Though Henry Rollins has often expressed frustration with the media, he seldom passes up an interview, knowing the value of promotion. Meanwhile, the press always obliges because there are few musicians more quotable than the former Black Flag frontman. He’s honest, he’s articulate and he’s controversial. So as the punk legend/spoken-word artist/author/actor/former TV show host turns 50, we’ve culled 50 of his best quotes from a variety of sources as a way to wish Rollins a happy birthday!
I don’t want people to matter to me too much. Sometimes it hurts too much to think about them. Ones you love who don’t love you, ones who are dead or hate you, ones who you think about but never get to be with. I like people ok but when I get too close, it fucks me up and I can’t get things done.
—Henry Rollins: Smile, you’re traveling (Black Coffee Blues Pt. 3)
”/—/ I saw Glenn Beck in action last summer at his Restore Honor Rally. His speech sucked and his audience looked ancient and out-of-shape. Rush Limbaugh makes money getting simpleminded people to feel good about their intellectually undernourished brain spasms. He’s very good at it, and I scarcely believe a fraction of what he says. Sarah Palin embarrasses herself almost immediately upon opening her mouth to speak or upon moving her fingers to send messages to her dull flock. I just don’t believe these people can really motivate anyone to do anything except misspell words on the signs they take to their corny rallies and vote for candidates who will immediately screw them upon entering office. Past that, I don’t think much gets done. /—/”
“The moon will never lie to anyone. Be like the moon. No one hates the moon or wants to kill it. The moon does not take antidepressants and never gets sent to prison. The moon never shot a guy in the face and ran away. The moon has been around a long time and has never tried to rip anyone off. The moon does not care who you want to touch or what color you are. The moon treats everyone the same. The moon never tries to get in on the guest list or use your name to impress others. Be like the moon. When others insult or belittle in an attempt to elevate themselves, the moon sits passively and watches, never lowering itself to anything that weak. The moon is beautiful and bright. It needs no makeup to look beautiful. The moon never shoves clouds out of its way so it can be seen. The moon needs not fame or money to be powerful. The moon never asks you to go to war to defend it. Be like the moon.”