Last Night: Henry Rollins’ KCRW Benefit at the Echoplex

Henry Rollins was at the Echoplex last night, putting on a benefit for KCRW that could only be described as two hours of intense music geekery.

It was great.

A little over 300 people gathered to hear Rollins dig deep into his personal collection of rare recordings and play all kinds of songs he isn’t allowed to play on the radio–mostly because the tapes were given to him personally by the artists or their families under the promise that they could never be leaked or bootlegged. Rollins then told the often crazy backstory of how each track came into his possession.

Our favorites tracks and tales:

Listening to Dee Dee Ramone’s painful foray into hip-hop under the name Dee Dee King. Rollins’ played truly the worst hip-hop song ever made called “Mashed Potato Time,” with, inexplicably, Deborah Harry on backup vocals. Never have two such immensely talented people been involved in such a train wreck.

Rollins’ tale of rescuing the original Stooges master tapes for “Raw Power” from Belgian freebooters–so he could bring them back to America and bring up the background vocals that David Bowie drowned out on the album’s original mix.

Also amazing: Listening to a bootleg version of “Pay to Cum” from Bad Brains’ second ever show. Rollins got a hold of the tape from Bad Brains singer HR when the latter was homeless, living on the streets of DC. He told Rollins to “hold on to this for me” and Rollins has been holding it ever since.

A great night.

Photos: Jeremiah Garcia