Henry Rollins is an actor, an author who runs his own publishing company, a musician and also a spoken word artist. He’s always said that he does all these jobs because in reality he’s only fit for minimum wage work so will do anything rather than that alternative.
He’s also an intelligent, passionate adventurer who confesses that he gets bored if he stays in his LA home for more than two weeks.
He’s here in London in his role as spoken word artist and says that it’s his first time back here for four years.
His performance tonight is heartfelt and engaging and consists of anecdotes based on his many years travelling all over the planet. He says that he’s been to about ninety countries including all the ones that George Bush told Americans not to go to like Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
We get to hear how he met and had lunch with David Bowie at a festival and the many times he met Lemmy over the years. He got Lemmy to play on his benefit album for the West Memphis Three and was surprised to find out how many books the Motorhead frontman owned when he visited his flat.
He tells us about the mail he received accusing him of selling out after he appeared in the film “Jack Frost” alongside Michael Keaton and the praise he got from a woman for being a great neo nazi in season two of “Sons Of Anarchy”.
He takes us back to his formative years growing up in Washington DC and how he first heard The Ramones and The Clash in the early days of the DC punk scene as well as how he got to know HR from Bad Brains around this time.
Other stories detail his learning to scuba dive and what it was like diving in the sea for the first time and his experience travelling to Antartica to see the penguins and observe the effects of global warming in that part of the world. Whilst there he slept outside in a sleeping bag and listened to “Raw Power” by The Stooges just to do something that no one had ever done in that part of the world.
As a keen traveller, he also went to the Amazon and talked about how his party of fellow travellers experienced the rainforest in the dark with torches strapped to their heads.
After all the freewheeling stories, he tells us that he always brings a stopwatch on stage and thinks about ending the show once he gets past the two hour mark. Now his stopwatch says 2 hours and 52 minutes and he ends it there.
An intelligent and naturally curious man who is interested in how the world works, Henry Rollins is an engaging and charismatic storyteller.