Friday, January 30, 2004

Henry Rollins as Talk Show Host

I am not a fan, per se, of Henry Rollins, although do I think that he is an interesting specimen of disaffected white urban aggression. I was never really a (makes bracket sign in the air) "punk" kid -- my childhood was a fairly happy affair. But if I were inclined to be punkish in temperament, Rollins would not be my punk icon. He's a sell out, frankly. Rollins once said in an interview on the subject of Madonna:

"Madonna recently put out a couple of platinum albums, a movie, a few videos and is well into an ass-whomping tour. The promoter here in Los Angeles estimates that she could have sold out The Forum three times over. 60,000 people? That is pretty substantial. This is not due to a fluke, a twist of fate or a miracle. Her movie, Desperately Seeking Susan is good. Her albums have well arranged, well executed tunes. The production is fantastic. Her videos are well done, very well done" (excerpted from Madonna OK in his collection of essays and spoken-word transcriptions Polio Flesh).

You see what I mean? -- he wants to be loved by The Music Establishment ... he desires to be on that Vanity Fair cover, in between Quincy Jones (although, he'd call him 'Q'
) and Liz Phair, chuckling about a "crazy gig" the night before. He wants to be that man. Badly. Rollins is perhaps the only somewhat talented musician in the industry who craves Grammy's for validity, and, more important than that, the prime time real estate on network tv in which to speechify after the fact.

His shifty puppy dog eyes and that air of aggression relay the odor of a bad childhood (which is not his fault). But, on the bright side: This is a key to celebrity: the desire for acceptance, the need for approval, the insatiable compulsion to make everyone pay attention to you.

Which leads me to the question -- why am I writing about Rollins? Well, I think Rollins could turn that unfulfilled ambition into a magnificent late night talk show, possibly for VH1.

No way!


Rollins has odd masculinity issues. He overcompensates. The tattoos. The sneer. The whole (makes sweeping bracket gestures in the air) "being typecast as a cop thing." It reeks of authority issues and the lack or overinvolvement of a male authority figure in his youth. Whatever the case, his pathology would feed into a late night talkshow marvelously.

Imagine Rollins interviewing, oh, say, Keith Richards. Imagine the puppy dog affectionate eyes that Rollins would throw his way. Now -- imagine how Richards might react? ... Priceless.

Now, imagine that Madonna would throw caution to the wind and allow herself to be interviewed by this mess of Ego and Id. Follow me? The need for approval by this Grande Dame of the music industry would make for some amazing tv. Again: ... Priceless.

Let me not even throw Ice Cube, or Busta Rhymes, or Justin Timberlake into the mix.

And as we go to break, Henry could show some us some tats and rant with his band some dissonant post-punk music. Think of the audience: Men 18-34 would like to see this more than the unwatchable Jimmy Kimbell (someone please sink that Titanic). Come on VH1, add Henry Rollins: The Spoken Word to your line up.


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Helen said...

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