This post may seem a little out of character.
A hard-core punk singer doesn’t really fit the same bill as others I’ve posted so far, but as you learn more about Henry Rollins, you come to see he’s much more than what many people give him credit for.
(singer, writer, spoken word artist, author, actor, activist)
Sure, depending on your music knowledge, the name Henry Rollins may conjure up a myriad of things. Maybe you know him from the Rollins Band. If you know a bit more (hopefully), you know him from Black Flag. But maybe you know him from TV or movies.
But what you probably don’t know is that between tours and movies, Rollins has put out over 10 spoken word albums and authored numerous books.
You probably don’t also know that he is an active and prominent anti-war and LGBT rights activist. You may also not know that despite his punk background and hard-core exterior, Rollins does not drink or do drugs and other than a few times in his youth, he never really has.
Much of that for him has to do with ambition and removing obstacles that get in your way. Even at a young age, Rollins realized that drugs and alcohol would only serve as an obstacle to his success, so he committed himself to leaving a clean, positive lifestyle.
For me, that’s what I find most interesting about Rollins. Many people have him judged incorrectly from the onset. Many of his colleagues and the singers who came before him created a stereotype that he does not conform to, and that drive to be something different is a main reason for his continued success today.
He lives his life and he lives it the way he wants. He lives it fast, but only in the sense of knowing that life is too short. He encourages people focus on what they want and dedicating their lives to working to get it.
All in all…Henry Rollins is an under-appreciated positive role model.
He is the American Dream, having followed Black Flag around as a fan before eventually befriending them and becoming their most iconic lead singer.
He parlayed his success into a multifaceted career that continues today, and includes a Grammy for one of his earlier spoken word albums.
He continues to reinvent himself and his image to get the most out of life.
That’s the definition of inspiration for me.
I don’t recall why, but a few years back I ordered one of Rollins books. It was a collection of some of his writing and poems. That’s when I personally came to be inspired by Henry Rollins. I highly recommend checking one out.