Prodigal Rogerson, The: The Tragic, Hilarious and Possibly Apocryphal Story of Circle Jerks Bassist Roger Rogerson in the Golden Age of LA Punk, 1979-1996, By J. Hunter Bennett
While the lengthy subtitle for this very short book is delivered in tongue-in-cheek fashion, it’s a spot-on description of what the reader can expect. Delivered in a whimsical yet factually rigorous style, Bennett’s book seeks to answer the question, “Whatever happened to Roger Rogerson?”
The Circle Jerks first bass player saw his role decrease and then disappear after a drug overdose that landed him in the Red Blanket Room, which inspired the Circle Jerks song of the same name. But where did he come from and, more importantly, where did he go? What prompted his return to L.A. where he would fatally overdose under mysterious circumstances in 1996?
Bennett uncovers all kinds of fascinating information about Rogerson whose peculiar lingo was as strange as it was infectious. When I was working on Keith Morris’s book My Damage, the stories he told me about Roger sync up with what’s presented in The Prodigal Rogerson. Bennett, however, goes much deeper into Rogerson’s antics and chronicles his post Circle Jerks career, which included a stint in a band with Kristy McNichol’s brother.
Bennett also presents never-before-published information about Rogerson’s short and mysterious military career and the source of much rumor, innuendo, and speculation, much of it fueled by Rogerson.
A worthy footnote to an enigmatic career and a highly recommended read for both fans of the L.A. punk scene and Circle Jerks completists. –Jim Ruland (Microcosm Publishing, 2752 N Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227)