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Henry Rollins, ladies and gentlemen – the mighty Henry Rollins is here!
And my word, did we Bristolians welcome him with open arms – apart from the pro-lifer who threw a pint of beer over him, but, y’know, there’s nowt so queer as folk.
He also includes his recent travels (Vietnam, North Korea, Haiti, Tibet…), celebrities he has encountered (and on occasion terrified), and more. The aggression, the songs of pain, and the superficial resemblance to a Brit-lensed stereotype of an American marine made him seem like the anti-Morrissey.
Rollins’ goading of Brit indie bands for their weakness and lack of work ethic added to the press’ image.
So I ask him if his opinion of the UK has changed in more recent years.“The first few times coming here were hard for me,” he says. I felt very alone in that scene.”“It is the misogynist, racist, homophobic minority that should be called out, marginalised, voted out, shouted down, whatever way you have to get them out of the way so the rest of us can get down the road”Having mentioned that there were a lot of women around the punk scene that Henry was involved with, I ask if he’d define himself as a feminist… “I think at this point to call myself one would only impede progress for male-female equality. I acknowledge female humans and other males as my equal and deserving of civil and human rights. I would rather be considered a humanist.”And what of the women whose lives you’ve seen in other communities?
“I can’t explain to you how much British music means to me. You’re extremely well traveled, as you talk about a lot in you live shows…
Rollins hits the same subject matter as he has for decades – his anger at prejudice, injustice and at times the downright stupidity of human beings.
The exception that proves this came nearly two hours into the show.
Rollins was explaining that while he is not religious, he has no problems with religion per se, the exception being when so-called pro-life Christian groups try to dictate what a woman can do with her body.
But in 2012, Rollins can take an audience wherever he wants.
From mentally enervating tales of human suffering, to hilarious throwaway lines about shopping, he holds the audience’s attention whatever tone he cares to take.