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Henry Rollins Is Awesome

with Henry Rollins at Book Soup in Los Angeles, October 2011

On Monday I had the opportunity to interview one of my idols.

Henry Rollins has a photo book (Occupants) coming out in October. And while there’s nothing gay about it, he’s long been a supporter of human rights of all kind and has spoken out on behalf of the gay community many, many times, so I figured a chat with him would make a nice front-of-the-book piece for The Advocate.

I was both excited and apprehensive about the opportunity. Excited because I’ve long fantasized about being friends with Henry Rollins but never imagined myself actually encountering him in any way beyond possibly seeing him out and about and appearing really uncool by giving him that doltish but uncontrollable ohmygodthere’shenryrollins! stare.

Apprehensive because anytime you meet or speak with someone you admire and look up to, there’s always the possibility that in reality they’re just as boring as you are — or worse, completely heinous. I mean, this is a guy I’ve been listening to forever, who has probably shaped my world view more than any other artist.

But I’m happy to report that he could not have been cooler. I had been given 15 minutes on the phone — after my attempts for a face-to-face — but when we approached 20 and I told him I would try to wrap it up, he said he would stay on the phone as long as I wanted to chat.

We talked almost an hour and a half. About everything from his new book to marriage equality to right wing politicians who he says are “neck deep in gayness” whether they like it or not. And when we finished our chat he said, “Hold on to this number. This is my direct line. If you ever need any follow-up or anything on anything, just give me a shout. If I’m here, I always pick it up.”

Not only did the guy not disappoint, he exceeded my expectations.

Thanks, Henry, for being so cool.

Read the interview here.

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