I’ve seen Henry Rollins so many times live I think I’ve lost count. I saw him once in Kent, Oh for free and it was the most I’d ever laughed in my life- literally. I can remember sitting in those horrible little folding chairs in some gymnasium with my face contorting in the strangest ways thinking, “Oh my god, I can’t control this!” as he told the story of the little kids with a boom box yelling, “Hey, muthafuckin’ liar man!!”. Really – I can’t explain it further.
Fast forward who knows how many years to the Empire club in the now torn down Flats of Cleveland where my future husband would sit maybe 10 feet away from me without even knowing it and Rollins’ would call out that he only got love from “the weird kid in the front with the soul patch”.
So, lets roll through 2010 when we finally got to go and see Rollins together. It was good. He is always fantastic. But we were finished – everything he had to say we already agreed with. There wasn’t anything more to preach. We were ready to move on.
Now I see he’s touring again this year – of course, it being an election year and all. That’s when he’s at his best. When people who have their heads down thrashing may actually take a moment to stop and look around and consider what will be coming in the next few years. And now Shephard Fairey is making a tour poster for him. Shephard Fairey who I ordered prints from who knows how many years ago, before I started to see Obey symbols around the city, before he was “an artist”. Before I saw his t-shirts for sale for $40 at the Buckle at the local mall…
We love you Henry. We told you that after the last show. But, once again, (as much as it kills me) someone else is going to have to take our seats. First, because you’re not coming to Cleveland and second, because it’s just time. Time for fresh faces, for the uninitiated, to come forward and see you and believe. I’m not sure what will come out of it this time. But I only hope it’s everything that we got and more because that’s what these kids truly deserve.
They don’t need something to say “Been there, got the t-shirt to prove it.” They need to hear someone say, “what they are trying to make you believe is bullshit and here’s why.” We’re already converted, and once converted our voices lose a little bit of power. It’s you who can keep it going. I hope….
“Help me Obi-Wan – you’re our only hope.”
(even though right now it feels completely fucked either way).