Spoken Word Ė -TLA (philadelphia) March 10,2001
Old Hank Rollins roared into Philadelphia to speak before a sold-out crowd at
The Theatre of Living Arts Saturday night.
Part stand-up act, part topical observation lecture, Rollins has been bringing his
spoken word shows to audiences since the mid-80s. His intellectual and often wry (his
new spoken-word album is entitled ďA Rollins in the WryĒ) sense of humor is in stark
contrast to his rock ní roll machine persona and shows a side of Hank that you may not
necessarily see in a Rollins Band performance.
Saturday nightís show was typically engaging. Hank hit the stage at 7:15pm to
uproarious applause. Lit by four or five white spotlights ( a trend that Iíve noticed at
Rollins Band shows too, I think to emphasize that this is a no-bullshit deal) he greeted
the crowd and immediately got a laugh by doing a joke referencing the stupidity riot on
Fat Tuesday. The show itself started a little slow, Hank talking about the usual
difference between the sexes, and about recently turning 40. But he quickly built up
steam by launching into his patented tirade mode, talking about the government, popular
music, driving in L.A., and a funny fantasy of himself as president. The shining moment
however, was a hilarious account of his reluctant induction into the KISS Army.
All in all it was a great show. Rollins gives you your moneyís worth, talking for nearly
three hours. Even if you donít particularly enjoy his music, Iím confident that youíll find
his spoken word performances at least entertaining if not enjoyable. Itís definitely
something you should check out if you can. Now go buy some Black Flag records.
Written By: Tim B.