Broken Summers Summary & Study Guide

Henry Rollins
This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Broken Summers.
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Broken Summers Summary & Study Guide Description

Broken Summers Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Broken Summers by Henry Rollins.

Broken Summers follows the Rollins Band and Henry Rollins through the end of one tour and a period of time spent in L.A.. It includes the time span of developing the new album of Black Flag and the performances and subsequent tour to benefit the West Memphis Three. The West Memphis Three consists of three teenagers who were arrested and probably wrongly convicted of the murders of three second-grade boys in Memphis, and there is strong evidence that the West Memphis Three were railroaded by a community that was horrified and wanted to pin the crime on someone. When Henry Rollins takes up their cause, he devotes himself to spreading awareness and confronting the injustice of their imprisonment using the music, community, and music industry knowledge he gained from his years as a front man for Black Flag.

In the first section of Broken Summers, Henry Rollins is simply describing life on the road in a punk band. The scenes go from day to day, and Rollins sets up a dichotomy between life on the road, which is fulfilling and life in L.A., where there is nothing to do and no purpose to his activities. When the tour ends, and Rollins is back in the office all day every day, he is antsy and uncomfortable, and when he hears from Lorri Davis about Damien Echols and the West Memphis Three, he feels compelled to do something to help. He gets his band members on board and then starts to call in guest vocalists to record an album of Black Flag covers to benefit the West Memphis Three. He wants to help the defense pay for DNA testing of material that was not tested originally, which might prove that the West Memphis Three were innocent.

This cause turns into a series of concerts that are well received, and then Rollins takes his band on the road with the songs, and performs them in the U.S., Europe, and Australia. While he was only a Black Flag singer for a short time, and traveling now with his own band, the feedback he gets from the audience and from other musicians indicates that he carries the spirit of the original band. Reports keep coming back that Greg Ginn, who is also still playing Black Flag songs, no longer has the passion or the intensity to keep those songs alive, and this feeds Henry Rollins' philosophy of confrontation and aggression, intensity and focus. Rollins is not a drug-addicted or alcoholic rocker: he believes in keeping himself and his music pure, so he uses weightlifting and music to feed his aggression and keep him alive with resentment of an 'Amerikan' culture that he says is shallow and empty and weak. With music that is full of aggression, and with a workout routine that keeps him pumped and strong, he proves to his audience and to society that he still has "it" and that music matters because the experiences that it expresses, matter.

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This section contains 503 words
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