Since 1980, muscle-bound and tattoo-laden Henry Rollins has taken his status as one of the most distinctive frontmen in alternative rock and parlayed it into a career as a Gen-X Renaissance man, gaining notice as an actor, author, publisher, performance artist, record company executive, and commercial spokesman.
Henry Rollins was born Henry Garfield on February 13, 1961, in Washington, D.C. ("Rollins" was a name he used as a joke in high school; it was taken from a friend's T-shirt ). As a teenager, Garfield developed a passionate interest in rock music at its most intense, and while in high school, he formed his first band, a hardcore punk outfit called S.O.A. (aka State of Alert), who released an EP in 1980. Henry was a passionate fan of the pioneering Los Angeles punk band Black Flag, and when Black Flag's vocalist Dez Cadena decided to step down as singer in 1981, the group's guitarist and leader Greg Ginn invited the newly renamed Henry Rollins to join. Black Flag became one of the hardest-working punk bands in America, constantly touring the United States and releasing eight albums and a handful of singles and EPs before calling it a day in 1986.