Even in self-isolation, Henry Rollins is maintaining a busy work schedule.
Unable to tour or perform spoken-word shows, the former Black Flag and Rollins Band frontman has launched a new online radio show for KCRW that he’s dubbed The Cool Quarantine.
The debut episode, which runs four hours, features a story about Rollins and his pal, Minor Threat and Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye, seeing Led Zeppelin in 1977 — along with bootleg audio from the concert and a bootleg MacKaye made of the Cramps. Rollins also shares stories about the early days of MacKaye’s Dischord Records — which put out Rollins’ first seven-inch with S.O.A. — and his time in Black Flag.
“For many years, I’ve had this idea for a long-form show,” Rollins said in a statement. “I mean really long-form. Like hours. To do it terrestrially would be difficult because I would be crowding other shows out. But if it was online, hey. It’s as many songs as I want, language issues are not a factor, and if anyone gets bored, they can just turn it off or mark the time they checked out and resume later.”
“The idea is that you’re in your room and Engineer X and I come over with a bunch of records,” he continued. “We play you songs, I tell you stories and we do time together. Now that many of us are under some kind of confinement, we might as well get some good listening happening. Let’s go long! It’s kind of like the show we do on Sundays [on KCRW] but without time constraints or worrying about FCC compliance. It’s an extra slice of pizza. It will be completely indulgent. Fanatic, of course, and hopefully, as Iggy Pop, the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of Rock & Roll says, ‘a real cool time.’”
The program features Rollins playing deep cuts, rarities, bootlegs, full albums and EPs, among other selections from his record collection. In addition to the Zeppelin and Cramps bootlegs, he plays audio from his original pressings of Joy Division’s albums in the first episode, which is available on the station’s website and app.
Rollins has been hosting a weekly, Sunday night show for KCRW — which broadcasts out of Santa Monica, California — for years. The station has logged, at press time, 575 episodes of his weekly show, which will continue in addition to The Cool Quarantine.
Before announcing The Cool Quarantine, Rollins recently spoke with Rolling Stone about how he’s spending his time in self-isolation. “Actually, my schedule hasn’t really shifted as I work in an office that’s in my home,” he said. “I have a list of tasks that I do my best to execute. I get up and hit it. I live alone and don’t know many people, so on a day-to-day basis, for the most part, my life goes on as normal.”