Former Black Flag leader Henry Rollins is a man you don’t want to get on the wrong side of. This is a fact that two fans found out the hard way in 1995.
Rollins had been set to take The Rollins Band to Brandywine, Maryland, but their set was cancelled at the very last minute due to torrential rain. It left fans not only soaking wet but absolutely hot with rage. The incident would lead to a heated exchange between Rollins and a fan with the singer sending a furious handwritten letter.
Missing your favourite band because of technical issues is always a bummer, especially when you’ve been waiting for them to arrive only to leave empty-handed. When you add to that the audience at Brandywine had been doing so in the torrential rain and you start to understand their anger to some degree. Those fans had been excited to see the former Black Flag man come to their town but, perhaps on reflection, directing their anger at him was something they would later regret.
Local Rollins fans Chris Farley and Ken Meekins sent the musician a provocative message via his website that even they admitted was immature in a later blog post. Farley went on to detail some of the content that their post to the singer included and it’s no surprise that Rollins reacted as he did after reading it: “We put stuff like “Why did you have to cancel the show? Were you home eating soup with your mommy?”
He added: “I think we may have called him a ‘punk-ass bitch’ too. The form required the entry of your snail-mail address for promotional mailers and stuff. We entered ‘Bob Walters’ in the name field and my home address. We sent the e-mail, giggled, and never thought another thing about it.” Surely Rollins wouldn’t be reading internet message boards on his downtime.
Wrong. Rollins reacted in kind. Instead of sending them an email in response to Farley and Meekins’ jibe, Rollins thought he’d send them a handwritten letter for the more personal touch. It would teach them a lesson and show there were to be serious repercussions to be had from their mid-’90s trolling ways.
Read Rollins’ fiery response as well as the handwritten letter, the last line he pens is especially poetic and will have undoubtedly given the fans the shock of their lives when it came through the door.
BOB. HERE’S WHAT HAPPENED. THE PROMOTER SETH HOROWITZ WAS NOT PREPARED FOR THE WEATHER EVEN WHEN HE PROMISED HE WOULD BE. BY THE TIME IT WAS FOR HELMET TO GO ON, THE POWER GENERATORS WERE SUBMERGED IN WATER. THE STAGE WAS MOSTLY METAL AND THE RISK OF BANDS & CREWS GETTING FRIED.
SETH REALLY BLEW IT FOR US. WE WERE THERE ALL DAY INTO THE NIGHT WAITING TO PLAY. IT WAS THE LAST SHOW OF THE TOUR WITH SAUSAGE & HELMET AND WE WERE ALL LOOKING FORWARD TO HITTING IT. IT WOULD HAVE BEEN #80 FOR THE YEAR.
TO LEAVE THAT PLACE W/O PLAYING SUCKED.
NEXT TIME YOU SEE ME, CALL ME WHAT YOU CALLED ME IN YOUR LETTER AND WE’LL SEE HOW IT GOES.
— HENRY ROLLINS