HENRY ROLLINS, American musician, born; After joining the short-lived Washington D.C. band State of Alert in 1980, Rollins fronted the California hardcore punk band, Black Flag from 1981 until 1986. Following the band’s breakup, Rollins soon established the record label and publishing company 2.13.61 to release his spoken word albums, as well as forming the Rollins Band, which toured with a number of lineups until 2003 and during 2006.
Since Black Flag, Rollins has embarked on projects covering a variety of media. He has hosted numerous radio shows, such as The Henry Rollins Show and Harmony in My Head, and television shows, such as MTV’s 120 Minutes and Jackass, along with roles in several films. Rollins has also campaigned for human rights in the United States, promoting Gay rights in particular, and tours overseas with the United Service Organizations (USO) to entertain American troops, despite his opposition to the Bush administration and the Iraq war.
Rollins has become an outspoken human rights activist, most vocally for Gay rights, while deriding any suggestion that he himself was Gay. In 1998, he declared: “If I was Gay, there would be no closet. You would never see the closet I came out of. Why? Because I’d have burned it for kindling by the time I was twelve … If I was Gay, at this stage of the game — age 37, aging alternative icon — I’d be taking out ads.” Rollins frequently speaks out on social justice on his spoken word tours and promotes equality, regardless of sexuality. He was the host of the WedRock benefit concert, which raised money for a pro-marriage equality organization.