Category Archives: Industry

Tom Waites Gives Henry Rollins Advice

Some kids dream of becoming a rock star. Others just do it. Starting out as some skinny kid who talked his way to becoming the local roadie for a few Washington DC bands, Henry Rollins took the challenge and bested himself, not only becoming the bulked up lead singer for several hardcore punk bands, including the local Minor Threat and LA's Black Flag, and his own Rollins Band, but after minor roles in Hollywood film, he then landed on his feet as the host of a cable talk show.

There was great music ahead. There was crap music to whack past as well. And while I had already throttled deaf ears among the Yippies of Atlanta, I knew I'd run into another hard wall sooner of later in DC. Knowing my instincts for self-regard and whatever it is about my whacked sense of social pecking order (none) that attracts trouble, it wouldn't take long.
One of the perks of becoming one of the elite at something is that you get to meet almost any of the elite at anything else whom you wish to meet. The posted short animation—The Barely Animated Adventures of Henry Rollins: Tom Waits Story—created by Jozabad, gives us a look at two such elites meeting and sharing themselves. We think you will find it hilarious, and thank Jozabad for his own creative efforts.

But this RSN entry is actually about my own relationship to Mr. Rollins. First, a little rumor mill grist to get us started. When I came upon the DC scene from Corpus Christi by way of Atlanta in the fall of 1983, I had heard of nothing of the bands or the personalities that roamed the barren streets of 1983 Washington, an urban wasteland that was barely a city, with only two neighborhoods not rolling up come dark, Georgetown and Adams Morgan, but our story takes place between 7th & E Street NW and 9th & G Street, NW, downtown. Although about five years older than most of the charismatic leaders of the underground scene, I had only decided to infiltrate the punk dominion the past year or so. So, although I had the gay and new wave dance scenes of Corpus Christi and the punk and gay scenes in Atlanta under my belt, I knew I had a lot of studying and many bands to experience before I knew how to navigate among the characters I would face in the coming years, plot the topography, and maybe, just maybe, escape with my life if not my dignity. There was great music ahead. There was crap music to whack past as well. And while I had already throttled deaf ears among the Yippies of Atlanta, I knew I'd run into another hard wall sooner of later in DC. Knowing my instincts for self-regard and whatever it is about my whacked sense of social pecking order (none) that attracts trouble, it wouldn't take long. True to the purposeful soldier spirit in me, it didn't.

dcspaceNever a sycophant but quite commonly a fierce defender of whatever line of equality or truth it is that I think is right among equal citizens, underground or otherwise, it never takes long before someone else with a different opinion strikes a blow metaphorically or otherwise.

The Four Horsemen of my own experiential apocalypse, a battleground also known as DC Space and the 9:30 Club would be artists and musicians Rene the Fist, Jared Hendrickson, Bruce Merkle and our muscle of the hour—Henry Rollins, all excellent artists, all formidable agitators, all friends first before they became foes.

Excepting Rollins.

I can't say that we were ever friends. I was introduced to him by Jack who insisted at a WUST show during the Mustard Years, followed by a quick handshake, a submissive grimace and probably a lingering brow standoff. By this era I was already in the beginning stages of beer bloat, and everyone in the hall that night knew that Righteous Rollins just didn't roll that way.

I spent my first year in my new city, my new scene buying up copies of Maximum Rock & Roll, Flipside, Truly Needy, and any smaller local street fanzines I could get into my hands. I even created my own street zine called SAMPLEX, but it was decidedly more bent to the socially-tainted word and image than any emphasis on local or national punk bands.

mzi.mgrnrdoz.170x170-75But my first confrontation with Henry Rollins had begun back in the Skinny Years on a packed house night at DC Space (written in lower case in reality, I prefer to adhere to most standard English renderings because I usually can). This was a spoken word event. In fact I have never seen Rollins perform on stage, and frankly I do not think this small omission of fan authenticity makes me a bad person. As I write this now, I somewhat regret not ever having seen Rollins in Black Flag. No doubt he was a monster on the stage. I don't specifically recall that I blew any opportunity to buy a ticket for Black Flag during those years, but I probably did.

I had read, of course, much glitter about the Henry Rollins version of punishing high octane energy on stage in belting out the lyrics to such punk classics as My War and Rise Above. I'd also read in various street zines and rags that he was also a nasty player in public in choosing to make a point of stepping into family restaurants and other lukewarm venues which always somehow included snarling at anyone who dare commit the unpardonable sin of staring and whispering among each other or in stunned silence at his buff tattooed uber self with a perfunctory, "What the fuck are YOU looking at?" or something similar to nuclear flash and blind. Not polite to stare? How about not polite to bellow at strangers? Giving as good as he got? Hardly. He wasn't the only punk rocker who delighted in this type of public rebellion, but I always found that type of behavior stupid and unjustified, and felt it MY duty to draw the ire of these types to myself, bonehead to bonehead, so to speak.

To be continued...

Merlin Media Launches Chicago's Only 24-Hour All-News Station

Merlin Media Launches Chicago's Only 24-Hour All-News Station With FM News 101.1 (via PR Newswire)

NEW YORK, July 31, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Merlin Media, a new multiplatform, multimedia company, today launched FM News 101.1 as Chicago's only 24-hour all-news station. Whenever listeners tune in to Chicago's FM News 101.1 they will experience credible…

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Harry Nilsson's Collection Commemorates Decade Of Recording From 1967 To 1977

Harry Nilsson's THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION Commemorates Decade Of Recording From 1967 To 1977, On Deluxe 17-CD Box Set (via PR Newswire)

GRAMMY®-WINNING SINGER/SONGWRITER/PRODUCER AT VORTEX OF 1960s/'70s MUSIC REVOLUTION REVEALS DEEP ASSOCIATIONS WITH THE BEATLES, THE MONKEES, RANDY NEWMAN, DOZENS MORE Box set coincides with arrival of Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter, first…

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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1986

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1986 (via The Plain Dealer)

Click on an artist above to get more information about each inductee or use the drop-down lists/links below to navigate. Click a letter to shorten the player list. Click * to return to the full list. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y…

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I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir

I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Family Memoir (via http://www.leatherjacketsmens.net)

When the Ramones recorded their debut album in 1976, it heralded the true birth of punk rock. Fast and frenetic in their leather jackets and torn jeans, the Ramones gave voice to the disaffected youth of the seventies and eighties, influenced countless…

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Cyndi Lauper One Letter Away from EGOT

Cyndi Lauper One Letter Away from EGOT (via www.zblogging.com)

Cyndia Lauper won a Tony Award for Best Original Score for the musical version of “Kinky Boots” during Sunday evening’s award ceremony. She previously won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist in 1985 and an Emmy Award in 1995 for Outstanding Guest…

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Bill Haley: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1987

Bill Haley: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1987 (via The Plain Dealer)

Click on an artist above to get more information about each inductee or use the drop-down lists/links below to navigate. Click a letter to shorten the player list. Click * to return to the full list. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y…

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Record Store Day: Earth's Vinyl Days

Record Store Day: earth's vinyl days (via The Christian Science Monitor)

You remember records, right? Not only are the big 12-inch albums and 7-inch 45s still among us, but so are their landlords, old-fashioned independent record stores, which celebrate their own special day every spring. On April 21, the fifth annual Record…

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