On Tuesday October 30th, Scott Wood, host of the interview show, came to see Henry Rollins holler at the Vancouver Centre for the Performing Arts.
When I arrived at the very swank Vancouver Centre for the Performing Arts, I was notified that Henry Rollins would be speaking for three hours straight with no intermissions.
Rollins is the cool punk uncle everyone wishes they had. He has an easy stage presence. That said, the first hour was very rough going. Although Rollins acknowledged that this was a Canadian audience, he felt the need to go into US politics, specifically the War in Iraq and Gay Marriage. Well, dude, I am glad you don’t mind if two guys get married, but it is legal in Canada, so that really isn’t an issue. Same for the corrupt Bush regime.
At this point things were going bad. Punk fans are devoted, but patronizing the audience with opinions that were daring in 1980—around the same age most of the audience was born—is not a good idea.
Thankfully, Rollins turned it around. After he got Iraq out of his system, he went into several stories celebrating his music geekery. This is where Rollins shines. And immediately the crowd was back on his side. Hearing stories about Diamond Dave, aka David Lee Roth, and Roth’s assistant, who had a refrigerator in his coat to keep cold beers on hand had the crowd loving him again.
He followed that with a story about how Rollins participated in re-uniting one of his favorite punk bands, The Ruts. Now The Ruts only lasted for one record back in the day, but they stuck in the obsessive record-collector mind of Rollins, and he was happy to help them reform for one last show recently as one member was in the last stages of terminal cancer. Hearing Rollin revel in the history and minutia of punk makes you respect the man and want offer him a beer—although he doesn’t drink.
It went on like that. Rollins did talk straight for 3 hours. No intermission.
And when it was over, it is easy to see how he can fill the Vancouver Centre for the Performing Arts with a legion of rock fans. Although I am sure the venue would have liked an intermission for some more concession sales.
Tune in to the interview show with host Scott Wood, every Monday @4:30pm on CJSF 90.1FM for more interviews with your favorite indie acts. You can also listen online at www.cjsf.ca.