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Henry Rollins: How The Stooges' 'Fun House' changed my life

"After one listen, I realized I would never do anything nearly as good"
Henry Rollins, Wacken Open Air 2016

Henry Rollins, Wacken Open Air 2016

Henry Rollins is many things: hardcore punk icon, poet, actor, comedian, TV and radio host, all-around music fanatic … and an obsessive vinyl collector. His listening tastes are as eclectic as his resume, ranging from Afropop and musicals to '60s avant-garde, '70s heavy metal, '80s post-punk and beyond.

When we talked to the ex-Black Flag frontman about the 10 albums that have shaped him as a person and an artist, he hailed the Stooges' Fun House as an album that changed his life. Below, Rollins shares the profound connection he had with that album.

“When I joined Black Flag in 1981, I was handed a couple of tapes and told that I needed to listen to these albums to understand the band I had just joined — and if I didn’t like them, then I would have problems. They were Fun House and Kick Out the Jams by the MC5. I listened to both and got it immediately. After one listen, I realized that Fun House was the greatest rock album ever made and I would never do anything nearly as good. I was right on both counts.”