Hello again and thanks for visiting once more, it’s nice to see you, especially you in the back with the really good haircut. Nothing to report from Clash Blog Towers, the dog and cat are sunbathing and for the first time in a while the house is bereft of kids staying home sick from school. It’s all been a bit Florence Nightingale around here lately. Oh also, in case you missed it I’ve built a sister website called Clash Blog News…it’s still this site essentially but please visit if you haven’t.
In this Facebook era of ‘rent-a-quote’ (you know the kind I mean, people photoshop a picture of Nelson Mandela with some inspiring quote and share it to show they now somehow sit that bit nearer to the knowledge tree) one of the characters from the world of Punk Rock that I often see quoted is none other than Henry Rollins. Come to think of it I don’t know if all of the quotes attributed to Rollins are actually his own but for the most part there isn’t much to debate with even if it appears in Facebook terms that he spends as much time pontificating as making music these days, which isn’t the case.
Rollins is an unashamed fan of The Clash and even though its over 25 years since he fronted Black Flag (honestly, 27 years this year) he has had a long and varied career that is now well into its third decade. What I didn’t realise because I never make time to see that many films is that Henry has now appeared in over twenty movies since his acting debut in addition to his extensive television and radio work which I was aware of. What’s really interesting about him is he usually causes a reaction which is more than can be said for many and while he sometimes skates the perimeter of the bleeding obvious in my opinion he ruffles feather by not pulling punches when talking about music, society and the state of the nation. It’s probably only obvious to me because I don’t usually disagree with his perspective on most topics.
In this recent article written for LA Weekly, Henry talks about getting older (he’s still only 52) and staying angry at which point he speaks at length about The Clash. I’ve reproduced some of that below but I do recommend the whole article being worth a read. He writes about how the debut Clash album is something he’s listened to since he was kid and how it still never fails to impact him, a sentiment that I know many of you can relate to. Nice to know he still plays vinyl too. He blogs a few times a week on the LA Weekly site, it’s always worth a look so bookmark it after you read it.
“One of my true north, clear the air, reset favorites is the first Clash album, the UK version, which has different songs than its American cousin. I have been listening to this album since I was in high school and it still moves me.
So, I sat right in front of the speakers and took it in one more time. As I listened, I did a multi-level gut check. I do this kind of thing all the time: Before shows, auditions, anything where there is risk involved. I do the big ones in the early hours of the new year and on my birthday. I try to figure out where I’m at as far as motivation, intensity, etc.
When the album’s last song, “Garage Land,” (sic) finished. I found myself very happy. Ecstatic, actually. Because I realized how angry I was. I got up, flipped the record over, started it again and resumed my self-analysis. As the songs played, I concluded that I was more angry than I was a year ago. This to be an achievement, something I have somehow gotten it right.
My anger does not manifest itself in destruction of objects, swearing in traffic, or attempting to get beaten up by another male several years my junior ” Henry Rollins – LA Weekly
What’s your take on the always outspoken Rollins and indeed Black Flag? Did many of you see them live back in the 80′s, I remember they played The Marquee in London with Husker Du in about ’84 – quite a bill.