Friday is my first visit to the Town Hall in Birmingham and my debut experience of the Henry Rollins spoken word phenomenon. The book that spawned his whole spoken word career, Get In The Van, was (still is) a book that I wanted when it first surfaced in 1994, but as soon as you found out the disto you used had in stock, you compiled an order, write it down and sent it off through the mail with a cheque (or postal order), for me it was always out of stock again. How did we survive without the internet?

Rollins will forever be connected with Washington, D.C. band Black Flag, where he was the third vocalist – after Keith Morris and Ron Reyes – but during the initial lifespan of the band (1976 to 1986) he was Greg Ginn’s longest serving vocalist, putting five years into the band.

When Black Flag disbanded in 1986 Henry went pretty much solo and fronting a varying bunch of musicians all under the Rollins Band banner.

Post Flag he’s also presented shows on TV. Appeared in Hollywood movies like Johnny Mnemonic, Heat, Lost Highway and Bad Boys II. Hosted radio shows, appeared in TV shows line Sons of Anarchy, wrote more books and performed lots of stand up. Never a man to get bored from the looks of things.

There’s no music (I’m assuming) in his performance tomorrow, but as this is a music blog here’s some music. Liar is taken from 1994’s Weight.


Here’s an eight minute snippet from the audio book of Get In The Van, recalling Black Flag’s first trip to the UK.