Here we have Henry Rollins telling us what brought him from icecream server to the frontman of the iconic American punk band, Black Flag. In a nutshell it went kind of like this:
In 1981 he was a college dropout assistant managing a Häagen Dazs in Washington, D.C.
Then, after to being to a Black Flag gig in New York – during which he climbed onstage and sung a song with them — he was asked by the band if he wanted to audition for lead singer of the the band. He got the job and quit selling icecream.
In this clip he talks about how lucky he feels and how little he had to lose: if he didn’t give it a shot, he’d find himself looking down the barrel of a long, hard existence on his feet, answering to customers all day, every day. If he gave it a shot and didn’t make it, he’d at worst feel humiliated, but, as he puts it, ‘humiliation and young people kind of go together.’
As he says himself:
I don’t have talent, I have tenacity. I have discipline. There was no choice for me but to work really hard.
He goes on to say that without relying on his four pillars of ‘application, discipline, focus, repetition’, an entity he calls ‘the America would have gotten the better of him. This term, ‘the America’ refers to the constant threat he feels of crushing mediocrity in the US.
Every moment I am alive is because I have not been murdered by the America…The tasks I set out for myself are what I do to beat the perfect pointlessness of life.
Whatever you think about Rollins his perspective is worth listening too…yes his joining Black Flag might have been a lucky break but as Brian Eno once said, ‘Luck is being ready’.
Via Open Culture
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