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Henry Rollins to deliver spoken word at Bing Crosby Theater

Henry Rollins isn’t talking prior to delivering his spoken word show Wednesday at Bing Crosby Theater. But I’ve interviewed the punk icon a half-dozen times, and he is one of pop culture’s most fascinating but now-under-the-radar figures.

It’s amazing how much the world has changed considering the following from Rollins’ show in Baltimore in 2017. “You can’t argue against facts,” Rollins said after detailing his trip to Antarctica, which included time with scientists studying climate change. “I don’t understand our country.”

Well, facts apparently are superfluous, and odds are that Rollins will wax about that at the Bing.

Part of what makes the austere Rollins, 61, fascinating is that he travels extensively. The former Black Flag frontman has trekked to more than 100 countries, including Iran, North Korea and Russia.

“I had a great time (in Tehran) and learned a lot,” Rollins said. “There is some distrust of America, but not of a single American, at least for me there wasn’t. I found the city to be beautiful, and all the people I met happened to be very cool.

I would like to go back there someday. The Iranians I met were very aware of the military power of America and didn’t want anything to do with it.”

Rollins is a utilitarian, whose lone luxury has been a BMW. “To be clear, it was used but a solid ride nonetheless,” Rollins said. “I don’t have an interest in spending money on extra legroom or fluffier pillows. I keep things around me pretty mission-specific.”

It makes sense since his music was and his views have always been delivered in an economic fashion. Rollins shoots from the hip and hits the gut repeatedly. Rollins’ spoken word is provocative, surprising and amusing.

Perhaps Rollins will wax about the impact music had on his life while growing up during the late 1960s in Washington, D.C. “I loved listening to the Beatles when I was a kid,” Rollins said. “And when Ringo (Starr) sang ‘Yellow Submarine,’ it gave you hope that you, too, could sing, as well.”

After spending some time detailing how he was abused by his peers in elementary school, Rollins related how he and his childhood friend Ian MacKaye, who became the leader of the iconic punk band Fugazi, became concert addicts who experienced Aerosmith, Van Halen and Led Zeppelin live in the D.C. area.

“We saw Ted Nugent, who was really great back then since that was before he talked between songs,” Rollins said of the Michigan rocker, notorious for proselytizing his political views onstage.

Who knows if Rollins will talk music, politics or the environment when he comes to town? Be ready for anything.

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