Henry Rollins' 8 Most Memorable Quips Last Night at Marquee Theatre
Until last night, that is. Probably right around the moment he uttered the following during his spoken word appearance at the Marquee Theatre:
"What am I doing? I'm getting turned on by a guy? I'm not being a good judge! I'm not gay! I'm not gay!"
Are you sure about that one, Hank? If you're wondering what the hell the 49-year-old punk rock icon was referring to, it was his recent stint as a celebrity judge on the second season of RuPaul's reality game show Drag Race. In one episode, Rollins was impressed by the dancing skills of a certain female illusionist who dressed in punk rock gear, and he admitted to the Tempe crowd that it was also a wee bit, er, stimulating.
It was a hilarious and scandalous confession (which, all joking aside, was probably just a gag), and just one of many memorable bits from a non-stop monologue that lasted close to three hours.
Rollins covered a lot of ground in that time, including stories about his latest travels to Asia and Africa last year, memories of giving the commencement speech at Sonoma College in California, and even advocating the free speech of his most hated enemies.
I've whittled down his long-winded-yet-entertaining tales down to the eight quips that stood out the most, including an equally shocking follow-up to Punk Rock Guy. (Each is presented in its appropriate context.)
8. "I want to cut the top off critics' heads and use them for soup bowls. That's how I roll."
Context: At the beginning of the evening (and just prior to his defense that David Duke, Pat Robertson, and Rush Limbaugh each deserve First Amendment protection), Henry went on a funny tangent about some of his detractors and anonymous shit-talking on the Internets. (Sure hope he never reads this post, as I don't want my skull holding his stew).
7. "Hey, Mr. Shwe! Waaaaah!"
Context: During a trip to Sri Lanka last year, Rollins happened to cross paths with Senior General Than Shwe (a.k.a. the dictator who rules Myanmar with an iron fist) at a hotel. After the loathsome leader entered a limo, Hank claims, he uttered the above quote while flipping a bird.
6. "So, we were rocking out to Sri Lankan death metal -- hailing Satan, like you do -- and his mom walks in with cookies and juice."
Context: Another highlight of said excursion was staying with a local family and bonding with their teenage son over music. The lad got the ultimate gift from his guest: A chance to download 4.5 gigs worth of MP3s from Rollins' hard drive. His favorite band? The Stooges.
4. "One day, we will storm the Bastille. The revolution will come. Don't be wasting your thumbs on that day. 'A...moltov...just...flew...by...my...head...LOL.'"
Context: Amidst a 30-minute-plus yarn about watching Bad Brains with his BFF (and Fugazi singer) Ian MacKaye in Washington D.C. on Election Night 2008, Rollins went off on a humorous tangential tirade about the insipidness of texting on your mobile device.
3: "'Henry, can you go again?' 'YES!' 'Are you in pain?' 'NO!'...The only thing that didn't hurt was my hair and fingertips...And they only used 12 fucking seconds of [that fight]! Are you fucking kidding me? The next day [on the set], 'Henry, how are you?' 'Never better. WHITE POWER!'"
Context: Fans of the FX Network's edgy serial Sons of Anarchy are likely familiar with Henry's scene-chomping turn as white supremacist shitheel A.J. Weston, and how said character had the crap beat outta him by the hog-riding bikers of SAMCRO. Rollins recounted the suffering he endured whilst filming those scene, peppering his memories with the above exclamation to sarcastically illustrate how he was excited at playing a character completely contrarian to his tolerant ways.
3. "Five kids? What, do you have a rice paddy in your backyard? Do you make money by squeezing them for two years for baby oil to sell to Johnson & Johnson?"
Context: Its been almost 18 months since Barack Obama defeated John McCain, but Rollins can't seem to give up his fixation on both the election and Sarah Palin. Although I tuned out most of the campaign-related rhetoric, his rant on the former Alaskan governor's penchant for breeding cracked me up.
2. "My name is Barack Obama. I speak like a narcotics agent...in 12-point Helvetica type, micro-managed by the 12 professors in my brain."
Context: Ditto for his contrasting of the speaking habits of Obama vs. McCain. Whereas our esteemed senator's crotchety elocution was likened to a toothless old coot, the current president's more concise articulation is almost android-like in its efficiency.
1. "Right at the moment I was about to experience relief, fucking Punk Rock Guy jumps into my head! 'Hey, what's going on?'...Punk Rock Guy, why can't I quit you?"
Context: Longtime Rollins fans are undoubtedly aware of his penchant for talking about his wang and how he goes about using it. Last night was no exception, as he detailed how he was seeking "relief" in his hotel room after taping that particular episode of Drag Race, only to have PRG pop into his brainpan at an inopportune moment.
Better than: Watching Rollins two years ago.
Personal Bias: I own four of Henry's books.
Random Detail: At one point, Hank posed the question, "If God and Glenn Danzig were in a room, who would win the fight?" If memory serves, North Side Kings frontman Danny Marianino once KO'd the former Misfit in 2004 with one punch up in Tuba City. Therefore, he's more powerful than heavenly father himself.
One More Thing: There was a rather "outspoken" redheaded female hanging with the rest of the SRO types in the back who started loudly mouthing off in response to some of Henry's more left-leaning views on John McCain and Ronald Reagan. He seemingly didn't hear (or acknowledge) her shrill shoutings, but the audience members in the back row definitely did. Before the Marquee's security briskly silenced her, several in attendance requested she get a nice tall glass of STFU.
Further Listening/Watching: My favorite edition of his "A Letter To..." interstitials from IFC.
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