Henry Rollins Details His 1982 Run-In With A Houston "Fan"

Former Black Flag frontman, public speaker, actor, and author Henry Rollins has a regular blog he writes for our sister blog, LA Weekly's West Coast Sound, in which he delves into current events and sometimes gives us musical history lessons. This week's blog, entitled "Justice, Texas Style", features Rollins reminiscing about his experiences in the great Lone Star state, our politics and a run-in he had with a mouthy Houston fan at a August 1982 Flag show at the Lawndale Art Annex.

The story is quite hilarious, but also maddening when you think of Rollins' attitude, and it's also a funny glimpse into the state I proudly call home. The image of Rollins, probably still sporting that 'fro and beard, beating some poor soul down into the ground at an art-house venue and an HPD cop politely pulling him off the gentleman must have flabbergasted the local hardcore scene. Maybe I should ask punk vet Rad Rich about the event some time.


From Rollins' "Justice, Texas Style":

We had finished the show in front of 300 people (or less) and I was walking alone across the venue. I heard a voice behind me. "Fag." I kept walking. I heard the voice again. "Fag." There was no heat behind this utterance, just a monosyllable, flatly stated.

I turned and saw a guy about my age, perhaps a little older, following me. It was almost an absurdist episode. I asked him, almost politely, "Did you call me a fag?" He said matter-of-factly, "Yeah."

I forget how I put him on the ground but soon I was holding his head and hitting it against the floor when all of a sudden, I was in the air and being slammed to my feet. Two very large Texas policemen had pulled me off the man. They had my arms yoked up behind me and one of them asked me what was going on.

"He called me a fag. Twice," I said. My arms were immediately released, I was apologized to and the man on the ground was picked up, yelled at and tossed out of the venue by the two policemen. "Take 'er easy. Have a good night, now." Well, OK. That's justice, Texas style.

Rollins goes on in the blog to praise his friend and one of his musical heroes Roky Erickson, and details a visit to Erickson's home with the Butthole Surfers' King Coffey and meeting Erickson's "electric friends."

There is another great short anecdote about meeting guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughn at a truck stop in the '80s.

"Texas is as odd as it is vast," Rollins says in his blog, just posted Thursday. "Texans can be a real piece of work. By turns some of the most generous, charismatic and can-do people in this great country"

I think we can all agree with that. He forgot to mention our barbecue, though.

If anyone was there at that 1982 gig, hit us up in the comments section. And if you were the guy who called Rollins a "fag," what was up with that?

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Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty