Joseph Dennis "Joe" Cole (April 10, 1961 – December 19, 1991) was a roadie for Black Flag and Rollins Band. He was also the best friend and roommate of the musician/author/actor Henry Rollins. His memoirs were published posthumously by 2.13.61 publishing, Planet Joe, in which he documented his experiences on the last Black Flag tour and first Rollins Band tour. He was shot and killed, aged 30, in a robbery at their home on December 19, 1991, as the pair returned from the video rental store (the robbery was precipitated by Rick Rubin's earlier visit to their home in an expensive car, likely leading the burglars to believe there was something of value to steal). The murder remains unsolved. Cole was 30 years old.
Rollins went on to publish a two-part book series, the first book chronicling his time with Cole as his roommate, See a Grown Man Cry, and the second Rollins' non-stop working to near-nervous breakdown in the year following Cole's death, Now Watch Him Die.
Sonic Youth's "JC" was inspired by Cole's murder, and the Sonic Youth song "100%" on their Dirty album was dedicated to him. The music video shows a reenactment of the police finding Cole, played by actor Jason Lee, dead.
At the time of his death, Cole was in a relationship with Babes in Toyland bassist, Michelle Leon. After his death, she was unable to face the rigors of touring and quit the group. Peers of Babes in Toyland, Hole, also dedicated their second studio album, Live Through This, to Joe Cole. Courtney Love's 2006 memoir, Dirty Blonde, also features a page as tribute to Joe Cole.
Joe Cole can be seen in many scenes of Dave Markey's movie, 1991: The Year Punk Broke as well as in some of Dave Markey's short films.