Twittering Machines

March 18th, 2011

Henry Rollins, Audiophile

Posted by michael lavorgna in Audio, Audiophiles, Music

Henry: Portrait of An Audiophile (Killer?)

Henry Rollins has a column in LA Weekly and in it he talks about things such as the importance of music and the pleasures of vinyl records. Henry, you see, is an audiophile (and an Einstürzende Neubauten fan as illustrated by that tat on his right shoulder).

Wonderful readers, pardon me while I wax euphoric about the simple and complete joy of listening to music from a vinyl source.

As I write to you now, I am listening to a pristine Canadian pressing of Television’s absolutely perfect Marquee Moon album. It is, to me, as good as music gets. The title track is one of the best things ever committed to magnetic tape. While the recently remastered CD version is excellent, there is but one way to truly enjoy the utter magnificence of the songs contained on this album and it is from the LP. Those of you who know what I’m talking about know exactly what I mean.

Yes, yes, y’all, it’s not hipster, elitist hype — vinyl sounds better. Much better. There is actual music in those grooves. Technically speaking, there is no music whatsoever on a CD. Lots of information but no music. Digital technology has made great strides to deliver a series of numbers to be read by a laser to emit that which is doing its damnedest to replicate its analog and sonically superior master. There are some very good CD players out there that sound incredible. I recommend the Rega Isis valve version, but even that cannot capture the full-bloom soundscape of your turntable interacting with an LP or single.

As an LP spins, your needle goes on the musical journey with you, traveling great distances as it deftly picks up the analog information and delivers the sonic message to you in real time. Vinyl is the people, a CD is the man.


Sitting in a room, alone, listening to a CD is to be lonely. Sitting in a room alone with an LP crackling away, or sitting next to the turntable listening to a song at a time via 7-inch single is enjoying the sublime state of solitude.

And finally…

Vinyl takes me to a very ecstatic place. My favorite day of the week is Friday. It’s a throwback from school and how much I hated it. I would sit in class all day long on that day, knowing that if I could somehow get through this oppressive, time-suffocating hell, I would eventually be able to go back to my room and put on Zeppelin’s IV. Do you know what I mean? Well, you should.

So, before your ears are too far gone, show them you love them and get a turntable plugged into your system immediately. Get some good records and get down with it! To those of you who never stopped playing albums or, like some people I know, absolutely refuse to listen to music from any digital source, I salute your purity. I fall woefully short in that department and listen to digitally processed impostor sounds on a daily basis. But whenever I can, it is vinyl all the way.

I recommend reading all of Henry Rollins’ thoughts as he’s a thoughtful guy. And just in case you’re thinking – ‘so he owns records, that doesn’t make him an audiophile’, Henry also owns Wilson loudspeakers:

Hours later, there I was, sitting happily in front of my Wilson Sophia 3 speakers, soaking up every drop of this exquisite album. It was a perfect experience.

Product placement par excellence. You gotta problem with that? Talk to Henry.

Photo by Ken Mierzwa

9 Responses to ' Henry Rollins, Audiophile '

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  1. Stephen Mejias said,

    on March 18th, 2011 at 9:24 am


  2. Tulkinghorn said,

    on March 18th, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Just so people don’t get the wrong idea about the august and very grey-flannel Tribune Company, Rollins’s column appears in the LA Weekly, which is what passes for an ‘alternative’ newspaper these days, not the LA Times…..

  3. on March 18th, 2011 at 10:22 am

    Thanks for the correction. I edited accordingly since this doesn’t change the content of the post.

  4. Andy said,

    on March 18th, 2011 at 11:34 am

    I took the time to read the whole article. Well worth it.

    I will be spreading it to my friends when they come to my next ‘Vinyl Night’

    Thanks for pointing it out.

  5. ken mac said,

    on March 18th, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    he’s cool. those tats are gnarly too.

  6. Simon Wilson said,

    on March 18th, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    “What if you told them that there’s a music scene in Tehran that is so underground, you have to use a shovel to get to it?”

    Mr. Rollins always had such a lovely turn of phrase. Also, when they played here all those years ago, I was genuinely frightened!

  7. Robert Browne said,

    on March 19th, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    For those interested, Henry Rollins has a weekly radio show that broadcasts on KCRW. Also available via internet. More show info including archives at:

    Henry spins some great stuff. Enjoy!

  8. on March 20th, 2011 at 10:06 pm

    Thanks Robert – I will stream Henry later tonight (and it looks like those show notes are also worth reading).


  9. Robert Browne said,

    on April 13th, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Henry will be spinning at Amoeba in LA on Saturday, April 16 for Record Store Day. Info at the link below:

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