Friday, July 08, 2005

Uncle Henry

So I opened my email this morning to discover a shout-out from IFC...for PUNK MONTH!!! Oh yeah, if anyone needed punkin' up today, it's me! Check out tomorrow night's lineup...(and turn down the sound, 'cause Johnny Rotten is LOUD). Will I be there? Bet yer ass! Okay, granted, I caught the whole 'punk' thing at the end, I was a faux-college-punk in the Midwest, which basically translates to "I tore my shirts and wore shit-kicker boots and smashed record albums to turn into interesting earrings." Oh, and I saw the Clash, and bought 'Never Mind the Bullocks...' and the New York Dolls and blah blah blah. And I still have lust in my heart for that rawness, that sexiness, those leather pants and chains. Mmm-hmmm. Yeah, skinny boy, growl for me! Smash that beer bottle over your head...bleed for me...c'mon....

Oh. Sorry. Just caught up in it.

What's got me jonesin' this morning is seeing and hearing Uncle Henry on the site. Oh man, I do dig this cat. He's not everyone's cuppa acid, I agree, but he's honest and gritty and doesn't take any shit. I actually MET Henry Rollins years ago, when Sergei and I were engaged, at a book signing in Ann Arbor. Well, a CD signing, it was for 'Get in the Van'. We stood in line for, what, hours?, waiting to meet him. And then it was our turn. One at a time. Henry, this powerful, take-no-prisoners guy, with his gutteral grit and fantastic tattoos, was just...just...this guy, about my height, with a little grey hair, and a powerful handshake, and the most innocent, shy smile. And he smelled good. We exchanged pleasantries as he worked his Sharpie magic, and I asked him something stupid and inane like, "Would you sing at my wedding?" He blushed and stammered a bit and said, "Well, I don't really play those venues anymore. But thanks for asking!" Which I just thought was adorable and I wanted to hug him, but I think his bodyguards would have cold-cocked me.

I saw him several times on his spoken word tours. Man, that guy can talk...rant...challenge. And even though I thought he went...wheeee!...right out the window sometimes, I sure appreciated that he revealed that much of himself. I own several of his books (his publishing company is 2.13.61), and most of his spoken word on CD, and a few videos of the same. And now he's hosting 'Henry's Film Corner' on IFC, and I am drawn to it like the little moth that I am. I'm getting my Uncle Henry fix. And I'm a happy girl. (Okay, I hear ya askin'..."Uncle Henry"? It fits.)

Well, this post is nothing like it should have been, I have a post-it in front of me with stream-of-consciousness blog ideas I wrote at 1 a.m. this morning. And the word 'boobies' is on it. I may get back to that later.

Oh, and to the fine people of London, England: I will be back there someday and drink your milky tea and eat your crusty rolls and walk your shiny streets and ride your sparkling tubes and be entertained and enlightened and charmed by you. Be well, y'all.

13 Comments:

At 10:19 AM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

I love his IFC show because he is still such a fan... but a discerning, angry punk rock fan.

I think "innocence" is the right word with Henry and a lot of punk rock. It's ironic, because that word is used mostly for the hippies, but punks (to me, old, old Mr. Jones) seem to be the angry kids who just found out that Santa is a lie.

Scratch an angry cynic, find a burned optimist everytime.

Which is not to say punk is any better or worse than any other youth movement. "Sid & Nancy", "Repo Man", and the other eighties films of Alex Cox ("Straight To Hell" I think is the only other one) are some of my faves.

 
At 10:37 AM, Blogger Maine said...

Henry is right there with Spaulding Grey, I think, as one of the greatest public orators of all time. I can listen for hours....

 
At 11:14 AM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Mr. Jones: "the angry kids who just found out that Santa is a lie"...EXACTLY!!! You old punk you...! And Alex Cox also directed "Revengers Tragedy", which I enjoyed a bunch...that Eddie Izzard...yum!

Maine: I have/had a similar love affair with Spalding Gray, saw him live on the 'Gray's Anatomy' tour...or was it 'Slippery Slope?...both? 'Swimming to Cambodia' is one of my favorite videos of him, his descriptions of swimming in the ocean and the prostitutes. And Pol Pot and Lon Nol. I AM pissed at him, though, for killing himself. How dare he? Sad. There was so much more inside his head than anyone imagined, poor tortured soul.

 
At 11:35 AM, Blogger Rob Helpy-Chalk said...

Uncle Henry sorta threatened to beat me up once. Sorta.

He and Lydia Lunch were doing a spoken word gig at the DC Space (a hole on E street in Washington DC). Lydia was on first and the guy sitting at the table next to me kept heckling her. He was wearing spandex shorts and this bizarre frightwig--he looked like Robert Smith as a bike messanger. He was also clearly higher than hell. In any case, when his comments got really obnoxious, Hank came down to defend his girl. He got all snarly and muscley and walked right up...to me. Scared shitless, I started pointing to Goth boy next to me. Hank recognized him as the real offender, got right up in his face and said "If you leave now, we'll refund your money."

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Rob: OOH! A brush with angry punk greatness! My sister's boyfriend is a sound guy who worked a time or two with Ian MacKaye of Fugazi who is best friends with...yep...Henry. Who nearly beat you up. And you know me. So that's Six Degrees, or somethin'.

(I can't get Robert Smith outta my head now,all spacey and tall-haired and singing, "Showmeshowmeshowme how you do that trick....")

 
At 2:15 PM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

Best Robert Smith song ever (according to old, old me)?

"Lovecats".

An almost great version of this is done by Mr. Paul Anka on my current fave car CD "Rock Swings".

I'm Mr. Jones and I approve of this message.

 
At 2:34 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Jonesy! ARGH! I nearly almost put 'Lovecats'! I thought that song was too obscure for the average bear, obviously I'm wrongwrongwrong! "We miss you hissss the lovecatsssssss...."

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

sounds like a GREAT lineup!!

have fun, be safe, etc.

 
At 5:08 PM, Blogger Pisser said...

Peppermint tea is good with milk innit!

I don't have IFC, but saw the Ramones documentary on PBS. Am now in love with Joey. Must stop falling for dead guys :(

 
At 5:13 PM, Blogger libcat said...

The Sex Pistols album was "Never Mind the Ballocks..."

A bullock is a bull, less the ballocks :)

 
At 6:37 PM, Blogger Orange said...

It was neither Ballocks nor Bullocks—it's Bollocks, meaning testicles and so much more. Read the Wikipedia entry on the word. Favorite thing I learned from the wiki: "top bollocks" means boobs.

 
At 8:41 PM, Blogger Mona Buonanotte said...

Lisa: I can't get that image of your photo outta my head, girl...!

Pisser: I'm still in love with Jeff Buckley...alas, tragically dead.

Libcat and Orange: Thanks for the corrections, I was too rushed and lazy to look it up. I knew it was the name of a punk band the Sex Pistols was razzing on, and I always thought bollocks was 'nads. Must...use...dictionary...Mona....

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger your fiend, mr. jones said...

I think if you had mispelled "London Calling" there would've been more of an uproar...;>

 

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