Henry Rollins: A Memorable Thanksgiving and a Memorable Gift

In 2014, lots of people asked Henry Rollins how he was going to celebrate Thanksgiving. According to Mr. Rollins, “My usual reply is, ‘Putting something frozen in the microwave and cursing the darkness,’ as I shake my fist.” In a column for the Los Angeles Weekly, he remembered his best Thanksgiving ever. It was 1980, and he convinced his boss at the ice cream store where he worked — this is before he became lead singer for Black Flag — to let him open the store on Thanksgiving for people who wanted vanilla ice cream for dessert. The boss tried to convince him to take the day off, but young Henry was persistent. Business was good that day, but Mr. Rollins remembers that “the best part was when the restaurant across the street brought me over a plate of food on orders from my boss. I ate it alone, standing up.” Another good year was 2014 because just before Thanksgiving his friend Linda Ramone, the widow of the late Johnny Ramone, gave him a gold record — after 40 years, the Ramones’ first album had finally achieved the gold-record status of 500,000 copies sold — in the United States. Mr. Rollins wrote, “I took it out of the plastic wrap and stared at the record, set in with Roberta Bayley’s excellent portrait of the band that was the album’s cover. There they were, Tommy, Johnny, Dee Dee and Joey, staring back. Complete and total originals, unable to be anything but this manifestation of perfect chemistry, this result of decades of rock and centuries of New York colliding at the right time and place.” By the way, Mr. Rollins believes in giving thanks — every day. He wrote, “For myself, I have found that the best thing is to be in a constant state of gratitude. It’s not difficult and allows me to get over most of the stones in my passway, to borrow from Robert Johnson. No matter how bad it gets, something good is also happening.”

For More Information: Henry Rollins, “Every Day is Thanksgiving. Los Angeles Weekly (California). 4 December 2014


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