Punk rock icon HENRY ROLLINS has revealed that one of the songs originally planned for the his West Memphis Three benefit compilation, "Rise Above", was pulled from the album's final track listing after the track's designated vocalist had a change of heart about the guilt of the three men convicted in the controversial case.
"The singer from PENNYWISE, Jim Lindberg, came on board early on and did a great job singing 'I Don't Care'," Rollins told Steppin' Out magazine, "But then two days before we were done mixing, he pulls his track from the record … He said, 'I think they're guilty.' "
This minor setback aside, Rollins was successful in landing most of the singers he wanted to appear on the album, which was released in October through 2.13.61/Sanctuary Records. However, there were a few exceptions.
"I don't mind when a manager calls me back and says 'I'm sorry, we can't do it.' We got that a few times. It was the managers that never got back to me that bothered me," Rollins said. "I know they know who I am and they know the name BLACK FLAG. They might not know who the West Memphis Three are, but I know they know my manager. So it's not like, 'Henry who?' We sent out very well made up cover letters and press packets and went through the proper channels. We deserved a return phone call or e-mail. Even if just the assistant called us back and said no thank you. Then we would go away. But no response is really offensive to me. I can't help but take it personally. I feel like saying to those managers, 'You professional catfish! You live off 15 percent of the blood and talent of someone else... you don't hear me knocking, motherfucker! If you see me in the parking lot of your office building, you'll know I'm knocking! You don't have the body weight not to call me back!' It's not like I was making a BLACK FLAG tribute album and I'm looking to get paid. I'm not making any money on this at all. It's not like we're talking about free the whales either! We're at war here, and we're trying to save these kids' lives. It got to the point where we just called the artists themselves, right at home, and in most cases they were more than happy to come in and do this for us."
The subjects of two successful HBO-produced documentaries, "Paradise Lost" parts I and II, the West Memphis Three is a group of young men who were unjustly tried and convicted of the murders of three young boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993. In an effort to win a new trial (so two of the men can be released and one of them, Damien Echols, can be spared the death penalty), the trio are in a desperate need of money to pay for their overwhelming legal costs.