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- Posted on Jun 29th 2010 2:30PM by Pat Pemberton
"I got a lot of letters about that one," Rollins tells Spinner. "[They asked], 'Why didn't you give him s---?'"
During the interview, Simmons was characteristically arrogant, bragging about his wealth and sex life, saying things like, "I'm delusionally in love with myself," "I'm fascinating" and "I get paid hideously well." At one point, an exasperated Rollins could only respond with an awkward, "Nice."
It was an unusually tepid response from a man known to be outspoken (the former Black Flag singer is currently touring the country giving spoken-word performances). But, Rollins says he saw no reason to challenge Simmons.
"I'm not going to argue with a man in his 50s who's set in his ways," he says. "He was just doing his shtick. I decided he brought his own rope with him and he felt like making a hangman's noose, so I let him do his thing. There's nothing to argue with."
'The Henry Rollins Show' ended its run on IFC in 2007, but reruns -- including the Simmons interview -- still air on the network. The show featured spoken word bits by Rollins plus musical guests and interviews with handpicked guests like Chuck D, Jeff Bridges and Steve Buscemi.
"The high points were Gore Vidal and Larry Flynt and Werner Herzog," Rollins says. "Herzog was just a thrill to meet. Oliver Stone is always interesting -- he just thinks differently. Samuel L. Jackson was very interesting because we stayed off the topic of acting and got into topics around the civil rights movement, which he was involved in."
But Simmons made Rollins noticeably uncomfortable. Still, Rollins says he wasn't surprised by Simmons' demeanor.
"I've known Gene for a long time," Rollins says. "That's just Gene doing his thing. Gene has found the two things in life he loves -- money and Gene Simmons."
While Simmons came off as self absorbed and obsessed with money, Rollins said the rocker is harmless.
"I don't think he's a bad guy. Because it's all out in the open," Rollins says. "He's not subtle, nor is he trying to obscure inconvenient or ugly aspects of himself. There it is, right in front of your face. You can like it or not. You don't have to go to the concert, and you don't have to buy the Kiss coffin."