Henry Rollins - Biography



Henry Rollins is a musician, DJ, author, spoken word artist, and actor. Born in Washington, DC, Rollins began his music career in 1980 fronting the short-lived hardcore punk band State of Alert. Rollins was originally a fan of the band Black Flag, becoming their vocalist in 1981 and relocated to Los Angeles. Black Flag's record label, Unicorn, refused to release their first full-length album, Damaged, so the band put it out on founding member Greg Ginn's label, SST Records. After a protracted legal battle with Unicorn, differences between the band members, non-stop touring, and increasing levels of alienation and aggression between the band and its audience, Black Flag broke up in 1986. 

Rollins had already begun a spoken word career and continued to pursue it after Black Flag's demise. He released two spoken word albums in 1987 and then formed The Rollins Band. The late '80s into the '90s were filled with multiple Rollins Band releases and spoken word albums from Henry, as well as relentless touring supporting both endeavors. In 1994, The Rollins Band released Weight (Imago), which became the band's most successful album and they performed at Woodstock '94. That same year, Rollins won a Grammy Award for his double-live spoken word album Get In The Van: On the Road With Black Flag. He was named "Man of the Year" in 1994 by Details Magazine and appeared on MTV and VH1 and other television programs.

Although The Rollins Band continued to release albums up until 2004, Rollins shifted his focus to spoken word, acting in film and television, and radio. In 2004, Rollins debuted his radio program "Harmony in My Head" on LA radio station Indie 103.1. After Indie 103.1 flipped formats in 2009, Rollins moved to KCRW 89.9 FM for a Saturday night radio show. He has also continued writing and publishing, including his October 2011 release Occupants (Chicago Review Press), a collection of his photographs and writings from around the world.

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