Henry Rollins - Fanatic! [book] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Henry Rollins

Fanatic! 📕 (2005)


Throughout the later half of 2004, every Monday night (when he wasn't on tour) Henry Rollins hosted his own radio show on Indie 103.1 called "Harmony in My Head" (after the wonderful Buzzcocks song, of course). Part of Henry's agreement to do the show required that he be allowed to play ANYTHING that he wanted, no matter how obscure or eclectic...and thankfully, he used that opportunity to explore an extremely wide variety of music. Henry had such a good time wrting notes about each song that sentences became paragraphs and paragraphs became pages, and eventually led to the release of this book, fittingly named Fanatic!

I recently spoke to Henry outside his tour van when I bought this book, and he told me this was the most fun he'd ever had writing a book and that, if he could start all over and do it again, he would. Let me start by saying this is NOT a 'new Rollins book,' but rather an extremely enjoyable list of rantings and information from a true music fan boy. There were 27 shows, and therefore there are 27 "chapters" here, each covering every song played on the show, along with extended annotations from Henry regarding how and when he first heard it and/or stories behind it (if there are any) and where you can find more information (websites and album names).

Henry's a guy with an excellent and very seasoned taste in music; therefore, this book is a great reference point for people looking to get started on many bands of many different styles. In what other book can go from reading about Mississippi Fred McDowel to Negative Trend to the Rezillos on the same page? Exactly! Interested in jazz? It's on here. Punk rock? Hardcore? Metal? Rap? Blues? Henry's got you covered on all fronts. I actually wasn't sure where to start on jazz, so I took this book with me to the record store and bought what Hank said was the best Coltrane record. Money well spent, if you ask me.

Henry played some very rare and out of print records on the show as well (such as Negative Trends We Don't Play, We Riot EP and the Stains' (L.A.) self-titled SST debut), so it's a great historical document and tribute to many brilliant albums that have been overlooked by the current generation of music listeners. The book is available now at any of Henry's spoken word shows, in stores and on the 2.13.61 website soon. Pick it up!