Henry Rollins

Henry Rollins


2/13/1961, Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Birth Name

Henry Garfield



Also Known As

Henry Garfield, Henry Lawrence Garfield
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User Rating
26 votes


In the '90s, Henry Rollins emerged as a post-punk renaissance man, without the self-conscious trappings that plagued such '80s artists as David Byrne. Since Black Flag's breakup in 1986, Rollins has been relentlessly busy, recording albums with the Rollins Band, writing books and poetry, performing spoken-word tours, writing…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Rollins was prescribed Ritalin as a child and was sent to the The Bullis School, a Washington, D.C. military boys only school. The boys only school impeded his early attempts at dating and made him uncomfortable around women for several years.

    • Rollins parents divorced when he was young, and he was raised primarily by his mother, Iris, who taught him to read before he entered school and who he credits with instilling his lifelong love of reading.

    • Henry Rollins birth name is Henry Garfield and he adopted the stage surname of Rollins after Sonny Rollins, the jazz saxophonist.

    • Rollins started working out when a friend of his was jumped and beaten.

    • Musical artists Rollins admires least: Depeche Mode, Bruce Springsteen and U2 (which he says has the worst rhythm section he's ever heard.

    • Rollins has many tattoos covering his body, including an assortment on his arms, the Black Flag logo on the back of his neck, and a large sun on his back accompanied with the words "Search and Destroy."

    • Rollins appears in Jackass the movie. He is driving a Hummer while Steve-o is getting a tattoo.

    • Rollins wears a police uniform in his video "Liar," which coincided with his role as "Officer Dobbs" in the 1994 movie The Chase.

    • Rollins was in a relationship with actress Kari Wuhrer. He eventually dumped her via email.

    • While singing with Black Flag, Rollins' trademark was performing on stage barefoot wearing nothing but a pair of black shorts.

    • Rollins is best known as the lead vocalist for Black Flag and Rollins Band.

    • Rollins was the host of a benefit concert called WedRock on October 5th, 2004. Wedrock was a concert performed to raise money and awareness for pro-gay marriage organizations.

    • Rollins performed a duet with famous Star Trek actor William Shatner for Shatner's 2004 album release Has Been. Rollins sang with him for the song "I Can't Get Behind That".

    • Rollins appeared in the video game Def Jam: Fight for NY. He played as himself and was the trainer of the main character.

    • In 2004, Rollins began hosting a weekly radio show called "Harmony In My Head". The Los Angeles based program showcased a variety of music from punk, rock, rap,and jazz. The show would go on hiatus at the end of the year so Rollins could go on a spoken word tour. "Harmony in My Head" returned in the Fall of 2005.

    • Rollins received a Grammy in 1995 for "Best Spoken Word Album" for Get in the Van.

    • Rollins is very active in the "Free the West Memphis Three" campaign. The organizagion was created to draw attention to three young men from West Memphis, Arkansas who many believe were falsely accused of murder simply due to their interest in heavy metal music.

    • In 2003, he started touring with the United Service Organizations (USO) to entertain troops overseas in Iraq. He toured despite his personal opposition to the war and the Bush administration.

    • Founder of 2.13.61, a record label and publishing company. 2.13.61 stands for February 13, 1961 - Rollins' birthday.

    • In December of 1991, his roommate/friend Joe Cole (son of actor Dennis Cole) was murdered during a robbery attempt. The crime remains unsolved. This case was actually featured on the show "Unsolved Mysteries".

  • Quotes

    • Rollins:: Pete!........I'm Naked....

    • Rollins: Want a good body? Work at it. Want to be a success? Work at it. Want to be truly exceptional? Be a touch insane... You need a little bit of insanity to do great things.

    • Rollins: I don't want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride.

    • Rollins: When you start to doubt yourself the real world will eat you alive.

    • Rollins: And he busts all the French he knows. Entrepreneurs. Courageous...Space...Entrepreneurs. Presumably, these astronauts are actually men who buy and sell quantities of the heavens.

    • Rollins: When life hands you a lemon, say "Oh yeah, I like lemons. What else you got?"

    • Rollins: It's sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.

    • Rollins: Nothing Brings People together more than mutual hatred.

    • Rollins: Don't do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your a** [butt] off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.

    • Rollins: Go without a coat when it's cold; find out what cold is. Go hungry; keep your existence lean. Wear away the fat, get down to the lean tissue and see what it's all about. The only time you define your character is when you go without. In times of hardship, you find out what you're made of and what you're capable of. If you're never tested, you'll never define your character.

    • Rollins: If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.

    • Rollins: You always know the mark of a coward. A coward hides behind freedom. A brave person stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.

    • Rollins: If I was gay, there would be no closet, you would never see the closet I came out of. Why? I would have burned it for kindling by the time I was 12. Because I know with all certainty in my mind, there is nothing wrong with being gay, and you know it.

    • Rollins: Basically, men are afraid of women and can't handle the fact that they came out of the same thing they spend the rest of their lives trying to get back into.

    • Rollins: Whenever I get dumped, I nail the door shut so that no one can come inside, get a towel and clip it around my neck so it's like a Superman cape, take off my shoes so I can slide across the room, and...get a fake mic, like a celery stick or a pen, and I play any record that features the vocalist Ronnie James Dio. And you can just pretend you're Dio, because on every album he does, he has minimum one, usually three, *EVIL WOMAN LOOK OUT!*- songs. And if you wanna point like Dio, it's a three-finger point. (heavy metal voice) The exit is that way. Evil LURKS! Evil lurks in twilight! Dances in the DARK! Evil woman! Just WALK AWAY!

    • Rollins: It is no surprise to me that hardly anyone tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep themselves to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that's dear to you? Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer than close to them? It's so painful to be next to someone you feel strongly about and know you can't say the things you want to.

    • (Rollins on acting)
      Rollins: One should be gainfully employed all the time. One should work vigorously or at least I should and in my mind, I'm always the waiter looking for work so this is, for me, my waiter job.

    • Rollins: You don't want to exclude people, that's not good. So you just bring them in. And that's just good story telling. If they speak English, which is the only language I've got at my disposal at this point, you don't talk down to them, nobody's stupid. You have to understand that English is probably not their first language and you should address that.

    • Rollins: When I'm in a movie, I want to get it done and do it right but I'm not going to tell you that I'm an actor and I'm not going to pull some attitude except "How well can I do this for you? And However many times you want me to do it, I'm good to do that."

    • Rollins: I just kind of do whatever role comes to me. I take the job seriously, I don't take myself seriously.

    • Rollins: I've averaged over 100 shows a year for 25 years. I'm not exactly proud of that, like I wear it on a badge, but I sure do like what I do.

    • Rollins: If you hate your parents, the man, or the establishment, don't show them up by getting wasted and wrapping your car around a tree. If you really want to rebel against your parents: outlearn them, outlive them, and know more than they do.

    • Rollins: When you start to doubt yourself the real world will eat you alive.

    • Rollins: The ones who don't do anything are always the ones who try to pull you down.

  • Best when he's being himself.

    It's often hard to watch Henry Rollins when he is in a movie role. Whether it be the thug in <i>Heat</i>, the Doctor in <i>Johnny Mnemonic</i> or the nameless policeman in <i>Lost Highway</i>, there has always been something missing from his performace. It's the idea that he is playing someone else, and not being himself. That's why Rollins is best when he is just himself.

    Rollins has made a career as a musician and an actor, but his philisophy is what makes him so unique. Not afraid to speak his mind, Rollins has his own opinions on everything and tells people. But while others simply follow the crowd, Rollins thinks about the issue before spouting out some rehashed rhetoric. He also understands what it's like to be poor and on the road as a member of the band. He remembers what it was like. But what makes Rollins a true star is even though on his show and on the musical stage he appears to be a violent angry man, when in fact he is also a kind person who actually listens to the people he interviews and thanks his fans politely after his shows. A class act, and someone who has achieved more balance in this life than any other person.moreless
  • The Voice of Reason (sometimes)

    Anyone who really knows me knows I love Henry Rollins. I think the man is brilliant. Where I don't always agree with his views and his anger (which has tappered off in recent years), he has a way of saying things that I want to agree with him.

    Both Henry Rollins and Kevin Smith are men that I could listen to talk for hour upon hours and not get bored. They have way with words that makes even extremely offensive material seem humorous and okay.

    With that said, Henry hasn't always been blessed with the best rolls on tv or movies. Remember him in Bad Boys 2? You really don't? Well that's no big suprise. His commanding presence is often covered and held back in weak and small roles that even he can't bring to life.

    I'd love to see him as a lead character in a film or tv show, and hopefully we will sooner than later.moreless