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dbowker's picture
Last seen: 11 months 5 days ago
Joined: May 8 2007 - 6:37am
Best As We See It EVER!

It's not just that I too was angry punk rocker way back in the day, but Mr. Rollins actually articulated why wanting good sound is a noble effort better than I've ever heard!

To turn it around, and point out what almost should be almost obvious, that wanting to hear your music as best as it can be for the sake of the blood, sweat and tears the majority of musicians had to put into their work is spot on! He single-handedly tears the false labels of "dorky, twee, or techno-obsessed" and shows them for what they are: utter BS, and stereotypes that do not apply to the greater majority. It should be equally obvious if anyone would really take the time to learn anything new, but hey, learning something new is not a big priority on a lot of people's lists.

Plus, hearing that an angry, fully tattooed, dude who could howl like a rabid wolf at live shows started out listening mostly to classical, and still cherishes his Chopin as much as his Coltrane, Zeppelin and the latest rockers just warms the heart a bit. 

Dr. Spivey
Dr. Spivey's picture
Last seen: 1 month 4 days ago
Joined: Sep 18 2009 - 5:21pm
Hank's Cool

Great read for sure. Not a big fan of Mr. Rollin's music, but I always found him to be interesting as a person. Hearing his views on Hi-Fi and his personal history made me feel there is hope for the world. cool

Glotz's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Nov 20 2008 - 9:30am
'Weight' sounds incredible...

Huge fan of the man since the 80's.. Just a big thanks for speakin' out with his big mouth all these years... His advice on not trying to convert anybody that doesn't want conversion is spot on.  People gotta find it for themselves.

@dbowker-  Nailed it. yes

Drtrey3's picture
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
Frankly, he frightened me

prior to the article! I would always think "What an angry, confrontational dude!" That made me a little uncomfortable. I read the article wondering "Is this THE Henry Rollins?" Slowly I figured out that it was, indeed, him. Then I read that he liked Hawkwind, as do I, and other little tid bits of similarity came up, and he ended by referencing my favorite actor! While I agree that he did a great job articulating a great reason for pursuing audiophile goals, what I really enjoyed was learning enough about Henry to bo longer be intimidated.



Glotz's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Nov 20 2008 - 9:30am
Greater lesson...

for you, than anyone else.  The cover may be intimidating, but the inside is what counts.

Drtrey3's picture
Last seen: 7 years 8 months ago
Joined: Aug 17 2008 - 2:52pm
I see your point but . . .

Someone who loves me on the inside but punches me in the nose is not loving me effectively or in a way I can receive it! And Henry spent about three decades screaming for a living. I have not kept up with him much lately, but in the days, Hank was a really significantly angry dude!


Glotz's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Nov 20 2008 - 9:30am
Punches you in the nose....

sorry bad post.... see below.

Glotz's picture
Last seen: 18 hours 11 min ago
Joined: Nov 20 2008 - 9:30am
Punches you in the nose....

C'mon man..  he's not hitting you.  He might be shaking you by the shoulders a bit... but not punching you in the nose. I had quite a bit written for the response. but lost it all with a bad mouse button hit. 

Most of his music was cathartic, and meant for empowerment.  If you listen to 1991's The End Of Silence, you'll see the same themes of self-respect, introspection and growth over and over again.  While the music is aggressive, the emotion is meant as empathy and to empower the listener with strength and perspective.  Here's 'You Didn't Need" for example:

You turned me in and you burned me out
You pulled me in and you locked me out
You ripped your feelings right across my back
You didn't see that I was bleeding
You turned away when I spoke to you
You looked away when I looked right through you
You didn't need to do that to me

When I touched you
Did you feel it?
Did you ever feel anything at all?
Do you ever lie awake at night?
Do you ever think of me?
I've got my arms wrapped around myself
You've got your arms around someone else
I try to tell myself
I'm not down

I didn't want it but I got it anyway
I didn't want it and I couldn't get away
I can't deny it
I miss you
Even though it hurts inside
In my dreams I kiss you
I keep a lie alive

I wrack my brain trying to remember
Everything I said to you
I wreck my brain trying to dismember
Any part attached to you
I'm sorry I still feel this pain inside
It shows on my face like a scar
It's something I can't hide
Some people are better left alone
It hurts so much when you have nothing to say
It hurts so much to have to walk away


I am the only one that laughed his ass off for the video to 'Liar'?

Even when he's spewing bile at a subject, he still pumps humanity into the song and gives the anger perspective: (The very next song) 

Almost Real

I looked deep into your eyes
Saw men lying broken
Shattered at the bottom of your well
You took their simple affection
Turned it into bad infection
Sent them packing straight to hell
I see what sweats you
Reality threatens you
You can't hide yourself from me
When you see the one that sees through you - It's me

Canine men
Fighting, lying, trying to be the one
That gets to feel your touch
I see them lined up like broken heroes
Spitting out pieces of their broken luck
I guess I've got good sense and hindsight
Because to me it never meant that much
When you see the one that laughs at you - It's me

Why you gotta do him like that..?

Wasted time spent thinking about you
You know I've come to hate myself
Smashing my hands against the wall
Trying to forget the foolish way I felt
You're so kind when it serves you well
Your cruelty

No more trying
No more lying
No more messing around with my mind
I'm going, I'm gone

Because now I see you
You must think I'm blind
When you need those arms around you
You won't find my arms around you

When you see the one that sees through you
When you see the one that laughs at you - It's me


There's way more to the song than that, but you can get the gist. He doesn't beat her down, he laughs at her, mockingly, for her manipulative behavior.  He looks at himself, with the multitude of emotions all of us can and do go through when it comes to love, and our human faults.

There's much more to Rollins than pure aggression.  Honesty.  Introspection.  Change.  Strength. He challenges us to question the animal within.  ('What Do You Do") And all of it fits perfectly to the music.  It's an utterly awe-inspiring and powerful album.  I hope Stephen picks it for his RTDF next year.  (Although I think you may believe it is a Record To Die From!)  It may not sound as good as Weight, but whatever- it's has some great sonics with a little help... and a little volume. 

And next time... DUCK!  What you thought was a punch thrown was only Henry trying to pick you up from the ground!

"This aint no blues song"!

nunhgrader's picture
Last seen: 2 years 4 months ago
Joined: Sep 8 2005 - 9:25pm

Definitely one of my favorite writer/ poet / singer - excellent article - I was delighted to see several of my hobbies colide with this article - thank you!

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