Henry Rollins Column: Optimism, Lemmy and 3,000 Downloads Just For You
[The one and only Henry Rollins contributes a weekly column and far-reaching reportage to the music section of the LA Weekly. Look for your weekly Henry Rollins fix right here on West Coast Sound every Monday and make sure to tune in to Henry's KCRW radio show every Saturday evening, or online, or as a podcast, or however else you decided to listen to the most eclectic DJ on LA's airwaves.
Maura Lanahan Our eminent columnist, Mr. Henry Rollins!
This installment includes Henry's thoughts on optimism and Lemmy plus 3,000 downloads JUST for LA Weekly readers. (And of course the awesomely annotated playlist for his KCRW BROADCAST #98, airing tomorrow, Saturday, January 22. For more details please visit KCRW.com and HenryRollins.com]
It's been an interesting week since we last got together, hasn't it? I don't know about you but I am an immovable object when it comes to optimism. Allow me to explain. No matter what bad news comes our way, I still think things are getting better. It can be, at times, a hard position to defend. If I had to pick the opposing point of view in a debate setting, I would be able to score many points. I know there are many things to be frustrated, infuriated and rightfully worried about. I bet I feel that way about a lot of the same things that you do. Nonetheless, I think that things are getting better.
This unshakable idea only grows more bolted to the ground when America observes Martin Luther King Day. In most places, it's a national day of honor and memory of the great Civil Rights leader. Dr. King has his detractors now as he did then, of course but the dream is alive and we are moving forward. No racist or other small-minded hate monger can stop us.
I remember when Martin Luther King was assassinated. I was up early, watching television and watched the announcement. I didn't understand what the word assassinated meant. I went to my mother's room and woke her up by telling her what I had heard on television because I thought it was important and I was impressed with myself that I could pronounce the word. She obviously understood what I had told her because she got up and freaked out. She really lost it. I was scared because I had never seen my mother act like that. That really stuck with me.
With the recent assassination attempt of Rep. Giffords that left so many dead and injured, America, whether it wants to, is taking stock and discussions are being had all over the country ranging from civility on the airwaves to gun control. I think the more we get the conversations going, the better. This is better than silence. We owe it to Ms. Giffords, the others killed or injured as well as all of their families to do better, to be better. Not everyone will use what happened in Tucson to improve themselves but a lot of people will. This is how we pay our respects and move ahead.
Keep me away from that soapbox, will ya?!
A few days ago, I went to screening of the Lemmy documentary, called Lemmy. At this point, the man needs little or no introduction. You know or at least know of, the band Motorhead. He's that guy. Lemmy is Rock & Roll down to his marrow and has been ruining his hearing and that of millions of others all over the world for decades.
Lemmy used to see the Beatles play the Cavern Club. Lemmy used to roadie for Hendrix. Lemmy was in Hawkwind. None of you can claim these three feats. As you can imagine, many rock luminaries are featured in the documentary singing the praises of this Lord of Loud. It was a good night out, great to see so many rockstars in the audience, obviously fans. Even Lemmy showed up. It was cool to see so many people into the whole thing. Lemmy is a rare one. He has set the bar very high yet made countless aspiring rockers feel they can do it. He's a good man and very inspiring.
The next morning, I was jamming down the highway to Anaheim to the NAMM show on behalf of Shure Microphones, who have kindly sponsored me for twenty years now. I met a lot of people, signed a lot of things and fielded a few very direct propositions. Have mercy!
On December 25th of last year, I was unable to do my radio show because KCRW was closed. I took it upon myself to do my own show and put it up for download. I got letters about it from all over the world and a lot of people asked me to do another one. Well, ok, if you insist. So, I made another one and I think it came out really well. It's a bunch of great tunes, one after another. Below are a bunch of You-Send-It files. Each one has 500 download capacity. You can click on one and if there's any download capability, it will download. If it's been tapped out, it will tell you and you can move to the next one. I have put down six download addresses, that's three thousand downloads. I made these specially for LA Weekly readers. It downloads as a single MP3 and you can play it on anything. If those run out, there's more addresses on my site, HenryRollins.com. Listen loud. It makes things better. Until next week.
Here's the site addresses.
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