Punk Rock Paradise

Our demon scribes hit the Rogue, the best place to see girls take off their tops and French kiss

"Thanks. I've been a platinum blonde for a long time. My hair's really soft. Wanna feel?"

Devn allows me to molest her follicles, for which I'm eternally grateful. As she shares her life story, she bends one leg, then the other behind her back -- catching her foot with one hand, and balancing herself on one leg, back and forth. Flexible lass.

"I'm moving out to L.A. in July. I plan to live right in the heart of Hollywood. A little ghetto, I know. But I'm gonna do what I can while I'm there."


Suddenly she breaks into song, snapping her fingers. "'Everybody comes to Holly-wood/They wanna make it in the neigh-bor-hood.'"

"You go, girl," I tell her, doing my best Ryan Seacrest. "Are you in a band?"

"Yep, it's called Up Against Transit," she says. "I used to be in a different band called Between the Lines, but they were all 'straight edge' and I couldn't handle it."

"Straight edge," repeats the Jettster. "You mean, like vegans who don't drink or smoke or anything?"

"Right," says Devn. "And you can imagine how hard that would be for me, hanging out at the Rogue on PBR night, sucking back brews."

"Why do you wanna move to La-La Land?" asks Jett.

"I think I've conquered Arizona," she responds. "I've done all I can out here. I've played with all the people I want to play with. Hollywood's a dirty place, but a lot of fun. And it really inspires me -- the energy, and all the culture in the clubs. But before I move out, we're gonna play a night at Hot Pink, I think. Sometime 'round late May."

Reckon I'll have to check that out before Devn heads to L.A. and blows up. I wish her luck, and she and Jett both run back into the club. I'm left out on the stoop with various other meandering souls. One of them's Arrow, 27, a fella sporting stringy black hair and a black tee. I didn't plan it this way, but come to find out, he's Devn's partner in Up Against Transit. He tells me he plays synth in the group.

"Dude, where did you get that name?"

"My hippie parents gave it to me," he says, pushing the hair out of his eyes. "It's kinda embarrassing. It's from this really old, animated film The Point, which Ringo Starr narrates."

"Nutty. So how long you been coming to the Rogue?"

"For a while. I came here once when it used to be called Sneaky Pete's, a couple of years back. That was after I moved out here from Yuma."

"Yuma. Wow! One place that's actually hotter than P-town. Phoenix must be like Paris to you, bub."

"Yeah," he says. "There's nothing in Yuma. Now I live right across the street."

"When you don't have to drive to your drinking spot, you're in good stead," I comment. "So what do you do to maintain, when you're not playing keyboards?"

"I work," he says, nonspecifically. "Nothing special. Just four hours a day. Enough to live."

"Ever gotten lucky at this place?" I wonder.

"The Rogue? Yeah, a few times. But if you wanna get laid, just go to some jock hangout. Like Dos Gringos, or some place like that. Those bitches are really easy."

I thank Arrow for the advice on where to score, and go back into the club to see if I can find Jett, when I run smack into the side of a mountain named Simon Rohrich, who happens to be pounding brews with the near-ubiquitous Gatsby. We conversate, while I scan the crowd for Jett. Simon's been showing Gatsby the play-by-play of the night on his digital camera.

"I always carry one of these around," says Simon of his high-tech Instamatic. "Otherwise, people wouldn't believe me."

"'Bout what?" I query.

"Like, the other night, there were three girls beating the crap out of each other, and here they are. I also have a Web site, www.imageevent.com/larjman. It's a photo dump site with about 1,500 pictures in different albums, all about my lifestyle."

Seems Simon, whose head is shaven and looks like he could go toe-to-toe with Goldberg in the wrestling ring, is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and some of his site is devoted to the bouts he gets into, where he and his comrades wear full body armor and beat the bejesus out of each other.

"It's not choreographed," he explains. "It's a real fight. We get together every Wednesday night at Encanto Park and go at it. Come check it out sometime."

"Hey, I wanna see that," says Jett, coming up from behind, a beer in each hand and as tight as Horatio Sanz's BVDs. "I wanna see someone get hurt."

"Check your bathroom mirror tomorrow morning," I tell her. "I have a feeling you're gonna see one lightweight in a world of pain."

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