Skip to main content

A review of A Dull Roar by Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins, A Dull Roar is another journal of his life depicting events and moods in the spring and summer in 2006. The first half deals with his experiences getting his band back together & then hired and working on a film in Vancouver. After each entry is a short list of what Mr. Rollins ate and drank. The book like a life has a few themes, the first the movie and the second, the last tour with The Rollins Band. As with most of Rollins’ works I felt his pain as he honestly deals with depression and a constant struggle to maintain an internal and physical strength. The mind is a powerful weapon and Henry is - as he declares - is,” The Spear.”
If there is any question as to what makes this man tick, here as with most of his writing is an open door into the mind of Rollins. His themes revolve around an obsessive work habit, his experiences in his old band Black Flag, to his self induced isolation since he has little patience for anyone other than a few key players. In an amusing sidebar, Jeannie Garoafalo appears, she insists that Henry will paint her apartment next time he is in New York. The Rollins Band themselves is an assortment of characters, and yet throughout I felt there was a murky distance between Rollins and the players. He does not go into detail about what they’ve done since the last time they were together which was close to ten years. Doesn’t share if they married and had children, a little report would be satisfactory. I was left wondering what or who the other member were, but reading Rollins you need to prepare yourself since he writes about what he assumes the reader will find enlightening - himself and has little regard for others except for the writers, Wolfe and Fitzgerald. He’s obsessed with Tender Is the Night, and declares it’s his favorite book; I started reading it last night and was surprised by the flowery writing compared to Henry Miller who is another one of his favorites or some other French poets.
Other notable passages are when he goes back to his childhood in DC, and how important it is for him to get back at least once a year. There is a good scene when he hangs out with his long time friend Ian MacKaye. There are other scenes of meeting fans outside his bus and of course his discipline preparing for each performance.
I’m looking forward to reading more of his works, I appreciate his blunt and honest depictions, what’s intriguing is his passion for knowledge, his love of music is contagious, and yet I would always give the man his space to discover his demons.


Popular posts from this blog

Alabama Shakes brings down Carnegie Hall

March 25, 2017 I apologize for the delay since I should have wrote this last weekend.  I’m trying to write a blog entry once a week.  Once a week.  That is all.  Yet, even the single entry can get tangled in other demands.  Writing is a discipline.  Either I have it or I get distracted or lost in other habits.  Anyway, here is my review of the Tibet House concert on March 16th…as always thank you for reading it. I was in Pennsylvania on business and yet I had tickets to see the show at Carnegie Hall.  When I bought the single seat – a few weeks back – I bought the most expensive - in the orchestra. I knew I had to write down the event my book since I would forget.  I had made plans with a client to visit the company and yet, even with the date marked down, I still forgot.  But, I was not going to miss this event.  The lineup was incredible, Iggy Pop, New Order, Alabama Shakes, Patty Smith, Laurie Anderson, and others and of course the esteemed composer Philip Glass.  It was a benefit co…

Henry Rollins is a sell out

10/30/16 17:27

I heard the criticism about the Henry Rollins for years, a self-absorbed, macho, and of course a lunatic.  I have a friend who were threatened by the Henry years ago.  I have read his articles and books, and would say I am a fan of the Henry; the myth which he created when he adopted a different last name, "Rollins" when joining Black Flag.  I always respected the Henry who would tell us at his shows that he was accessible, since he had the punk attitude; there is no difference to the person on the stage and the audience, we were united.  “I am here because of you,” the Henry tells his audiences. You could send the Henry an email and he would respond which is respectable and follows the punk ethos.  When seeking advice, for instance, on books or on bands such as - should I see Suicide who are playing in the city? The Henry thought it was a good idea and I went.  And I walked out before the concert was over.  Their last concert.  The Henry removed his email addr…

Every Two Years, this time Sally Field and Matthew Broderick, a Night in the city with my wife

2/26/17 21:53
Yesterday, we left the house just before 11:00 in the morning.  I filled up on gas and we bought bagels before our drive into the city.  We had the day planned for a few weeks.  We did the same thing two years ago.  Catching two plays and spending the night in the city.  The first play was Glass Menagerie, starring Sally Fields.  The second was Evening at the Talk House starring Matthew Broderick.  You know one of those days when everything fell into place.  There was a coupon for half off 24 hour parking which I printed.  The traffic to the city was very light and we made great time.  The parking garage on East 38th took my car.  We walked up to the hotel.  The Courtyard on east 40th and to our surprise there a room was available.  We had a room with a view instead of an alley, we could see buildings.  The low hurling clouds which carried looming rain; scraped over steel roofs.  We made excellent time.  Made it to the Belasco Theatre and waited in line for ten minutes.  …