Reviews J. Hunter Bennett The Prodigal Rogerson: The Tragic, Hilarious, and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996

J. Hunter Bennett

The Prodigal Rogerson: The Tragic, Hilarious, and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996

In 1983, Circle Jerks bassist Roger Rogerson stole the band’s van and dropped off the face of the earth. Thirteen years later, he came back, demanded that his bandmates reunite so they could become “bigger than The Beatles,” and promptly dropped dead. Though he was a founding member and key songwriter of the band who played on three of their best albums, Rogerson was lost to history. In a compelling narrative woven out of interviews with who knew him, with never-before-published photos of the band, The Prodigal Rogerson explains what happened to Rogerson, where he went, and who he was—all against the backdrop of the Los Angeles punk scene in its prime. 

Growing up in Europe one imagined that NYC was where the wild things were, not unlike the compilation of the same name suggested, and that the West Coast was laid-back and easy going. Visits during my formative years and eye witness reports of scenesters proved that the place that spawned melodic punk rock, was in its hey days a hotbed for violence, mayhem and all kinds of craziness. 

Bennett uses interviews Rogerson’s family, ex-bandmates, companions, record label owners, journalists, managers and other contemporaries as a foundation and puts it into context or comments on the life and times of Roger Rogerson, who led a strange and varied life.
Part comedy, part tragedy, it is a fast paced read and you find yourself intrigued, shaking your head or utterly amused by the shenanigans of the main protagonist.

7.2 / 10T
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7.2 / 10

7.2 / 10

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