoked,” shows off his unyielding social and cultural commentary while mixing it up with first-class storytelling. In the past he has covered everything from his abusive father, his stint in military school and the grueling life of a traveling musician. Recent shows have touched on meeting Linda Blair at San Diego Comic-Con and improving civilization by releasing lethal, wild animals into random regions of the United States.

Never one to shy away from social interaction, Rollins is known for his personableness. After each show, he hangs out by his tour bus talking, signing autographs, posing for pictures and interacting with his fans. He’s ever-prepared to spill the most intimate details of his life, and it’s always worth the price of admission.

Rollins will perform his latest spoken-word tour Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at The Depot.

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