Thursday, September 02, 2004

Random Rock Star Moment #13: Rollins

This piece originally appeared in Umlaut #7 (March 1993)

The Time Chris Moore Met Henry Rollins -
As told by Joey Osbourne

In 1986, Chris Moore drove from our college dorm in Kentucky to Tennessee to see Black Flag in Memphis. Chris is a mild mannered chap, but on this night something possessed him. Most likely it was the whiskey he had been drinking.

Outside of the club Chris noticed Rollins sitting by himself reading or writing something. Chris had heard that Rollins was a big Lou Reed fan, so he went up to him and requested "Hey, play 'Sweet Jane' tonight." Rollins said "No." Chris asked again. Rollins said "No." Chris asked again. Rollins said "Go away."

Once the show began, Chris stumbled drunkingly around the club and somehow ended up backstage. Once there, he proceeded to knock over some of Black Flag's equipment, delaying the show for awhile. Chris managed to stay backstage and eventually Black Flag began their set around 2:00am.

For reasons unknown to this day, Chris came running full speed from off stage and tackled Rollins from behind and both of them fell into the crowd. Rollins kept singing as he fell. When they hit the floor, Rollins stood up and kneed Chris very hard in the face. He then made his way back onstage.

Chris stood up, blood streaming from his nose and covering his face and shirt, and announced "Okay, time to go.." and walked out of the club.


Addendum: Unfortunately, Get In The Van does not give the Rollins version of this incident. In the years since this piece was originally published, it is remembered as one of the "legendary" Umlaut pieces.. but who knew that it wasn't quite accurate. Eighteen years later, Chris Moore sets the record straight:

"It's pretty funny but it's not really accurate cuz it's from Joey, who wasn't there. He got the basic premise down as far as getting kneed in the jaw by Hank but it was while we were slamming and doing stage dives. It was a night of drunken whiskey drinkin' in Nashville at a crappy DIY club. I don't know where he got the part about tripping over Black Flag's equipment. I remember playing with some knobs on their amps during Painted Willy's set and my friend Mike told me that it distorted their sound more than their usual distorted sound."

"There wasn't a backstage. I was saying something belligerent to 'ol Hank about when they were going on and told him to play 'Sweet Jane'. It was like 2:00am and the show hadn't started. I got more belligerent as the show didn't go on and told him to start the show. He told me to get the fuck outta his face."

"During my last dive of the night I tackled ol' Hank and we both went crashing to the hard concrete ground cuz all the other punks decided to move outta the way. Hank was pissed and kneed me right square in the jaw and my mouth was bleeding. This was around 3:00am and it was time to go. I still put in my 8 the next day at work."

"About a week or so later my friend saw Black Flag in Louisville. He saw a guy writing in a notebook and asked him where he could buy tickets. My friend didn't recognize that it was Hank until the guy looked up and told him to get outta his fucking face."

"About 3 weeks later I saw Black Flag at the Jockey Club in Newport, KY. Hank had an arm in a sling and a fucked up ankle. I'd like to think it was from our date in Nashville."

Editor's Note: Umlaut has attended many Giants and A's games with Chris. He has yet to tackle a player on the field.

Thirty-five dollars and a six pack to my name..