I found this magazine tonight and my brain started reeling back to 1994. As some of you may know, 1994 was one of my favourite years ever. I had amazing friends and the best support systems- Rebar and The Bronx.
Every month, I ran to Hub Cigar and grabbed 2 magazines- Ben is Dead and Details. I actually remember the exact moment I picked up this Details magazine. I read the title in disbelief, Henry Rollins was named Man of the Year.
I loved (and still love) Henry Rollins. From his background as a ice cream slinger turned singer of Black Flag to his love for his friend Joe Cole, to his books and poetry. I just couldn’t get enough of him. I suppose it helped that he was a muscular, tattooed angry man. Just my type.
Between 1994 and 2007, I moved 10 times. Each time, I carefully packed up the magazine and put it in a safe place. I promised myself that I would meet him and he would sign it for me.
In 2007, my friend Destiny bought me a ticket to one of Henry Rollins’ spoken word shows. I figured I would miss him again as the first time I saw his spoken word performance, I was rushed out of the building and missed my chance. Regardless, I put the magazine and my copy of Get in the Van into my bag.
At the end of the show, Destiny and I decided to wait in line for autographs. We were insane. Seriously. It was -20 and freezing in Edmonton that night.
As we waited, my fingers and toes were icicles, but I wasn’t giving up. Destiny and I even stopped taking to conserve heat. If you know me, you know how hard this would have been.
Finally, I caught a glimpse of Henry coming out of the venue. He thanked the lineup for waiting so long in the cold. He’s such a nice guy. Destiny and I waited patiently through chattering teeth.
Finally, it was our turn. My turn. The moment I had been waiting for.
He looked at the magazine and then back to my face. He must have done this 5 or 6 times. My heart was beating in my throat.
Henry sighed loudly and took the magazine out of my hand. I had no idea what he was doing, but it felt like I had interrupted something. He stared at it as tears started forming.
Before I could react, he opened his mouth and started telling me a story.
As it turns out, Joey Ramone’s wife was the one who did his hair for the shoot. The whole cover reminded him of his good friend that had passed away. He thanked me numerous times for keeping the magazine for so long and for reminding him of Joey.
He signed the magazine and my book and we chatted about the show a bit. At the end of the conversation, he put his hand on my shoulder (well, winter jacket) and told me I could call him Hank.
If you were inside my head, you would have heard the loudest, high pitched scream ever. Ever! Outwardly, I played it cool.
I was pensive, proud, delighted and so cold, my eyelashes were freezing together.
To this day, I still keep my signed Details magazine on a safe place. Every now and then, I need to be reminded of this moment. Especially now that Hank played a white supremacist jerk on Sons of Anarchy. Yeah, I just called him Hank. I’m allowed to.