" Rollins is rather a different person from the young man who fronted titans of the hardcore genre Black Flag, though no less magnificent."
Walking on to the stage with just a microphone and a notebook, Henry Rollins greeted Adelaide with a simple wave, which, in turn, was acknowledged with loud and respectable applause from a near-capacity audience. Gracious, ultra-polite and charming, Rollins is rather a different person from the young man who fronted titans of the hardcore genre Black Flag, though no less magnificent.
South Australia was then bombarded with two-and-a-half hours of recollections, opinions and ultimately a 'Guide To The Life Of Henry Rollins'. He began with the ridiculous same sex marriage plebiscite - "answer the dumbest question Australia has ever had to face with the most obvious answer" - which was met with an eruption of cheering and applause. He surprisingly silenced this to reassure Australians that "USA has done it numerous times. So if you are worried about how stupid it is, most likely America did it first." An opening sentiment that set the tone rather flawlessly for what lay ahead.
Without a break, Rollins powered through an incredible list of topics so organically delivered it was super-human. Homophobia, an accidental relationship with RuPaul, "The Bathroom Bill" and Bruce Springsteen, the Bush administration, USA's perception that science is 'gay' and gay is evil, Clint Eastwood and his foolish ways, being a proud member of the "Pussy Generation" (#GenerationP), South Africa, Uzbekistan, the embarrassment Donald Trump, humorous religious emails (hence the notebook), hysterical hate mail, music as his family, Lemmy and his anecdotes, his experiences with David Bowie (a very emotional subject), Iggy Pop, Dionne Warwick, Black Flag, Jack Frost, Sons Of Anarchy and his neo-Nazi character, bikers (or funny Australian term "bikie"), self-love (his "special time"), Antarctica, global climate change, horny, stinky penguins, music as therapy and, finally, how people are his optimism.
That may seem an overwhelming amount to digest, and it's just a fraction of what was actually covered, but the crowd would have gladly stayed for hours longer. Henry Lawrence Garfield is an inspiration, and has the power to create awareness in the world with such simple eloquence. If there was a "Generation P" sign-up booth next to the merchandise stand, the attendees of Thebarton Theatre would have joined. Thank you Mr Rollins, please return to Australia at least 37 more times.
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