Get In The Van: On The Road With Black Flag

By Henry Rollins

(2.13.61 Publications, 1994)

A captivating dip into the detailed tour diaries of hardcore punk icon Henry Rollins when he was fronting Black Flag in the 1980s, Get In The Van is the very definition of a warts-and-all account.

Documenting a tumultuous 6 years on the road from 1981 with the celebrated L.A. punks, Rollins personal account documents both the thrill and the pain of the being the lead singer of a seminal band with a sizeable cult following but a lack of money and a deep antagonism with law enforcement.

The near 6 years of incessant touring across America (and a tough slog across England) in the confines of a small van is brought to life by Rollins’ lucid prose, and the shocking tales of violent run-ins with cops, overzealous fans, substance abuse and hunger leave their mark on the reader. Maybe the rock ‘n’ roll life isn’t so glamorous after all.

In the most recent edition of the book Rollins added new foreword and afterword, along with 40 previously unpublished black-and-white photographs and flyers for gigs created by the brother of guitarist Greg Ginn, artist Raymond Pettibon.

The book has become something of a collector’s item in recent years with it being so difficult to get hold of, but is well worth picking up should you track it down.