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Henry Rollins!

Henry Rollins: The Column! The Time a Religious 
Swiss Guy Beat Me Up

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Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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[Look for your weekly fix from the one and only Henry Rollins right here on West Coast Sound every Thursday, and come back tomorrow for the awesomely annotated playlist for his Saturday KCRW broadcast.]

In Switzerland at the moment. Ah, the memories!

This is from a journal entry from this day, 29 years ago, when I was in Geneva for the first time:

02-23-83

Geneva, Switzerland

At the hotel. We played real tight. The toughest skinheads were total chickenshit. A guy threw a cup of piss on Dukowski as he left the stage. Duke went berserk, man, it was wild. He started wrecking the dressing room. I have never seen him like that before. I have never had a cup of piss thrown on me either. I gave it all I had but it's hard to dig all the way in with a bunch of gluehead punks casually spitting on you.

Some dick spilled his beer all over my bag tonight. All my stuff is wet. I wanted to kill the guy but he was a friend of the promoter. Me and Dukowski packed up all the food that was left in the dressing room. I made myself a sandwich for later. Who knows when the next meal is coming around this place.

This anecdote deserves a slight bit of commentary. Chuck Dukowski, Black Flag's bass player, was understandably angry. The Duke has a strong sense of right and wrong. Something like this would not inspire him to seek physical revenge on the offender; that's too illogical for Dukowski. (If the building had caught fire, he might not have been the first one to call the fire department, as sometimes justice can be swift and unbearably harsh.)

What is also relevant to the above entry is that, in his frustration, Dukowski did indeed partially demolish the dressing room with a bass guitar. Unfortunately, the bass belonged to Mike Watt of the Minutemen. Watching Dukowski doing the damage while Watt sought to neutralize him was something I'll never forget.

One last thing: In the summer of 1984 I was doused with two large glasses of urine in Glasgow. Had to do the whole show covered in that.

Oh look, another Swiss journal entry!

10-23-88

Basel, Switzerland

1713 hrs

Head too destroyed to write until now. During the final song in Bern last night, a large man came up from behind me, put me in a chokehold, threw me to the ground and punched me. I got up and all I saw was a fist. I went down again. The guy stomped on my right hand. He ran away. People said he was huge. I don't remember much of it. Now I have lumps on my head, a black eye. I can't open my mouth to even fit a sandwich in. Tonight's show is going to hurt.

Tomorrow is Paris. We have a long drive. Have to hit the road at 0900 hrs. Hubert Selby is going to be there. Looking forward to seeing him. Some newspaper is going to do a photo session with the both of us, that should be cool. I will look funny with a black eye but what the fuck. The shows the last few days have been real good. I am having a blast playing. Feels like I am just getting warmed up. Soon I will be out of Europe. I think I am flying out of the U.K. a week from tomorrow. This one went quick.

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