I should be better at my Rollins education, since at one point I idolized the man. Even though I never before and never after was into buff guys
, Henry Rollins
did something to me. He got under my skin
because even though he sometimes thought poorly
, he was still willing to try, and in front of an audience at that. I know about his broken home, his DC
childhood, his marine school induction. Ritalin, molestation, late bloomer sex, the gambit.
But one specific thing about his self-told history
has always perplexed
me. It has reminded me of the immeasurable breadth and depth of the human memory.
There was a taped spoken word performance Rollins did called The Boxed Life in May of 1992, five months after his best friend, Joe Cole , had been shot dead practically in front of his eyes during a robbery from within their shared dwelling in California. I don't know how long they knew each other, but from what Rollins tells, it went beyond deep for two guys; it was like blood , like a union beyond love, a covenant . Speaking as someone who would more than feel the pinch at the loss of what few friends I have, I could relate to even a touch of what he went through, if I ever become so unfortunate.
On every screaming or speaking album, every (perhaps) poorly written book, and practically every product of his company, himself, or his band produces, is emblazoned somewhere with the name of Joe Cole and his life span : 4.10.61-12.19.91. Rollins' own company is named after his own birthday, which, combined with this extended and apparently infinite devotion to his friend, shows you from where his heart is connected.
Joe Cole also starred in a few films (care of imdb.com):
1991: The Year Punk Broke (1992)
Bay City Story (1992)
The Book of Manson (1989)
Citizen Tania (1989)
Sir Drone (1989)
Weatherman '69 (1989)