KEEP ON ROLLINS
From South Sudan and Nepal to Siberia and North Korea – the creative tour de force that is Henry Rollins could only come one place next
Henry Rollins says he feels safer walking down the street in Cairo than he does in LA. The straight-talking American, and one-time frontman for punk rock group Black Flag, is not one to mince words.
“America almost killed me twice. Literally, bullets flying by me. So the rest of the world by comparison has been the proverbial walk in the park,” Rollins says.
Rollins has reason to feel unsafe in his home country.
In 1991, his friend Joe Cole was killed by armed robbers in Venice Beach, California while Rollins was with him.
“Me and my friend were held up and robbed. The man shot four times and missed me and put two in my friend and killed him. It was a life altering experience,” he says. “You never get over it, you carry it with you.”
He’s an adventurous traveller to say the least. The list of places he’s visited include Egypt, Iran, North Korea, Haiti, Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq.
“I feel way safer on the streets of Cairo than I do on the streets of Los Angeles where I live. My experiences of it at times have been terrifying,” he says.
He’s currently in Australia, a country he loves, for a series of spoken word shows.
“I’m not naive, I know Australia has its problems. What country doesn’t? But I think you have an amazing chunk of real estate and the Australians I’ve met have been pretty amazing,” he says.
Rollins is not one to hold back, having championed many causes over the years on various platforms including his weekly radio show on LA station KCRW.
As part of his latest speaking tour, Rollins has included a night at the Sydney Opera House where he will present a slide show of photographs from his travels.
For him, travel is not just a fun thing to do but something that he thinks could help make the world a more accepting place.
“I would encourage anyone who can to visit other countries, to be culturalised in ways other than their own culture because it would make them perhaps more understanding and tolerant of cultures inside their own communities,” he said. “I have an inborn non-fear of Muslim people. I spent so much time in Muslim countries; you can’t sell Islamophobia to me. ” Henry Rollins, tonight, The Tivoli, Brisbane
Henry Rollins is back in Australia for a month-long speaking tour.