Last night my wife and I got to get out of the house without the kids. This is noteworthy in and of itself. Even cooler is what we did. We went to a local theatre and see Henry Rollins at a stop on his Frequent Flyer spoken word tour. It was amazing.
For those who are unfamiliar with Henry Rollins, here’s some info from wikipedia:
Henry Rollins (born February 13, 1961 as Henry Lawrence Garfield) is an American singer-songwriter, raconteur, stand-up comedian, spoken word artist, writer, publisher, actor, radio DJ, and activist. After joining the short-lived Washington D.C. band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band’s breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, as well as forming the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups until 2003 and during 2006.
Since Black Flag, Rollins has embarked on projects covering a variety of media. He has hosted numerous radio shows, such as Harmony In My Head on Indie 103, and television shows, such as The Henry Rollins Show, MTV’s 120 Minutes,and Jackass. He had a recurring dramatic role as a white supremacist in the second season of Sons of Anarchy and has also had roles in several films. Rollins has also campaigned for human rights in the United States, promoting gay rights in particular, and tours overseas with the United Service Organizations to entertain American troops.
He talked about everything really, with the intensity of a, well, punk rocker, the humor of a stand-up comedian, and a knowledge of the Constitution that would best 95% of the United States population (seriously, he seemed to have large chunks of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence memorized). It was the quickest three hours I have spent in my life. His talk was just so interesting and fast paced that when it was over and he told us he had talked for three hours I was stunned. I probably could’ve listened for three more hours (with a bathroom break of course).
The most impressive part of the talk, other than his knowledge of the world, was just the sheer intensity he demonstrated. He didn’t take one drink of water, or even really pause once during the talk, and I’m certain he didn’t speak the word “um” once. Try that sometime in your public speaking.
Henry Rollins has obviously perfected the art of the spoken word. Now, I was never able to see Michael Jordan in his Chicago Bulls heyday, or witness Roberto Clemente gun somebody down at third base, but having seen Henry Rollins speak, I have an idea what that would be like.
For those interested in more details of last night’s show, here are a couple articles from local reporters: