Henry Rollins’ Travel Slideshow was exactly what it sounds like. Henry Rollins—everyone’s favorite punk rock uncle—brought slides of his travel and talked us through them. Since his days in Black Flag in the ‘80s, Rollins has traveled the world. In the ‘90s, he realized that all he was seeing was the inside of a hotel room, a stage, and then a bus. He truly enjoys learning about the culture by swimming around in it until he gets all pruney. He wanted to learn how humans go through life in a non-Western environment.
I have to make note of his punctuality. It’s common to go to a show and have the artist walk onstage at ten or twenty minutes after curtain. (Or forty-five—Lucinda Williams, I’m looking at you.) Henry Rollins walked onto the stage at the Pageant at 8:00 pm on the dot.
In the hours that followed, the crowd found themselves laughing hysterically and then close to tears. We learned about Henry’s participation in the USO – going from Afghanistan, where he climbed atop a towering pile of Soviet MiG’s (and then reluctantly got down when told the ejector seats were still live and would tear his head off). He went to the Highway of Death, assuring us that no one has gone to get the bodies of the thousands of people killed there.
From Afghanistan, we went to Siberia, where he edited a book on the Trans-Siberian Railway. He showed us a photo of Gayle, who escaped her home during Katrina after the levee broke by holding her infant over her head and slowly walking through the water, which was up to her nose. In Saigon, there were ducks on a motorcycle. Cambodia. Syria. Lebanon. The slums of Bangladesh, where we saw families digging through garbage for food, and the glorious smile of a child—standing on this same garbage. Shooting a picture off of a bridge over the most poisonous river in the world in India, and catching a boy who was flying a kite right next to it. Henry pointed out that next to the river were crops, which fed the people there.
He finds children in every place he goes. Mali, North Korea, and Timbuktu. In Timbuktu, a teenager recognized Rollins and said that his grandpa loved his music. Mongolia. Bhutan, for an open air cremation. Tibet. Uganda.
Honestly, I could go on. One of the most notable mentions was the charity Drop in the Bucket.org, with whom Rollins has been involved. In this charity, water pumps are powered by the children’s merry-go-round in Uganda. Water powered by joy. Amazing. He also hands out pens to kids—hundreds of pens—to promote literacy.
I encourage you to go see Uncle Henry and his traveling slide show, and expand your mind and consciousness to the interconnectedness that we all share, and the world that we share it with. Rollins said that he didn’t want to die at 57 by hippo, but if he did, it’s better than dying at 80 of television and pizza, with the last 30 years of his life immobile.
I couldn’t agree more. | Melissa Cynova
Upcoming Henry Rollins tour dates:
10.11.2018 Jefferson Theater | Beaumont, TX
10.12.2018 KiMo Theatre | Albuquerque, NM
10.14.2018 Boulder Theater | Boulder, CO
10.15.2018 The Avalon Theater | Grand Junction, CO
10.16.2018 The State Room | Salt Lake City, UT
10.17.2018 Egyptian Theatre | Boise, ID
10.18.2018 Bing Crosby Theater | Spokane, WA
10.19.2018 Neptune Theatre | Seattle, WA
10.20.2018 Capitol Theatre | Yakima, WA
10.21.2018 Aladdin Theater | Portland, OR 3PM 8PM
10.22.2018 McDonald Theatre | Eugene, OR
10.23.2018 Rogue Theatre | Grants Pass, OR
10.24.2018 Cargo @ Whitney Peak Hotel | Reno, NV
10.25.2018 Herbst Theatre | San Francisco, CA
10.26.2018 Crest Theatre | Sacramento, CA
10.27.2018 Rio Theatre | Santa Cruz, CA
10.28.2018 Visalia Fox Theater | Visalia, CA
10.29.2018 Fremont Theater | San Luis Obispo, CA
10.30.2018 City National Grove | Anaheim, CA
11.28.2018 TivoliVredenberg Grote Zaal | Utrecht, Netherlands
11.29.2018 Christuskirche | Bochum, Germany
11.30.2018 Schouwburg Kortrijk | Kortrijk, Belgium
12.1.2018 Arenberg | Antwerpen, Belgium
12.3.2018 Rival | Stockholm, Sweden
12.4.2018 Parkteatret | Oslo, Norway
12.6.2018 Kulttuuritalo (House of Culture) | Helsinki, Finland
12.7.201 DR Koncerthuset (Studio 2 DR Concert House) | Copenhagen, Denmark
12.9.2018 Muffathalle | München, Germany
12.10.2018 Schlachthof | Wiesbaden, Germany
12.12.2018 Im Wizemann | Stuttgart, Germany
12.13.2018 Kampnagel | Hamburg, Germany
12.15.2018 Gartenbaukino | Vienna, Austria
12.17.2018 Moscow Hall | Moscow, Russia
12.19.2018 Caribbean Club | Kiev, Ukraine