7 p.m. Monday
8001 S. Eastern
Naturally, it’s become a chief point of discussion during this tour, and although Rollins doesn’t fancy himself a political commentator, he does see fit to dispel some things.
“There’s different Americas. We are the United States, but there are different Americas to different Americans. Perhaps a lot of Oklahomans’ version of America is different from a New Yorker’s,” Rollins said. “The trials and tribulations of a city dweller might make an Oklahoman think, ‘What
“When you express concerns to some parts of America, it’s just not logical with other parts. You have 50 countries stitched together by the Constitution. I try to tread carefully through that. My message doesn’t change that much, but there are things I like to point out to audiences. There’s some misconceptions about how some of that goes down.”
Rollins has done many things in his 51 years, fronting bands, performing solo, writing, reporting, publishing, acting, DJing and fighting for change. He owes a great bit of that to the path forged by Okie Woody Guthrie.
“What a voice. What a great icon,” Rollins said. “He was one of America’s first punk rockers in that he stood up to the man, to the machine. When you hear him sing ‘This Land Is Your Land,’ it’s not how I sang it at summer camp in the fourth grade, this big ‘Kumbaya.’ It’s a hell of a thing to remind the powers that be at that time. Guthrie had a lot of guts.”
Rollins had similar roots as a singer-songwriter, although he’s long since ditched that world for spoken-word performance that mixes comedy, storytelling and reporting.
“If I was still playing music, I’d have to prismatically render that information into a lyric,” Rollins said. “Honestly, I don’t have that skill anymore. That desire left me a long time ago.”
Which isn’t to say that he doesn’t love music, saying that his favorite place in the world — other than onstage — is planted in front of a stereo. He hosts a radio show on California public-radio station KCRW, still championing punk and music beyond that.
“Punk rock will always be fine, as long as there is youth and electricity. It might not be as original or fresh-sounding as it once did, but it’s fine,” he said.
“I try not to be too judgmental. When you’re young, full of fury and someone hurls a guitar at it, it might not be Eric Clapton, but it’s allowing that person to emote. Maybe the music isn’t supposed to be that original all the time. Maybe it’s a vehicle for poetry, anger, emotion or a message.”