Saturday, December 20, 2008

Henry Rollins and Dock Ellis

I just added these two guys to the Thieves Jargon influences page earlier this week and was meaning to make note of it, and then Dock Ellis died today, so that's some fucked up voodoo.

Henry Rollins was the first guy who I read and I got the feeling that I'd like to be a writer, too. And it's not because his style is easy for a young writer to try and imitate (a lot of the time, it is). What's lasted for me is that he's the guy I turn to when I need to get my moral compass straightened out. Work hard all the time, never say no, accept help grudgingly, break the record just to break the record. I never got into lifting weights, but yeah, huge influence. I try to see him speak whenever he comes through Boston. As a band, I don't need Black Flag in my life, but "Get in the Van," his biography of the road days in Flag is pretty raw and motivating.

Dock Ellis was one of those guys (like Doc Thompson) that you get into because of their drug stories, and then find out there's way more behind them. Ellis threw a no-hitter on acid, hit Reggie Jackson in the face with a baseball after Reggie hit one of the longest home runs ever in an All Star game against him, got maced trying to get into a game, and spent his last years counseling against drugs and addiction. As an Outspoken Black in the late 60s, he had to fight through some severe racism, but always came off with style and intelligence.

There's a lot of fun to be had during the holidays, but there can be some severe lows as well. Everybody: have fun if you can, and take care if you can't.

4 comments:

renaissance jones said...

well said, DiGangi.

Calvin P. said...

Here's Dock,
tellin' it

on the Tube:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNzMBwq1uqU

Matt DiGangi said...

Hey Cal,

Thanks for that Dock link. I tried getting in touch with the Pirates a few years ago to try and finagle a copy of the ballgame in question, but they weren't having it.

Anonymous said...

Bob Dylan wtoe a song about it! Heh.

"One play I caught the ball and tagged the base and thought, hey I just scored a touchdown."