I am in the night
I am every part of it
The consumption of its beast 
The deck that it deals
The veins that bleed
The caress of its serpent

I am the night
As it writhes and undulates toward dawn
It moans and cries a symphony of anger
I am its agony as it struggles against the light
And dies with the strike of the Sun God.






Fan Sites

Image Library





Rollins Links

Site Feedback

Site Info

Site Updates

Spoken Word

Tour Dates



Main Page

Everything Rollins

 Come In and Burn...
An Unofficial Henry Rollins and Rollins Band Site...
Rollins In London - Part 1 ...
Hi there Andrew. Scott from Aberdeen here. I'm going to send you this little letter directly this time, as I have a pretty dodgy Internet connection, it tends to take me quite a while to get through to your page or the Rollins talk page, and it has a tendency to crash my machine. So if you could lump this onto the relevant page I'd really appreciate it. Thanks just now for the great site, I've wasted a lot of time browsing through it and I've gotta say that you update it a lot which I'm grateful of. Alright, onto the real deal...

Scott t01siks@abdn.ac.uk Mon Jan 15 23:47:38 1996

I'll start with a little bit about myself. My name is Scott and I'm a student in Aberdeen in the North of Scotland, I'm twenty three and very luckily have a car. My girlfriend was at the time, living down in the South East of England for a few months when she informed me that she had found an advert in a newspaper stating that the Public Insomniac Tour was coming to London, England for one date only, and at a time when I was on holiday too! The story progressed that we decided to get the tickets and somehow just try to get to the show even though this would involve a round trip of roughly a thousand miles on my behalf. If you are ever in the situation where you have even the slightest possibility of seeing Rollins, take it, make the effort. I drove for in total about twenty six hours, and slept in other people's houses and on a floor, it was worth every minute.

Rollins hasn't done a spoken word show in Britain for some time, and the last time he was here I was out of the country, so I was desperate to see him. I guess this makes me a little biased so I'm going to include a few excerpts from a review written in the Guardian on Monday January 8 1996 by Caroline Sullivan, a really good article in my opinion which captured the feeling of the evening. I also have the Melody Maker article that's on Andrew's Rollins page at the moment too. I felt this article was rather typical of British muso-journo snobbery, and in particular the aloof nature of MM and their inability to admit that they enjoyed a gig or record, especially if that artist is starting to become more popular. I'll try to do Rollins justice and write things both from his, and my point of view.

There were I guess about five sections to the gig, five main stories, and I'll post each one seperately. These are not taken from recordings and are just the best I remember or re-interpret them. I don't have any photos to post as our camera was confiscated by the rather over-zealous 'security staff' at the venue.

Caroline Sullivan's article is titled 'Monster Mad Mellow', she 'wonders if mean rocker Henry Rollins can possibly be related to the loveable raconteur performing at the Forum'. This kind of sums up the gig for me. The mood before curtain deadline in the audience was definately edgy. Most people looked like they hadn't ever been to spoken word show before and most hadn't ever seen Rollins. There were a lot of very young looking folks, especially girls, looking like they didn't know what to expect. What do you have to judge Rollins by? Mostly what other people write about him. And what do people write? That he is some kind of intense psychopath, and that in his presence you constantly wait for a fist in your face or whatever. We were all, I think, most surprised when instead 'Hank' turned up, and proceeded to make us feel right at home joking and laughing and just telling stupid stories.

As I said before, I've never been to any of Rollins spoken word shows before, I've seen the Rollins band a few times, and caught his intense chatter between songs. The only other thing is a video and spoken cd. On both of these there is a real mixture between 'talking shit' and 'dealing with heavy shit'. Rollins may make you laugh but he will also take you to the lonely and kind of depressing place where he seems to dwell. There is usually a point to this forray, such as the recounting of Joe Cole's unfortunate demise. As much as Henry tells us that this is just a self indulgent blues trip, he gives us his point that maybe you should appreciate your life. In the Forum only once did he really get anywhere near this level in his story about going to visit a cancer patient in Oz. Even this however, tended to have more of an uplifting effect on the audience. The bravery of this kid with cancer is an example to all of you to stop worrying if you are having a bad hair day, or if someone steals you parking space, kind of thing. On the whole, 'Rollins the comic, is relaxed (a big surprise), comical and witty, the rock monster recedes and is replaced by Tom Hanks'. 'The only echo of the screaming tattooed monster is the paradest posture and elephantine biceps. Old Hank lounges there, smiling affably and speaking in a light American accent - a boy you could introduce to your parents'. At one point Henry mentioned how he had ran into Frank Black one time and gone up and introduced himself. Frank started talking about how they would both be washed up by next year, and proposed the Las Vegas show revue - 'Hank and Frank'. Henry may not want to think of himself as a stand up comic, but he could pull his considerable weight against what most have to offer. Some of the american media references were a little obscure for us limeys but he made us understand it all from his point of view, which made it funny anyway. 'He kept the place rapt for three hours. Yo, like, a triumph.' The drive etc. was definately worth it, get to see this man if you can.

Story 1: Embarassing shit that happened to Hank on stage.
I don't know if you are aware of this but Henry has pretty bad eyesight. I guess glasses don't really go with the image and contacts are not really practical, so he tends to wander around half blind. Anyway, on an indistinct gig somewhere in the states Henry is all psyched up back stage and bounds fiercely onto the stage and about 10,000 people erupt. Hank gives a quick salute, and turns to find that he can't see the mike which is usually left just behind this point so he can find it. He doesn't want to start crawling about on the stage infront of 10,000 people looking for his mike so turns to the audience and gives it a big rock-out punch the air gesture, whilst looking over to the side of the stage mouthing the words, 'I can't find the mike' in big oversized words. The stage manager is mouthing, 'Over there' and pointing in some sort of non-descript direction that Henry can't make out. So Henry starts running around doing further rock out poses whilst looking for the mike. Sim Cain eventually stands up over the drum kit and has to point to the mike with his drum stick, by which point the audience is getting a little suspicious. Here's one that in Oz last year might remember. As you know the Rollins band are due for a new release soon, and have been trying new material on stage. This means that because Rollins hasn't sung these songs like 500 times then he hasn't ingrained them into his brain to the point of singing them without thinking about it. The opened up into one of these songs and all was going fine until Chris accidently stood on his guitar lead and pulled it out. He screams 'Oh shit' and plugs back in but loses it a little and goes into the bridge instead of the chorus like the bass and drums. This just confuses the hell out of Rollins who, having sung like half of one verse, procedes to forget all of the rest of the words to the song entirely. What to do? Again he resorted to running around the stage 'rocking-out' and playing air guitar and shit for the next five minutes of the this wierd half instrumental with a half minute of singing at the beginning and then five minutes of what sounded suspiciously like chorus, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, verse. Again, he thinks he got away with it.

The last and far and away, best story in this section takes place in a South American festival for around 50-150,000 people, headlined by TA-DAH Mr. Big!? It's a show so they decide to do it and all get down there. Whilst the band are lazing on the beach in South America, Rollins gets another gruelling promo schedule and through several days of too much to do manages to arrive at the airport with two days of no sleep. He's getting to that hysterical stage of sitting crying his eyes out at the sentimental shitty movie on the plane, and then suddenly breaking into hysterical laughter. He gets off the plane is swamped by journalists, who immediately start snapping away. Hank can't stop talking and gets all of these full page photos in the local papers the next day with him looking like Sylvester Stallone. His face in some tortured grimace, half way through a word, eyes in half blink, arms gesticulating wildly. There are all of these goofy photos with like 'El retardo Henry Rollins' headlines. Cool. Anyway, he gets all psyched up backstage banging his head into things and screaming, while the rest of the band look on, gaze at the ceiling and each other and say "I think he's ready". Henry runs on stage to 150,000 screaming South Americans, finds the mike (phew), and adopts his typical crouched screaming position. His knee comes up and his head comes down. Bang, he knocks himself out cold just as the band start. After like twenty seconds he wakes up and gets up looking for the guy who must have sucker punched him. The first to come back is his hearing and and it sounds like a broken washing machine being amplified by a jet engine and he's busy thinking' Who are this terrible band, and where am I?' When his vision starts to clear. He thinks, "Who are all these people, what song are we playing and what the fuck just happened?". At this point he notices his face is covered in blood, and his head and knee both hurt like shit. Two and two makes four, and he starts to calmly examine his head which is cracked wide open exposing his skull. Chris is asking him how he is, and he starts grossing out the whole band by touching his skull with his fingers. This has all happened in the first minute of the gig before Henry has said a word. Things get pulled together and he manages to get through the rest of the 60 minute set bleeding all the time. The bit that sticks in Henry's mind is the image of Evan Dando coming on stage next singing all of these "be nice to people, and like everybody" songs, whilst standing in a pool of Henry's blood.

I guess these stories were intended to warm up Henry on the night, but they also managed to put the audience at ease and set the tone for the rest of the evening. I'll mail the next installment of this soon if anyone is interested in this one.

Still to come...