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Rollins inspired by manic Morrison

Henry recalls discovering The Doors as a 7-year-old as he presents Inspiration award

Henry Rollins says being inspired by Jim Morrison's rage at the age of just seven set him on his way to being a lifelong fan of The Doors.

The Black Flag hero was at the Classic Rock Roll Of Honour gala event in Los Angeles this week to present the Inspiration award to The Doors and he says Morrison was the first singer he ever heard who came across as genuinely angry.

As an impressionable seven-year-old, Rollins lapped it up.

He tells Nicky Horne on the Classic Rock Magazine Show: "I remember my mother bought the first Doors record and I said, ‘A band called The Doors.’ I thought it was funny, until I heard the record.

"I’m like six or seven years of age, so a lot of it’s flying right over my head, but it’s the first person that I could remember singing and being angry. And being loud – and not being loud in a funny way, like Sam The Sham singing Woolly Bully, where he’s just acting out.

"Morrison’s furious. When you hear Break On Through, the lyric, he’s basically saying, ‘You look good to me, but you’re holding me down, I’m out of here.’ That’s heavy, and the way he’s screaming, for a little kid it’s kind of terrifying.

"Me and the babysitter would sing Doors songs and so The Doors became part of my listening as a young person. Then when I got older, as a young late teenager, early 20-something guy, you hear The Doors in a totally different way.

"You hear the poetry, you hear the power of the lyric and then you find out he read Arthur Rimbaud, so you got to go get Arthur Rimbaud’s writing, and that’s monumental. That he was into Antonin Artaud, you read that stuff which is really far out and you become even more inspired."

As Black Flag went from underground hardcore act to cult heroes, Rollins bumped into members of The Doors and was struck by how warm they were, especially keyboard player Ray Manzarek.

He adds: "He was very hip, he was very aware of what was going on in music, he was very interested in the fact that I was in Black Flag, and what we were doing.

"Having a slightly human relationship with The Doors, shaking those hands on and off through the years has really humanised them and tonight I get to say thank you on stage, so I leapt at the opportunity."

Hear the full three-hour Classic Rock Magazine Show special edition from the Classic Rock Roll of Honour on demand now.

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