Anyone who is a fan of Henry Rollins’ various incarnations as a performer—be it the musclebound singer of a former incarnation of Black Flag, or fronting his own Rollins Band; the actor; the funny, angry and politically-driven spoken word artist; the host/curator of his own wildly eclectic radio show—has likely the noticed that the man hasn’t performed a lot of live music as of late. Curious as to why? Rollins addressed the issue in his latest column for the L.A. Weekly.
In it, Rollins expounds on his joy at currently being brutally exhausted with his work schedule (he’s filming a history show in Arlington, Virginia) and how he enjoys being kept busy as a way of not feeling old.
He then notes he is often asked why he doesn’t launch a “nostalgia” tour, playing some of his classic tunes and cashing in the way other, more septuagenarian rock figures have already done. He gives a typical Rollins-esque reply:
“I tell you this because in the summer months, you can count on bands that have been gone for years who will reassemble and go onto stages all over the world playing ‘vintage music.’ Perhaps they are on a Proustian mission to recapture that which has been lost. I read the interviews where the musicians claim that now they can really play this music. I don’t doubt them, but therein lies the problem. Musicians should not play Music. Music should play musicians.
Bands that think they have a handle on Music are no longer battling the beast. They think they have mastered Music. They have not.
Music cannot be mastered. What they think is control and mastery is not only hubris but even worse, it is Music’s great indifference. Simply put, Music no longer plays them. Music has moved on to more worthy combatants.
This is why I stopped touring with a band. I put up my fists and there was no longer anything there. It was heartbreaking, but it was clear. Music had moved on. Such was my reverence for its limitless power, I faced this truth and moved on in search of new battles.”
So there you have it—it seems Rollins has moved beyond performing live music (his spoken word tours are a blast, anyway), so those of you hoping for a Rollins-era Black Flag reunion might want to start finding other things to look forward to.
What do you think of the Rollins news?
Source: The AV Club