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As a member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins kept detailed tour diaries that form the basis of Get in the Van . Rollins's observations range from the wry to the raucous in this blistering account of a six-year career with the band - a time marked by crazed fans, vicious cops, near-starvation, substance abuse, and mind numbing all-night drives. Rollins dec As a member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins kept detailed tour diaries that form the basis of Get in the Van . Rollins's observations range from the wry to the raucous in this blistering account of a six-year career with the band - a time marked by crazed fans, vicious cops, near-starvation, substance abuse, and mind numbing all-night drives. Rollins decided to revise this edition by adding a wealth of new photographs, a new foreword, and an afterword to include some "where-are-they-now" information on the people featured in the book. This new edition includes 40 previously unpublished black-and-white photographs from Rollins's private collection and show flyers by artist Raymond Pettibon. Called "a soul-frying experience not to be undertaken by lightweights" by Wired magazine, Get in the Van perfectly embodies what one critic called the "secular gospel" of one of punk and post-punk's most respected and controversial figures.


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As a member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins kept detailed tour diaries that form the basis of Get in the Van . Rollins's observations range from the wry to the raucous in this blistering account of a six-year career with the band - a time marked by crazed fans, vicious cops, near-starvation, substance abuse, and mind numbing all-night drives. Rollins dec As a member of the seminal punk band Black Flag, Henry Rollins kept detailed tour diaries that form the basis of Get in the Van . Rollins's observations range from the wry to the raucous in this blistering account of a six-year career with the band - a time marked by crazed fans, vicious cops, near-starvation, substance abuse, and mind numbing all-night drives. Rollins decided to revise this edition by adding a wealth of new photographs, a new foreword, and an afterword to include some "where-are-they-now" information on the people featured in the book. This new edition includes 40 previously unpublished black-and-white photographs from Rollins's private collection and show flyers by artist Raymond Pettibon. Called "a soul-frying experience not to be undertaken by lightweights" by Wired magazine, Get in the Van perfectly embodies what one critic called the "secular gospel" of one of punk and post-punk's most respected and controversial figures.

30 review for Get in the Van: On the Road With Black Flag

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    I think this has been one of the hardest books that I have read in a long time. It isn't the writing that makes it hard, however, I will say that it is all taken from Henry's journal entries so the flow is rough. No, the reason why it is such a hard read is that Henry's depression, self loathing and general hatred to the world is SO palpable that you can feel it wafting off the pages. He literally gave everything he had to his music and performances that there was nothing left for himself or any I think this has been one of the hardest books that I have read in a long time. It isn't the writing that makes it hard, however, I will say that it is all taken from Henry's journal entries so the flow is rough. No, the reason why it is such a hard read is that Henry's depression, self loathing and general hatred to the world is SO palpable that you can feel it wafting off the pages. He literally gave everything he had to his music and performances that there was nothing left for himself or anything around him. You also have to keep in mind that this was the punk scene throughout the 80s. Black Flag is on the cover of magazines, Henry is considered a rockstar, and yet he lives in a shed when he is in LA. Their shows are a mass of hatred and abuse (literal, they are attacked, urine thrown at them, etc) hurtled at them, they go hungry, they sleep in their bus or squat with fans. It's insane and insanely hard to read how shitty the conditions were for a band that you absolutely love. It's even harder to read that even despite that, being in the van and on the road and miserable is the only time that Henry ever really feels whole. Too add insult to injury, it's also hard to read the inner thoughts of a musician that you love who is so addled with loathing, depression, and violence. They aren't pretty thoughts..killing the pigs, killing the fans, killing the pigs' families, mutilation of himself and others. And as you go further in the years, it only gets worse. Henry could have made an outstanding horror novelist. Or serial killer. Whichever. Overall, this is an incredibly painful and real portrait of Henry's life at the time. His thoughts are blunt and pretty flipping horrid at times. There is no sugar coating of anything. More like rusted barbwire coated. Don't read this expecting to see a feel good story of a man's rise to fame. It's not there. You are actually really grateful that he got out of that van by the end of it. It was an interesting ride while you were there though.

  2. 4 out of 5

    East Bay J

    I've wanted to read Get In The Van since it was published sixteen years ago. Getting around to it after all this time has proven to be a loopy experience. When I was a teen, I was all about Black Flag. I thought they were incredible. Damaged, their first LP, was hard to take in and an immediate favorite. Each chapter after that was an education. Black Flag ruled. I identified with the sum of the parts in a variety of ways. I found it frightening as hell, too. These guys were like demons to me, l I've wanted to read Get In The Van since it was published sixteen years ago. Getting around to it after all this time has proven to be a loopy experience. When I was a teen, I was all about Black Flag. I thought they were incredible. Damaged, their first LP, was hard to take in and an immediate favorite. Each chapter after that was an education. Black Flag ruled. I identified with the sum of the parts in a variety of ways. I found it frightening as hell, too. These guys were like demons to me, living in a small town in the late 80's, having no reference. Their music spoke to me and spooked me at the same time. I identified with and was intimidated by the anger and the intellect. I still listen to Black Flag a lot. Reading Get In The Van was a revisitation. A weird rewind. Rollins' recollections of his time in the Flag are absolutely enthralling. It was difficult not to skip his leaps into the abyss at the end of many entries but the rest of it, from sitting in the shed in the Ginns' yard to touring the world really pulled me in. In fact, I wanted to know more. Having read this and Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life, I find myself wanting very much to read a proper bio of Black Flag. Azerrad's chapter on the Flag is a solid overview but lacks substance by its very nature as an overview. Get In The Van is Rollins-centric and there is almost no reflection of what anyone else was thinking. I'm pretty fascinated by Ginn and Dukowski and there were a bunch of characters involved with Black Flag over the years. Maybe an oral history would be the way to go. That would be a killer book! The photos in Get In The Van are great. You don't get shorted on imagery with this one, folks. A lot of people say Rollins is/was an asshole. I can see why, given the nature of the statements and stances he's taken over the years. I just don't agree. I identify with Rollins' attitudes and reactions. I would have felt the same way on a tour. I wouldn't get enough time to myself, would get sick of everyone and would start to withdraw. I'd be disgusted with people's behavior. I'd be tired, pissed off and angry. I believe, given the nature of the life he lead at the time, his background and upbringing, he did his best. You can see him struggling right in the pages of this book, trying to figure out how to deal with the circumstances he was part of. And, y'know, this guy didn't react to the pressure by eating a bunch of drugs or blowing his head off. He started a literary career and a publishing company, another band, did some acting. I mean, I find that inspiring. That's cool as hell. Rollins is a hero to me and this book cemented it. "Get in the van" is my new mantra. Get In The Van is great. I read it so fast I'm going to have to read it again. Lookin' forward to it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Michael Jandrok

    10-01-18 Lockhart TX: We will start with this. Black Flag is one of my all-time favorite bands. They distilled hardcore into something tangible at a time when punk was reinventing itself for the second or third time. Nobody is really counting. Black Flag was the first of the hardcore bands to really embrace heavy metal and see the possibilities of taking one extreme form of music and melding it with another. They were hardly the first crossover band, and they weren’t really metal in any true sen 10-01-18 Lockhart TX: We will start with this. Black Flag is one of my all-time favorite bands. They distilled hardcore into something tangible at a time when punk was reinventing itself for the second or third time. Nobody is really counting. Black Flag was the first of the hardcore bands to really embrace heavy metal and see the possibilities of taking one extreme form of music and melding it with another. They were hardly the first crossover band, and they weren’t really metal in any true sense of the word, but they foretold the future. 10-03-18 Lockhart TX: “Get In The Van” is one of the more important rock ‘n’ roll documents that you will ever read. It’s basically the tour diaries of Black Flag’s lead singer, Henry Rollins, during his tenure in the band. Rollins is a very intelligent and well-spoken man. He’s also kind of a dick sometimes. 10-05-18 Austin, TX: I own two editions of “Get In The Van.” I have the difficult to find first edition AND the equally as difficult to find second edition. The second edition has the benefit of additional diary entries plus reproductions of a lot of the early show flyers drawn by Greg Ginn’s brother, Raymond Pettibon. The art itself makes owning the second edition essential, since Black Flag was itself a sort of performance art act. Either way, I have both editions, and I’m glad. So there. 10-06-18 Lockhart TX: “Get In The Van” is not a history of Black Flag. For that you will need to acquire author Stevie Chick’s sprawling book “Spray Paint the Walls.” I found a copy of that at a garage sale for 25 cents a couple of years ago. That may be the best way to get ahold of the book. Nothing is more “punk” than buying a book about punk at a garage sale. 10-08-18 Lockhart TX: Jiminy Christmas, Henry Rollins is one fucked-up dude. The entries cover the moment when he entered the band in 1981 to its dissolution in 1986. I’ll give Rollins credit, he was a meticulous observer of what was going on around him. He manages to get most of the scene down on paper, and the whole thing just reads like a one-man history of hardcore punk as it was evolving in the early-to-mid 1980s. I’ll say it like this…..if you don’t at least APPRECIATE what Black Flag was doing back in the day, then you have no business calling yourself a fan of punk rock music. 10-13-18 Lockhart TX: Henry Rollins has a bad case of self loathing, and a good portion of “Get In The Van” is Henry ranting about his various anger issues and other types of suicidal psychoses that he would get himself into a froth over. He spent most of his non-touring days living in guitarist Greg Ginn’s garden shed. This little space could not contain Rollins. He longed for the road like most people long for a breath of fresh air. Black Flag never made any money. Henry was almost always broke. Posers labeled him a “rock star” when he was eating dog food and living in a garden shed. No wonder dude was angry. 10-15-18 Cedar Park TX: Man…….there are times when I wanna slap Henry. The man can be homophobic at times, insufferably miserable at other times, and a pity party this big can get tiring time and time again. Then again……..he notes the rise of Nazi punks at hardcore shows, both in Europe and in the States. Skinheads trying to appropriate punk music is nothing new, but the level of aggressiveness and combativeness reached a nadir in the mid-’80s. That shit is STILL a problem at shows these days, and it’s infected the metal community as well. 10-18-18 Lockhart TX: There is a big difference between East Coast Hardcore and West Coast Hardcore. Black Flag was a California band through and through, though Rollins himself is from the D.C. area. The Flag took more cues from surf culture and the whole Huntington Beach scene, even as Rollins brought a D.C.-style vibe that was founded in his time spent hanging around with the Bad Brains. East Coast and New Yawk Hardcore took their cues from thrash metal and hip-hop. I don’t even know why I’m writing this. You already should know this. 10-22-18 Lockhart TX: Gawd-DAMN but Henry doesn’t like Kira Roessler. Which is a damn shame because she was the best bass player that Black Flag ever had, and I mean no disrespect to Chuck Dukowski. Kira was an actual MUSICIAN, though, and her chemistry with Greg Ginn was unmistakable. But Henry has a definite burr up his ass for Kira. 10-25-18 Lockhart TX: Rollins is really focused in this book…..on Henry Rollins. You are not going to find much here on his relationship with Greg Ginn or any other members of Black Flag beyond Chuck Dukowski. Chuck and Henry were buds, and it’s clear that Henry never really got past being the “new singer” thing even though he was around for Black Flag’s “glory days.” 10-26-18 Lockhart TX: Van Halen’s David Lee Roth was actually a fan of Black Flag. That’s not in the book, it’s just an odd little bit of music trivia that I know. FIGHT ME!!!!!!!! 10-28-18 Lockhart TX: Yeah, this is another one of those reviews where I try to copy the style of the book I’m reviewing. I have no idea if this technique really works or it’s just me being pretentious. I don’t care either way. COME AT ME, ‘BRO!!!!!!!!!! 10-30-18 Lockhart TX: Ok, maybe reading this has made me a bit aggressive. It’s an aggressive book, written by a man with anger management issues and a death wish a mile wide. Henry Rollins has since calmed down a lot. After Black Flag broke up he went on to form The Rollins Band, which saw much more commercial success than Black Flag ever did. I think the music industry finally caught up a bit. By the time Black Flag ended they had largely abandoned the structures of hardcore and added avant-garde jazz influences to the music. It was time to stop. 10-31-18 Lockhart TX: Buy the damn book if you get a chance. It’s rock history here, for Chrissakes. Black Flag never sold a ton of records, but their influence as a band stretches far and wide. Henry Rollins now does a lot of public speaking tours and the occasional book release. He is a poet, an author…...a true entrepreneur. I admire the shit out of the guy. When he speaks, he speaks truths. He is a fitness addict, an advocate for straight-edge living, though he never really come out and said that he was straight-edge. Either way, he’s around my age and I wish that I looked as good as he does. That bastard. Anyway…..”Get In The Van” is a rock history essential. Go and buy it and read it or I will write to Henry and tell him that you blew him off. He will likely show up at your door and try to beat you up. If you don’t own this book then you NEED to be beaten up. Probably. I dunno, man….lotta violence in the world. No need to beat people up. But you still need the damn book.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    Best story: Rollins writes about how he and another guy in his band (might have been Greg Ginn) are out on the road in some godforsaken place, have no money and are starving and want to go to this Wendy's type establishment to eat. There's a salad bar there where the price is three dollars for all you can eat. Their eyes light up and they run over, stacking mound upon mound of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc 'till the plate is three feet high. The manager comes over and kind of pokes his head o Best story: Rollins writes about how he and another guy in his band (might have been Greg Ginn) are out on the road in some godforsaken place, have no money and are starving and want to go to this Wendy's type establishment to eat. There's a salad bar there where the price is three dollars for all you can eat. Their eyes light up and they run over, stacking mound upon mound of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc 'till the plate is three feet high. The manager comes over and kind of pokes his head over to see what these two maniacs are doing, who are shoveling in the food as fast as they possibly can. They look up- glaring at the guy with big wads of salad dressing stuck to the ends of their mouths. Rollins remarks something like 'when you haven't eaten in three days you get this kind of look in your eye....people leave you alone.' Priceless!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nate

    I can't really take too much of Henry's self-mythologizing, but this book chronicles the work that he'll be known for forever: fronting Black Flag. Working on Greg Ginn's farm wasn't easy and Henry's story is funny, bracing, and paints a staggering picture of young men overcoming unbelievable obstacles to push their rock band out into a very hostile world. A must read for fans of 1980s American rock. I can't really take too much of Henry's self-mythologizing, but this book chronicles the work that he'll be known for forever: fronting Black Flag. Working on Greg Ginn's farm wasn't easy and Henry's story is funny, bracing, and paints a staggering picture of young men overcoming unbelievable obstacles to push their rock band out into a very hostile world. A must read for fans of 1980s American rock.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew W

    Henry Rollins used to be Greg Ginn's prize white slave. Henry Rollins used to be Greg Ginn's prize white slave.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Greg Swallow

    First off, I'm biased. I've seen Henry Rollins with and without his backing band live over 25 times. I never missed a tour until the last couple of years. How I got to the ripe old age of 34 without reading this book is beyond me. That I never cracked the cover of this book other than to glance through it casually is the same phenomenon as never owning copies of those oh-so-many "crucial" albums that were put out in your youth -- you know, there were just so many other alternatives that you had t First off, I'm biased. I've seen Henry Rollins with and without his backing band live over 25 times. I never missed a tour until the last couple of years. How I got to the ripe old age of 34 without reading this book is beyond me. That I never cracked the cover of this book other than to glance through it casually is the same phenomenon as never owning copies of those oh-so-many "crucial" albums that were put out in your youth -- you know, there were just so many other alternatives that you had to explore, instead of buying something that was painfully obvious and would always be around. This book contains Henry's first (I presume) writings, and it shows. Henry Rollins isn't the greatest writer. Even today, you can read his "dispatches" for free and most of them are as mundane as Facebook posts. Furthermore, most of the abstract content in the book -- the fictional (or pseudo-philosophical) content -- displays his amateur mastery of his writing style, but in late 1985, early 1986 his writing gets a lot better. Some of this book is downright depressing and self-righteous, but it is what it is. Mr. Rollins could have gotten laid and maybe cooled out a bit during 1984, or at least gotten over himself. The book is what it is, though: had I kept a journal in my 20s it would have read a lot like this book (save that I was never a successful musician on tour). We all go through teens/twenties angst and we all mellow with age. What's extraordinary about this book is how it captures how little "success" meant, and how it makes the obvious point of how special Black Flag really was in the 1980s. The band's music is timeless, to those people who understand it. And how few people actually understood it is even more amazing. It's like being able to see the core of a star: Black Flag was the unreachable white-hot epicenter of the self-immolating scene that was punk rock. To the outsider, what shone from the surface was often vainly offensive, self-destructive, violent, mindless and temporary. Again, such is youth. As Black Flag burnt out, so did American punk rock. Bring on the Glam Rock. The Poisons, the Motley Crues, the Bon Jovis. The cases of cheap beer, bales of skunky weed and back seats full of pussy. Bring on the oceans of girls with "mall bangs" and long-haired guys in patched up jean jackets. No, thank you. And to our benefit, the vacuous musical wasteland that was 1988 collapsed under its own excess, while Black Flag's influence underlaid the brief "alternative" respite (that, thankfully, soured and collapsed under its own weight in record time) in the early 90s. People who make good music in today's "post-cool" era know what's up. Without the Flag, there would be no "small record labels." Without the DIY ethic of Black Flag, you wouldn't see small bands show up hundreds of miles from home in broken down vans at small clubs to play their hearts out in front of 150 people. So, Mr. Rollins, Mr. Ginn, et al: thank you for setting the ball in motion. I have had access to a lot of great music growing up, all because of you. And special thanks for capturing what life was like forging the path for all the good bands today in your tattered notebooks from cargo areas of Ryder trucks.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    This is a biased review. I’m kind of in love with Henry Rollins. He’s the man, as simple as that. I know he’s a deeply flawed human being, with a motor-mouth and a strong tendency to self-mythologize. And… I really don’t give a fuck. I still love him. His music, his spoken word, his writing. I love it all. He’s made me laugh, cry, dance and inspired me endlessly. He is not perfect, but no one is and that doesn’t make him less of a hero for me. Now about this book. It’s not a pleasant read: these This is a biased review. I’m kind of in love with Henry Rollins. He’s the man, as simple as that. I know he’s a deeply flawed human being, with a motor-mouth and a strong tendency to self-mythologize. And… I really don’t give a fuck. I still love him. His music, his spoken word, his writing. I love it all. He’s made me laugh, cry, dance and inspired me endlessly. He is not perfect, but no one is and that doesn’t make him less of a hero for me. Now about this book. It’s not a pleasant read: these are the tour diaries of a self-loathing, angry as fuck twenty-something who lived in a shed (when he was not sleeping in a piss-soaked van) and worked tirelessly, for no money, to keep his band going on. And then said band would get chased by cops, abused by its audience and screwed over by the music industry. This is not the 50-something globe-trotting Henry he is now: this is a self-righteous, depressed twerp trying to survive an unbelievably brutal world and scribbling his first writings (the style is embryonic and amateurish) in an attempt to not go insane. There are some very insightful moments in these diaries: Henry’s anger is not unjustified or random. But his bleak outlook on everything can be really tough to stomach. Henry’s writing got a lot better with time. He’s mellowed out a bit as he aged, and his more recent stuff is still intense, but much more nuanced, self-deprecating and full of dry humour. He has turned into a clever, articulate and engaging guy. But “Get In the Van” is as raw as it gets: it’s what was going through his head when he was young and wide-eyed, and it captures what the gritty reality of 80’s punk bands were. People idolized Black Flag, other bands wanted to be them, probably having no idea that it meant eating terrible food (when there was food at all), crashing on fan’s floors because they was no money for motel rooms, being spat on by the people you came to play for and constantly clashing with your bandmates’ egos. This is an important piece of punk rock (and rock and roll) history. I remember reading it and suddenly my idealization of this era of punk and of the musician’s life lost a lot of its glamour. This is a fascinating, dark book. It made me respect Henry even more, for getting through and over all this crap and staying a good, positive (albeit angrily positive) man: after Black Flag, he had the Rollins Band, then started his own publication company, travelled the world on spoken-word tours, published a huge pile of books and changed a lot of people’s lives for the best. I’d like to give the audiobook version of “Get In the Van” a try, as he narrates it himself, and won a Grammy for it (of all things…). Very highly recommended, but don’t do downers when you read this. Also, the pictures in the print version are amazing! Everyone is so damn young!

  9. 5 out of 5

    RandomAnthony

    Okay, I'm going with three stars here only because 2.5 isn't an option. Get In the Van features three distinct categories: 1. Rollins in the "shed" (an actual shed behind Greg Ginn's house, if I'm not mistaken, where he lives when not touring), 2. Rollins free-associating through weird poems/visual fantasies, and 3. Black Flag tour diaries. The first and last are solid, sometimes more than solid, but the second is bad/embarrassing to the point where I skimmed most of them. I can't give an unquivoca Okay, I'm going with three stars here only because 2.5 isn't an option. Get In the Van features three distinct categories: 1. Rollins in the "shed" (an actual shed behind Greg Ginn's house, if I'm not mistaken, where he lives when not touring), 2. Rollins free-associating through weird poems/visual fantasies, and 3. Black Flag tour diaries. The first and last are solid, sometimes more than solid, but the second is bad/embarrassing to the point where I skimmed most of them. I can't give an unquivocal three stars to a book with significant (although small, maybe 10%) sections I couldn't stomach. Those passages sound like the ramblings of a pissed off young person armed with a pen and notebook. Well, Rollins was one of those, I guess, but Get in the Van is the book through which he purges himself of these juvenilia. You can hear his voice develop over the book's five years; he's processing fear, emotions, and scenarios that are still new. His later work is better, sure, but Get in the Van's invaluable account of the Black Flag years is still worthwhile, especially if you skim the bad parts.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie G.

    Not going to do a star rating for this one. I got 20% in and remembered how much hated this historical moment. I despised the rooms full of white boys grabbing women by their hair and breasts and genitals (including me on several occasions, this is not second-hand info.), I hated watching them beat each other into unconsciousness. I hated hearing their racist and homophobic shit at EVERY show (many would not have considered themselves racist, but I saw a lot of people with "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" Not going to do a star rating for this one. I got 20% in and remembered how much hated this historical moment. I despised the rooms full of white boys grabbing women by their hair and breasts and genitals (including me on several occasions, this is not second-hand info.), I hated watching them beat each other into unconsciousness. I hated hearing their racist and homophobic shit at EVERY show (many would not have considered themselves racist, but I saw a lot of people with "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" t-shirts stay mute when vile things were said about people of color.) Mostly I hated the agreement to pretend that anger was a reasonable substitute for talent. There are bands I love that came out of the hardcore scene, Husker Du, Flipper, Minutemen, Bad Brains, Fugazi (though they are of a slightly different scene), but most of it was crap. I never liked Black Flag and I still don't, though I saw 3 shows (only because I had friends in bands that opened) and will say the energy, though foul and testosterone soaked, was intense and I understood what people got from being in that room. And also, Rollins is interesting and knows how to string words together. So when I saw the eBook on Hoopla I checked this out. Rollins' woe is me, I am an oppressed white guy, the world is against me and my buds garbage grates even more now than it did 30 years ago. I have news for Henry, there are innocent people victimized by police every day in this country, and you and your other thrash pals are not those people. (He tells a story about his trusty roadie laughing when he saw a swastika spray-painted on the hood of an old man's car. The man shook his fist or something, and the roadie said, something like "oh he probably thinks I am a skinhead." Really, a tattooed guy with a shaved head who thinks swastikas are funny? Guess what dude, you are a skinhead!) People petitioned to get you kicked out of their neighborhoods, cops rousted you, and people kicked you out of stores because you were violent thieving miscreants, not because they didn't like thrash. Your pal Ian MacKaye and his wife Amy lived down the street from me in Arlington in the 90's. He was lovely, kept his house looking nice and free from hazards, and though he was recording Fugazi tracks there, sometimes audibly (at reasonable times) I certainly never heard of anyone trying to get him evicted. It’s not the music, it is that you and your friends often deserved it. The amount of theft I saw committed in the name of thrash is staggering, and then you can throw in the property damage and the assault I also witnessed and that equals someone you don't want in your neighborhood. I am not saying this chronicle of a scene is without value, or that Rollins does not capture the moment very well. He does. It’s just not something I want to relive.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    So Henry Rollins is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.Some think he is a complete asshole, which he is, but that does not bother me much bc it's henry fucking rollins! Anyways if you had a childhood/teenage blah blah life similar to my very own you love Black Flag. Maybe you even have the bars tatted up on you. Their painful coolness is what punk rock dreams are based on, but this book shows you in some instances the mundane existence of a touring punk rock band from the 80s. there So Henry Rollins is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with.Some think he is a complete asshole, which he is, but that does not bother me much bc it's henry fucking rollins! Anyways if you had a childhood/teenage blah blah life similar to my very own you love Black Flag. Maybe you even have the bars tatted up on you. Their painful coolness is what punk rock dreams are based on, but this book shows you in some instances the mundane existence of a touring punk rock band from the 80s. there are some really great stories and I think if you are a fan you will enjoy

  12. 4 out of 5

    Doug

    There's a moment early in "Get in the Van" where Henry Rollins recalls listening to Black Flag as a fan and both loving and hating the music. Loving it because it was urgent, energetic and evocative of his own pent-up feelings of alienation and boredom. Hating it because, reflexively, the band's very do-it-yourself existence combined with the music to show the young Rollins what he was not - free and self-realized. What follows is Rollins' account, almost all of it pulled from his own journals There's a moment early in "Get in the Van" where Henry Rollins recalls listening to Black Flag as a fan and both loving and hating the music. Loving it because it was urgent, energetic and evocative of his own pent-up feelings of alienation and boredom. Hating it because, reflexively, the band's very do-it-yourself existence combined with the music to show the young Rollins what he was not - free and self-realized. What follows is Rollins' account, almost all of it pulled from his own journals, of what happened when he became the vocalist for the band that he both loved and hated. And perhaps appropriately, I left the whole things feeling satisfied and sad. The satisfaction comes from the fact that this is a damn good read, and, in a rare instance, an even better experience as an audiobook. Yep, the Grammy Rollins earned for his narration was well-deserved, as the book comes through the speakers like Rollins' best moments as a vocalist and spoken-word artist - intense, hyper-introspective, standoffish and funny. The sadness? Probably like a lot of readers in their 30s and beyond, I picked this up in the spirit of re-visiting something. Black Flag had long since broken up when I heard my first punk record and immediately felt I was being spoken to directly. But just as I embraced the bands I was exposed to in the 90s, I wanted to hear their influences and their influences influences. That led me to the early moments of American hardcore punk, bands like Minor Threat and, of course, Black Flag. And I loved them just as much, if not more, than the generation of bands that came after. Like a lot of 31-year old former punkers, I've moved on musically and intellectually. Despite a steadfast love for Bad Religion (still my favorite band,) I only occasionally dust off my old CDs. I think everyone goes through brief spurts of musical nostalgia. Yet, like I said, I was hit by sadness midway through "Get in the Van." Because going through the (mis)adventures of Rollins and Black Flag - constant poverty, broken-down vans, sleeping on floors, infighting, dustups with skinheads - I could only think "Christ, that sounds miserable." But Rollins isn't writing about misery. He's writing of the joy of the music and how it superseded all else at that time in his life. And that was when "Christ, that sounds miserable" turned into "Christ, I've gotten old." Because Rollins is talking about a moment in life most of us are thrilled to have behind us - the early 20s, where most of us were embarrassingly passionate and/or embarrassingly poor. I realized that while I was hopefully done with poverty, I was almost assuredly done with that kind of passion. And that made me sad. That's the crux of "Get in the Van." Rollins, 20 years old and miserable despite a "straight job" that gave him money in the bank, embraced the desperation of traveling and playing in Black Flag in a way an adult couldn't embrace. There are numerous ways Rollins shows this desperation - the band's roadie advises him that dog food and white bread is a great cure for hunger, so long as you get it down before tasting it - but there are just as many mentions of the other side. Often, a story of some degrading moment is ended with "but we got to play." In fact, that may be the only fault of "Get in the Van." It commits the ultimate punk rock sin - it lags. Rollins seems especially intent on describing the band's routine misfortune on its European tours. All the stories of being put down by terrible bands or being attacked by anti-American skinheads or getting no response from too-cool-for-school English audiences...all of it blends together into a narrative that could easily be half as long. The real thorn in Rollins' paw is Rollins, and it makes for the best part of the book. Through Rollins' own words, we see a wide-eyed kid living the dream of singing in his favorite band turn into an alienated, surly, inward-driven young man. Is it the solitude of the road between gigs? The violent conflicts with skinheads? The lack of food, money and shelter? The creative tug-of-war between Rollins and bandmate/foil Greg Ginn? Yes. It's a bit hard, really, to pick at the flaws of a book considering most of the words written were never intended to become a book. It would have been better, narrative-wise, to have less regarding the drag that is Bavarian touring and more on Ginn, the yin to Rollins' yang both musically and in regards to worldview. It would have been better to have had a less-abrupt end, or at the very least something insightful from the young Rollins to show a transition from his inner conflict. We don't get that, though. "Get in the Van" is jumbled, imperfect and unbalanced. LIke any satisfying punk song.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mark Desrosiers

    As a misanthrope and a solipsist, young Henry Rollins is the midpoint between Gene Simmons and Arthur Schopenhauer (with whom he bears more than a passing resemblance). This book chronicles his transformation from an insecure D.C. ice-cream sales associate to a self-absorbed glossolalia Cardassian. Compassion, malice, and egoism (the nascent traits that Henry calls his "Discipline, Insanity, and Exile") are vividly enacted here, everything from skinheads interrupting Henry's taking a shit to his As a misanthrope and a solipsist, young Henry Rollins is the midpoint between Gene Simmons and Arthur Schopenhauer (with whom he bears more than a passing resemblance). This book chronicles his transformation from an insecure D.C. ice-cream sales associate to a self-absorbed glossolalia Cardassian. Compassion, malice, and egoism (the nascent traits that Henry calls his "Discipline, Insanity, and Exile") are vividly enacted here, everything from skinheads interrupting Henry's taking a shit to his rationale for being booze-free ("I don't want anything to disturb my signal" 10.27.85). I prefer the early scribbling, when he was documenting a DIY scene, putting down the facts. Round about 1985, entries get squishier, longer, stoopider. Not sure about his music tastes during this era either-- Diamanda Galas, Jerry Garcia, Nick Cave... Even despite the cannabis haze, I can kinda see why Greg Ginn was ready to remove Henry from his sonic vision. "I am infected, I a lucky, I am stricken, I am alive," the diarist says on April 17, 1985 (after his hideous backpiece was fully inked). That's where I gave up reading closely. You get less a music memoir than a Spartan punker griping and philosophizing as fast as his empty stomach and the coffee grinds between his teeth will allow. Typical of austere solipsists: Henry omits LOTS of groovy band details and trivia. Hell, you barely notice that d. boon died after Henry mentions this funeral that he skipped. Great photos though.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lani

    Henry Rollins is kind of an asshole. I'm not sure why I would be surprised that when he was in his early 20s he was an entitled self-centered and pompous asshole. Couldn't finish it, spent too much time rolling my eyes and convincing myself that Rollins has grown up by now. Henry Rollins is kind of an asshole. I'm not sure why I would be surprised that when he was in his early 20s he was an entitled self-centered and pompous asshole. Couldn't finish it, spent too much time rolling my eyes and convincing myself that Rollins has grown up by now.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Henry & Marina I downloaded the audio book for Marina Abramović’s memoir Walk Through Walls on the recommendation of Ben Loory, a friend, writer, and reader whose taste in literature syncs up with my own more often than not. When he strongly recommends a book, I pay attention. I was somewhat familiar with Abramović’s work as a performance artist. I had a vague recollection of a piece she did a decade ago that involved a lot of celebrities. I’ve met a handful of performance artists and her name al Henry & Marina I downloaded the audio book for Marina Abramović’s memoir Walk Through Walls on the recommendation of Ben Loory, a friend, writer, and reader whose taste in literature syncs up with my own more often than not. When he strongly recommends a book, I pay attention. I was somewhat familiar with Abramović’s work as a performance artist. I had a vague recollection of a piece she did a decade ago that involved a lot of celebrities. I’ve met a handful of performance artists and her name always seems to come up. I tend to listen to audio books when I’m walking or in the car. One day last month as I set out for a stroll around Paradise Hills, I began listening to her memoir Walk Through Walls. I was immediately captivated by the sound of Abramović’s voice. Her thick accent, slow delivery, and charming style quickly won me over. Her stories of growing up in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia) are like fairy tales from a world that no longer exists. Her parents were partisans, freedom fighters who met on the battlefield during the fight for independence from the Soviets. Although it is an incredibly romantic story, it was not a happy marriage. Each of her parents possessed an indomitable spirit that made them incompatible as partners but informed Abramović’s ethos as an artist. I won’t summarize her entire career, because it is long and fascinating and has many ups and downs that make Walk Through Walls a fascinating read. But the stories from when she was a young performance artist in the 1960s and ‘70s are extraordinary. When I think of Abramović, I think of her as an older woman, stately and serene, with a monkish ability to sit for long periods of time. Her work has always been physical, and she is without question one of the greatest endurance artists the world has ever seen, but I wasn’t prepared for how bloody and violent her work was at the beginning of her career. Her performances included self-mutilation, cutting (both intentional and unintentional) and lots and lots of blood. In Walk Through Walls she writes, somewhat disdainfully, “In theater, blood is ketchup; in performance, everything is real.” When she and her partner Ulay began to gain some notoriety, they bought a van and traveled all over Europe to take advantage of the opportunities they were given to perform. They had little money, no fixed address, and lived out of the van. They’d call friends in Amsterdam where they kept a mailbox to see where they’d been invited next and hit the road again. Walk Through Walls wasn’t the only book I read last month. Because of the way I listen to audio books, it took a while to get through Abramović’s memoir and it overlapped with my reading of Get in the Van by Henry Rollins, the fourth and longest-tenured vocalist for Southern California hardcore legends Black Flag. I got to know Rollins’ work through his books. When I splash-landed in Los Angeles in 1992, I worked at Eagles Coffee Pub in North Hollywood and after a few months, my co-workers and I convinced the owners to let us host an open mic for poets and spoken word artists. We called it Skinny Leonard’s Free Verse. “Spoken word artist” strikes me as a strange and dated concept now, but in 1992 it, along with slam poetry, was at or near its peak. The point I’m trying to make is if you hosted an open mic for spoken word artists in the early ‘90s you heard a lot of Henry Rollins imitators, which wasn’t nearly as bad as reading Raymond Carver imitators in fiction writing workshops, but I digress. So last month I found myself reading Get in the Van, which tells the story, through diary entries, of Rollin’s tumultuous career in Black Flag. It’s a remarkable document. Not long after he took over the vocal duties for the band, Rollins started to keep a diary. The story of how he joined Black Flag and his first tour with the band are framed as recollections, but then he moves on to journal entries, which are meticulously precise in terms of where the band played, who they played with, and how they performed. Stories about how Black Flag would pack its gear in vans and go on long tours across the country, play in shitty venues to hostile crowds, and sleep on floors in crowded houses—all for little or no money—are as common as they are legendary. For many bands they represent the ur-text of DIY punk rock. They blazed the trail, paved the way, made it cool, etc. But unlike most myths and legends, these stories are true. In fact, thanks to Get in the Van we know the reality was extremely harsh. Rollins’ entries reflect a very narrow focus. In other words, Rollins writes about Rollins. Get in the Van is a catalog of confrontations, fights, skirmishes, injuries, insults, on-stage collisions, exhaustion, sleepless nights, and weather that is either brutally hot or bone-numbingly cold. A typical night for Rollins might involve sustaining a mild concussion and then riding all night to the next show in the back of the trailer the band used to tow its equipment in total darkness. Hardships like these weren’t usual or extraordinary, but a way of life, a life in which everything was real. It was the price the members of Black Flag paid to perform, which Rollins sometimes described as a release, a release he came to depend on like a drug. Rollins needed it so badly he would sometimes cut himself with glass as he took the stage to ensure he had an outlet for all the anger and pain he kept bottled up inside. During the rare moments when Rollins editorializes in Get in the Van, he psyches himself up for the challenges ahead. He seems to view the tour as a test, and each show as an opportunity to push what his mind and body could take to the limit. It’s easy to read this, as so many male spoken word artists of the ‘90s did, as bravado. But after the fifth or sixth tour under more or less the same unforgiving and uncompromising conditions, the similarities between Henry Rollins and Marina Abramović started to reveal themselves. Both are performers who took risks with their work and repeatedly put themselves in danger, but what links them is the way they embraced the hardships their art demanded. Without being willing and able to expand the boundaries of what they were capable of enduring, the art would have failed. Marina Abramović would have failed. Black Flag would have failed. For The Artist is Present, the performance piece I spoke so flippantly about earlier, Abramović sat in the atrium at the Museum of Modern Art for eight hours a day, every day, for almost three months. She didn’t move. She didn’t speak. She sat completely still. Think about watching a movie without moving a muscle. Imagine doing that four times in a row. Then doing it again the next day and the day after that. Imagine doing that for 350 movies. Then take away the movies. If you consider a Black Flag tour, and add up all the shows, you’d probably end up with fewer than 100 hours of performance. That’s a liberal guess, but in those days Black Flag would often play two sets a night: an all-ages show for the kids, and another for the adults when the bar opened. But if you add up all the hours of travel, all the hours of being hot or cold, all the hours of being tired and hungry and thirsty and miserable, I’d wager you’d end up with a number that defies comprehension. What if enduring all those hardships was the real performance? What if this was the real art, the endurance art, that truly made a difference—not so much for the fans, but for Rollins, and for every punk rock band that followed in Black Flag’s proverbial footsteps? As for Get in the Van, something remarkable happens about mid-way through the book. After Rollins is invited to perform at what he calls a “talking show” his journals change. He starts to reflect more deeply. Other people begin to creep into his world. His circle expands to include writers and artists he respects and admires. We don’t quite see it in the pages of Get in the Van, but you can feel the transformation coming. Rollins is no longer a person satisfied to document the things that happen to him, but is on the verge of becoming something new, something special, something beautiful: an artist. This review originally appeared in Message from the Underworld: http://jimruland.substack.com

  16. 5 out of 5

    Vache

    Henry Rollins was the singer of Black Flag and Rollins Band. He also has written several books, has acted in a number of films, and does spoken word shows. I am a huge fan of Black Flag and, prior to reading this book, have seen many of his spoken word shows on the internet. I immediately connected with everything Henry Rollins said and I soon began to dig deeper into his many careers and works of art. I decided I had to read one of his books, and I chose this one first because it seemed to be v Henry Rollins was the singer of Black Flag and Rollins Band. He also has written several books, has acted in a number of films, and does spoken word shows. I am a huge fan of Black Flag and, prior to reading this book, have seen many of his spoken word shows on the internet. I immediately connected with everything Henry Rollins said and I soon began to dig deeper into his many careers and works of art. I decided I had to read one of his books, and I chose this one first because it seemed to be very real. The book itself is a journal Rollins kept during his time in Black Flag. The book revolves around the six or seven years Rollins was the singer of Black Flag. If you are a Black Flag fan, this book is a must. Even if you're not a fan of the music, read the book anyway. The music is only a small part of the book. The point of the story is about the life of Henry Rollins, which is very interesting to learn about. I was really able to connect with the thing Rollins said, whether it was in books, song lyrics, or spoken word, I very quickly realized how intelligent this man really is. There are plenty of very beautiful quotes in the book, but there is one that sums everything up nicely: "Ok, I'll just assume that I'm the one who is full of it and I'll just keep to myself. I feel confused and resolved at the same time. My thoughts and dreams plague me and keep me from sleeping. I feel at ease with alienation. I have allies, DISCIPLINE and INSANITY. With these by my side, everything is everything." When I first read this, I was in shock. My eyes just froze. Henry Rollins managed to say everything I was feeling. For a long time, I was trying to figure myself out. This book,and this quote especially, really helped me. I adore the style which Henry Rollins approaches his writing with. He says things so simply and straightforwardly, yet with so much thought and complexity behind it. I respect that a lot. I would recommend this book to most everyone. I wouldn't advise anyone under the age of 10 to read this book. There is a lot of graphic language and sexual content that kids under the age of 10 probably wouldn't understand. It gets very morbid towards the end. I love it. I think it contributes to the beauty and reality of the story, but kids wouldn't understand it. Also, I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone who isn't angry about something. Anger is very important. This book capitalizes on the importnace of anger. I love this book and I respect Mr.Rollins very much. I recommend that everyone who wishes to be exposed to the harsh reality very straightforwardly and quickly read this book. I wanted to, and was very satisfied with the results.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tony

    Not sure why I'd never read this cover-to-cover before, I've certainly dipped into friends' copies numerous times over the years. I guess it's largely because (heresy coming... ) despite being into hardcore as a teen and adult, I've never been a big Black Flag fan. I mean, yeah, some great songs here and there, but it just generally wasn't ever a sound that connected with me. But in the last few years I've met him a few times at various book and film events here in DC, and found him to be very p Not sure why I'd never read this cover-to-cover before, I've certainly dipped into friends' copies numerous times over the years. I guess it's largely because (heresy coming... ) despite being into hardcore as a teen and adult, I've never been a big Black Flag fan. I mean, yeah, some great songs here and there, but it just generally wasn't ever a sound that connected with me. But in the last few years I've met him a few times at various book and film events here in DC, and found him to be very personable, amusing, insightful, and intelligent. So I finally sat down to read this diary of his time in Black Flag from cover to cover. It's... well... quite a document. I suppose you have to give him credit for putting himself completely out there, warts and all -- and there are so very many warts. More than anything, the diary entries read like those of a prisoner or addict. The day to day life of being in the band is shown to be terrible and miserable for most of their existence. Yet at the same time, the only time he ever feels anything is when he's up on stage. But that also sounds utterly awful -- being spit on, punched, groped -- it's like a hardcore version of Fight Club. When he's not on a tedious, extended Bukowski/Miller-inspired misanthropic rant -- he's mired in self-loathing and self-mutilation (figurative and literal). I kept having to remind myself how young he was at the time, but it's hard to get through. The photos are pretty cool, but I would have liked to see more of the entire band, and fewer solo shots of him -- those get very repetitive. I suppose the book is worth checking out if you've got an interest in Black Flag or Rollins, but be forewarned, it is a depressing couple of years.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    I have mixed feelings about this one. I think Henry Rollins is a fascinating guy and I had high expectations before reading. My first impression was the difference between the twenty-something Rollins and the fifty-something Rollins. The younger one is a bleak misanthropist. The older one, as I've seen in recent footage, is more at ease with himself and others and is definitely wiser. I think his journal entries are a great documentation of his time in Black Flag. I didn't like the repetition of I have mixed feelings about this one. I think Henry Rollins is a fascinating guy and I had high expectations before reading. My first impression was the difference between the twenty-something Rollins and the fifty-something Rollins. The younger one is a bleak misanthropist. The older one, as I've seen in recent footage, is more at ease with himself and others and is definitely wiser. I think his journal entries are a great documentation of his time in Black Flag. I didn't like the repetition of feelings, thoughts and ideas throughout the book, but I guess that's what it's like being on the road with a punk band: not sleeping, not eating, long drives, violent audiences, mean cops. Way too repetitive but real and honest. The prose poems and imagination of young Rollins show his knack for brutal and visceral brilliance, even if they're a little green. He's obviously a well-read person. Personally, I wanted to read more about the band and the misadventures and less about Rollins' antagonism and introspection. It's definitely not for everyone. I'd recommend it only to Rollins and Black Flag fans in particular and Punk fans in general. Despite my complaints, I consider Rollins a man to look up to.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    I've owned this book since the late '90s, when I was a teen getting into punk rock. Black Flag's "Who's Got the 10 1/2" was the fourth punk record I ever bought and made me a fan for life. When I bought "Get in the Van" in early 1997, the history of punk rock (especially American Hardcore Punk) was still spoken in whispers. It was very hard to find out more about punk rock bands than it is today. This book is Henry Rollins' journals while he was the fourth and last singer of the great Black Flag I've owned this book since the late '90s, when I was a teen getting into punk rock. Black Flag's "Who's Got the 10 1/2" was the fourth punk record I ever bought and made me a fan for life. When I bought "Get in the Van" in early 1997, the history of punk rock (especially American Hardcore Punk) was still spoken in whispers. It was very hard to find out more about punk rock bands than it is today. This book is Henry Rollins' journals while he was the fourth and last singer of the great Black Flag from 1981-1986, and documents his perspective, thoughts, feelings, and adventures with the band. All I can say is pick up the book and read it. Since the second edition came out there's more entries, flyers, pictures, and stories. This book is the perfect companion piece to the Black Flag discography, and once you read it you'll realize why this band is one of the most revered, hated, misunderstood, and influential bands of both punk and rock history.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    This is the only thing of Henry Rollins's I've ever read, and it was pretty righteous. But when he gets into a funk, that may last for months, the book drags along with it. There are still brilliant insights and passages from it, and it gives the music a whole new spin too, in a lot of ways. My only word of caution in reading this book, is the following: IT WILL REALLY MAKE YOU WANT TO PUNCH THINGS. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PUNCH THINGS. Henry Rollins is a very angry man. He has the largest neck This is the only thing of Henry Rollins's I've ever read, and it was pretty righteous. But when he gets into a funk, that may last for months, the book drags along with it. There are still brilliant insights and passages from it, and it gives the music a whole new spin too, in a lot of ways. My only word of caution in reading this book, is the following: IT WILL REALLY MAKE YOU WANT TO PUNCH THINGS. DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT PUNCH THINGS. Henry Rollins is a very angry man. He has the largest neck in rock 'n' roll, and when he was 18, it was even larger, and he was even angrier. Also remember that he did/does not drink alcohol. If you drink alcohol, abstain whilst reading this book, or head my warnings doubly so.

  21. 4 out of 5

    catechism

    There is a reason most of us do not publish the diaries we keep when we are teenies, and that reason is paragraph after paragraph about how the world is cold, no one understands me, maybe I'll cut myself for a while, everything is terrible, I hate the whole world and they hate me back, my girlfriend just broke up with me long-distance and I will be ALONE FOREVER. I spent a lot of this laughing and thinking to myself, CRY MOAR, HENRY ROLLINS. That said! I enjoyed the hell out of it! It's a great l There is a reason most of us do not publish the diaries we keep when we are teenies, and that reason is paragraph after paragraph about how the world is cold, no one understands me, maybe I'll cut myself for a while, everything is terrible, I hate the whole world and they hate me back, my girlfriend just broke up with me long-distance and I will be ALONE FOREVER. I spent a lot of this laughing and thinking to myself, CRY MOAR, HENRY ROLLINS. That said! I enjoyed the hell out of it! It's a great look at the early underground music scene, and it made me incredibly grateful that there were people in the world willing to bleed and starve and fight for their music, and even MORE grateful that I am not one of those people.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Benoit Lelièvre

    If you like Rollins, even just a little, you owe yourself to read that book. I have a paragraph from page 120 tattooed on my right forearm. The initial inception must be pure. All energy must be put to use. The end must never leave your sight. Complete destruction must be had. You must maintain drive that goes beyond obsession, beyond purpose, beyond reason. Every movement must be in the forward direction. When in the woods, seek the clearing. The path shines so bright it's almost blinding. It's a If you like Rollins, even just a little, you owe yourself to read that book. I have a paragraph from page 120 tattooed on my right forearm. The initial inception must be pure. All energy must be put to use. The end must never leave your sight. Complete destruction must be had. You must maintain drive that goes beyond obsession, beyond purpose, beyond reason. Every movement must be in the forward direction. When in the woods, seek the clearing. The path shines so bright it's almost blinding. It's a great recollection of punk rock memories and a D.I.Y survival guide for young intellectuals. It's proudly taking its place on my shelves.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    I've seen Rollins Band and two Henry Rollins Spoken Word shows live. His voice and story telling carry a lot of the character and experience from the events depicted in the book. It is taken from his journals during those years of touring with Black Flag. There is a rhythm to the audiobook as tours grind on and turn him inward to reflect on his attitudes and begin to break him down into just touching base with the journal as he approaches burnout at the end of a grinding tour with little stable I've seen Rollins Band and two Henry Rollins Spoken Word shows live. His voice and story telling carry a lot of the character and experience from the events depicted in the book. It is taken from his journals during those years of touring with Black Flag. There is a rhythm to the audiobook as tours grind on and turn him inward to reflect on his attitudes and begin to break him down into just touching base with the journal as he approaches burnout at the end of a grinding tour with little stable sleep and food. I enjoyed the Grammy winning audiobook version of this title read by Henry Rollins.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Brian Fanelli

    If you want a really honest, detailed account of what it was like to front a punk band in the 1980s, then check out Henry Rollins Get in the Van, a collection of journal entries from his time as Black Flag's front man. The book addresses the excitement of fronting a band, but also the boredom of being on the road constantly. The entries also detail some of the most brutal fights between the LA police and the punk rockers. Rollins' journals serve as a reminder that punk rock was not always so saf If you want a really honest, detailed account of what it was like to front a punk band in the 1980s, then check out Henry Rollins Get in the Van, a collection of journal entries from his time as Black Flag's front man. The book addresses the excitement of fronting a band, but also the boredom of being on the road constantly. The entries also detail some of the most brutal fights between the LA police and the punk rockers. Rollins' journals serve as a reminder that punk rock was not always so safe. Like any set of journal entries, however, some of the writing is a bit self-indulgent.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Ozawa

    Henry Rollins is one of my personal heroes. I would love nothing more than to sit for hours with him and talk about everything. I made it a personal goal to read all of his books. This book was on my to-read list for years. While Henry has evolved into an erudite, articulate voice, he was not always. At the writing of "Get in the Van", he was in his early twenties and had barely made it out of high school. He was angry, disaffected and disconnected. Much of this book is a portrait of a really ang Henry Rollins is one of my personal heroes. I would love nothing more than to sit for hours with him and talk about everything. I made it a personal goal to read all of his books. This book was on my to-read list for years. While Henry has evolved into an erudite, articulate voice, he was not always. At the writing of "Get in the Van", he was in his early twenties and had barely made it out of high school. He was angry, disaffected and disconnected. Much of this book is a portrait of a really angry person. Young Henry, in fact, is just not very pleasant at all.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    Not the most enjoyable read but I suppose the tedium of touring is reflected in Henry's diary which includes the the never ending physical abuse. Military tropes. And there's a fair amount of crabbiness including complaints about Mike Watt. I was touched by how he was able to become friends with Nick Cave (and Diamanda Galas) by simply writing fan letters. I was very pleased that in the postscript, he apologies for dissing Kira. Kira! Not the most enjoyable read but I suppose the tedium of touring is reflected in Henry's diary which includes the the never ending physical abuse. Military tropes. And there's a fair amount of crabbiness including complaints about Mike Watt. I was touched by how he was able to become friends with Nick Cave (and Diamanda Galas) by simply writing fan letters. I was very pleased that in the postscript, he apologies for dissing Kira. Kira!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gillian

    As an angry teenager I developed quite a Black Flag problem and Henry Rollins remains on my allowed list, mainly because he makes me laugh like a drain and seems like a genuine, if genuinely grumpy, person. My personal favourite anecdote in this book is the one about him and Nick Cave stealing cheese...yeah. It's a good read if you're interested in that particular little bit of music history. As an angry teenager I developed quite a Black Flag problem and Henry Rollins remains on my allowed list, mainly because he makes me laugh like a drain and seems like a genuine, if genuinely grumpy, person. My personal favourite anecdote in this book is the one about him and Nick Cave stealing cheese...yeah. It's a good read if you're interested in that particular little bit of music history.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Listened to the abridged audio version of this back in college, thought I should read the whole thing. This updated version from 2004 has a bunch of old photos and fliers. Five years of journal entries documenting touring as the singer of a punk band called Black Flag in the early-to-mid 1980's, and the hell and heaven it was through Rollins's eyes. Listened to the abridged audio version of this back in college, thought I should read the whole thing. This updated version from 2004 has a bunch of old photos and fliers. Five years of journal entries documenting touring as the singer of a punk band called Black Flag in the early-to-mid 1980's, and the hell and heaven it was through Rollins's eyes.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Brendan

    as much as i wish ginn had kept a tour diary to provide a counterpoint to some of rollins' more emo rantings toward the middle of this, this is easily the most punk rock diary in existence. black flag would eat any skinny band dude in girl jeans and flat ironed hair for fucking breakfast and still jam "my war" as hard as they possibly could without even skipping a beat. as much as i wish ginn had kept a tour diary to provide a counterpoint to some of rollins' more emo rantings toward the middle of this, this is easily the most punk rock diary in existence. black flag would eat any skinny band dude in girl jeans and flat ironed hair for fucking breakfast and still jam "my war" as hard as they possibly could without even skipping a beat.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    "Damaged" is a good album and all, but I wasn't impressed. I even listened to Black Flag semi-regularly at the time. Henry Rollins is just another angry middle class white kid who was in the right place at the right time to get sort-of famous. That was my opinion going into the book, and I didn't read anything to change that opinion. "Damaged" is a good album and all, but I wasn't impressed. I even listened to Black Flag semi-regularly at the time. Henry Rollins is just another angry middle class white kid who was in the right place at the right time to get sort-of famous. That was my opinion going into the book, and I didn't read anything to change that opinion.

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