Henry Rollins

American singer, actor, presenter, comedian, and activist

Henry Lawrence Garfield (born February 13, 1961), better known as Henry Rollins, is an American musician, singer, actor, presenter, comedian, and activist.

Henry Rollins singing in 2008


  • Whenever I get dumped, I nail the door shut so that no one can come inside, get a towel and clip it around my neck so it's like a Superman cape, take off my shoes so I can slide across the room, and...get a fake mic, like a celery stick or a pen, and I play any record that features the vocalist Ronnie James Dio. And you can just pretend you're Dio, because on every album he does, he has minimum one, usually three, *EVIL WOMAN LOOK OUT!*- songs. And if you wanna point like Dio, it's a three-finger point. (heavy metal voice) 'The exit is that way. Evil LURKS! Evil lurks in twilight! Dances in the DARK! Evil woman! Just WALK AWAY!'
    • Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
  • You always know the mark of a coward. A coward hides behind freedom. A brave person stands in front of freedom and defends it for others.
    • Talk is Cheap Volume 1 (1998)
  • Don't hide behind the Constitution or the Bible. If you're against gay marriage, just be honest, put a scarlet 'H' on your shirt, and say, 'I am a homophobe!'
    • Talk is Cheap Volume 1 (1998)
  • If I let you, you would make me destroy myself. But in order to survive you, I must first survive myself. I can sink no further and I cannot forgive you. There's no choice but to confront you, to engage you, to erase you. I've gone to great lengths to expand my threshold of pain. I will use my mistakes against you. There's no other choice. Shameless now. Nameless now. Nothing now. No one now. But my soul must be iron cause my fear is naked. I'm naked and fearless - and my fear is naked!
    • Bottom from the album Undertow by the band TOOL
  • Listen to the stage manager and get on stage when they tell you to. No one has time for the rock star act. None of the techs backstage care if you're David Bowie or the milkman. When you act like a jerk, they are completely unimpressed with the infantile display that you might think comes with your dubious status. They were there hours before you building the stage, and they will be there hours after you leave tearing it down. They should get your salary, and you should get theirs.
    • Black Coffee Blues
  • I got three letters today telling me that I'm god. Why can't I pay the rent?
    • Black Coffee Blues
  • My pen knows what to do. I close my eyes and I see this girl who glows. A girl who radiates. When she smiles, she beams. She warms my heart. I open my eyes with a feeling of floating past all the garbage around me. I will emerge unscathed because I will not endeavor to hide myself from whatever is coming. Bring on the worst. I welcome it with open arms.
    • Black Coffee Blues
  • You would think that pot had some kind of power; I mean come on, it’s a plant, not a reason for living. Controlled by a plant, how hilarious. A plant! A fucking plant!
    • Get In The Van
    • Feast
  • The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you're a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds.
    • IRON, article in Details Magazine, January 1993
  • When life hands you a lemon, say "Oh yeah, I like lemons. What else you got?
    • The Boxed Life
  • Knowledge without Mileage is bullshit to me.
    • Provoked with Henry Rollins, House of Blues, New Orleans, September 21, 2007
  • If I lose the light of the sun, I will write by candlelight, moonlight, no light. If I lose paper and ink, I will write in blood on forgotten walls. I will write always. I will capture nights all over the world and bring them to you.
    • Do I Come Here Often
  • I know what we're gonna do! OOOOO - REAL ROCK POWER! There'll be nothing left. It'll be like Godzilla stepping on a cupcake. You're outta here! You're dead! YOU'RE DEAD! And so they clear, we put our gear on and we walk out there. 14,000 people have dwindled to... about six. It's alright! They'll come back! So we go out there - 'OOOOO POOOSSSHHHHH!' Three songs later, there's about 3,000 people. Four songs into the set, there's about 800 people. No response whatsoever. We get to the end of the set, there's like eight guys standing a mile away, 'Fuck you!'
    • Live At The Westbeth Theater (2001): On having to play after Sheryl Crow at a festival show
  • I have to use a handbasket, which says 'I'm only kidding. I'm not really here buying a lot of shit. I'm just buying a few things. I'm just goofing around. Hey!' It's a way of avoiding the truth. It's like when you come into your apartment, and your two buddies are fucking each other. You know, like 'Uhhh! Ooohhh! Oh - ha ha ha ha! You're wondering about this, huh? Ha! We were just kiddin' around! We were just goofin' around! Nothin' else to do; let's fuck each other! Go figure!'
    • Live At The Westbeth Theater (2001); On his first visit to Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • 'HOW YA DOIN'!? PHIL! PETE! TOM! SAM, RIGHT?' I grab a shopping cart. Fuck the handbasket; I'm going big today. Goin' up to everybody in there: 'HEY, HOW YA DOIN'! HAVING A GOOD BED, BATH & BEYOND EXPERIENCE TODAY? RIGHT ON! HEY, TONY! HOW ARE THOSE FUCKIN' CANDLES DOING? ANY CANDLES ON SALE?'
    • Live At The Westbeth Theater (2001): On his fourth visit to Bed, Bath & Beyond in five days
  • The Ninja, as you know, operates by stealth. And so, case in point: I put out records... no one hears them! I make videos... (whispers) no one sees! I go on tour.... (whispers) no one knows! NINJA! I was never here!
    • Talk Is Cheap Volume 2 (2003)
  • I make music all the time that no-one ever hears. Y' know, I sing in the shower, I hit on things. Music is life - life is music. Of all people, Nietzsche said 'Life without music is an error'. And so I'll be making music one way or another. Oh believe me, I make music..I've made whole records that no-one heard. Oh they came out, no-one bought them! We used to do whole secret tours, we used to stand outside like 'We're playing tonight!' and only the bouncers and bartenders would see you. I'm used to it. I'm that tree that falls in the forest.
  • Someone who would go across a desert that can kill you, to get to another country? You want to be an American *that* bad? 'Cause I've never had to lift my damn finger to be an American. I'm honored to share a country with you.

Solipsist (1998)Edit

  • It is no surprise to me that hardly anyone tells the truth about how they feel. The smart ones keep themselves to themselves for good reason. Why would you want to tell anyone anything that's dear to you? Even when you like them and want nothing more than to be closer than close to them? It's so painful to be next to someone you feel strongly about and know you can't say the things you want to.
  • I must tell you that I was always afraid of the fury with which I loved you. It overwhelmed me. I thought it beyond comprehension, therefore my silence.
  • I will never say the things that I want to say to you. I know the damage it would do. I love you more than I hate my loneliness and pain.
  • They say true love only comes around once and you have to hold out and be strong until then. I have been waiting. I have been searching. I am a man under the moon, walking the streets of earth until dawn. There's got to be someone for me. It's not too much to ask. Just someone to be with. Someone to love. Someone to give everything to. Someone.
  • Thank you for touching me. Some of the only moments worth living were spent with you. Not you especially, the collective you.
  • If I was a woman these days, I'd be killing motherfuckers. My handgun would never cool and my hands would be covered in testicular blood. I would have a horrible reputation with a lot of men because I would be calling them on their weak bullshit left and right.
  • Basically, men are afraid of women and can't handle the fact that they came out of the same thing they spend the rest of their lives trying to get back into.
  • If I was gay, there would be no closet, you would never see the closet I came out of. Why? I would have burned it for kindling by the time I was 12. Because I know with all certainty in my mind, there is nothing wrong with being gay, and you know it.

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