Rollins College has a small but official place in punk rock history.
In an interview at the Smithsonian, music icon Henry Rollins confirmed his last name was inspired by the Winter Park-based liberal arts college.
Born Henry Garfield, he changed his name to Rollins around the time he joined Black Flag in 1981, after being encouraged to get a different name “because within 24 hours, the LAPD is gonna open a file on you.”
A 1991 College event poster with message handwritten by Henry Rollins in 1991. (Photo courtesy of Greg Golden ’11) He chose Rollins as a nod to friend Ian MacKaye, frontman for Minor Threat and founder of Fugazi, whose sister, Susannah MacKaye ’81, was attending Rollins College at the time.
Rollins is a writer, journalist, spoken word artist, comedian, and activist, perhaps best known for Black Flag, Rollins Band, and The Henry Rollins Show. UPDATE: When reached for comment, Rollins said, “Chris [Richards] asked the questions and I answered them. That’s all I have time for on this one.”
He spoke at Rollins College on November 12, 1991, about his life, friends, and heroes, as well as racism, drugs, and the police’s abuse of power. According to The Sandspur, “The most memorable quote of the lecture was, ‘Sometimes you’re the hammer, though the real test of strength is to be the anvil.’ ”
Henry Rollins (center) with WPRK staff during his visit to campus in 1991. (Photo courtesy of Greg Golden ’11)