Henry Rollins to speak his mind at the Myer Horowitz Theatre June 6

“Don’t do anything by half. If you love someone, love them with all your soul. When you go to work, work your ass off. When you hate someone, hate them until it hurts.”

“Hope is the last thing a person does before they are defeated.”

“I believe that one defines oneself by reinvention. To not be like your parents. To not be like your friends. To be yourself. To cut yourself out of stone.”

When you’ve made it to BrainyQuote.com, you know you’ve made it as a public speaker (or at least its users think so). All of the above gems come from the lips of one Henry Rollins (and there a lot more than that came from): punk rock musician-turned-spoken word artist who returns to Edmonton, speaking at the Myer Horowitz Theatre on Wednesday, June 6. Tickets go on sale Friday.

It’s not exactly stand-up comedy. And it’s not pure storytelling, either. The best word to describe Rollins is probably “raconteur,” and he is unique – well, almost, counting Jello Biafra – in the realm of such performers who bring the punk rock ethos of independence, strength and social justice to the world of spoken word. Music fans of course know Rollins as the  lead singer of Black Flag, and later, the Rollins Band. Throughout he has been a passionate political activist, championing the misfits and underdogs of the world at every opportunity. In short, pure punk.

Rollins is touring with merch, of course – including his new photo essay book, Occupants. It details his travels to places like North Korea, Mongolia, Bhutan, Vietnam, India, Tibet, Sudan, Uganda, Haiti and Cuba – the sort of vacation itinerary not usually seen among middle aged men.