It Girl

Welcome to the Cult of Katie Rose. Hope your liver can handle it

On her left arm, Katie sports a large tattoo, an elaborate design with the words "forever your soldier" cutting through the middle.

She got it in 2005, in honor of her mother, who died a month later.

"I sat for 12 hours and we did the whole outline in one sitting," she says. "When I went to visit her at the hospice, I showed it to her and she tried to lick it off. I was like, 'No, mom, it's there forever.' It meant something to her, and she didn't even like tattoos."

Katie Rose on guitar.
Giulio Sciorio
Katie Rose on guitar.
William Reed behind the decks at Shake!
William Reed behind the decks at Shake!

Katie struggles with some of the same demons her mother did -- like drugs.

"We were really close. She taught me guitar," Katie says. "My mom was very hippish and had her own struggles, too, but she came out of that and turned herself into a very successful woman."

It's clear Katie wants the same for herself. She says she wants to make a name for herself in music, but for now she's become locally famous more for promoting, bartending and spinning records at The Rogue, a bar at which she'd been hanging out and playing shows for years with her various bands (first the Tempe Tramps and later -- but no longer -- with Hell on Heels, one of the Valley's only successful all-girl punk bands, currently working on recording their second record with Bomp Records).

In the summer of 2004, she says, The Rogue's entire bar staff quit.

The bar's manager called her, even though she'd never officially poured a drink. He said, "We don't have a staff. We need you to bartend."

"I don't bartend," Katie Rose said.

"You do now."

And a startender was born.


The concept of faux celebrities is, of course, not specific to Phoenix. Los Angeles has the Cobra Snake, a geeky guy named Mark Hunter who snaps photos of pretty girls in American Apparel outfits and drunk people at hip bars and posts them on his Web site, www.thecobrasnake.com. Taking party pics doesn't seem like a job that could elevate anyone to celebrity status, but Hunter has managed to collect groupies, most of them wide-eyed, underage girls, on both coasts.

Cobra Snake's East Coast counterpart, Merlin Bronques of Last Night's Party (www.lastnightsparty.com), uses the same basic concept, but pushes the boundaries by featuring partially dressed, or, often, totally nude, "urban pinups" on his site, in addition to the pictures he posts from his debaucherous, and apparently very sexy, nightlife at Manhattan bars like Happy Endings, Scenic, and Don Hills.

Turns out photographing drunk people dancing to Bloc Party and posing bleary-eyed in dirty restrooms is actually something people care about -- according to Manhattan gossip blog gawker.com, Bronques has plans to publish a book full of his Last Night's Party pictures. Not only that, Sapa, a swanky midtown New York restaurant, now offers a contest where patrons can enter to win a dinner with Bronques and "the hottest DJs, scenesters, fashionistas, go-go dancers, drag queens and urban pinups downtown has to offer."

Keep in mind, these "VIPs" do nothing but drink, drug, dance and take pictures of each other. Yet somehow they've elevated themselves to celebrity status at a restaurant that also serves the likes of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michael Keaton.

This is the world of the downtown debutante -- people who are famous because they say they are and because others listen. Kind of like Paris Hilton, only with a better soundtrack and vintage outfits. And less money.

As far as self-made faux celebrities go, the MisShapes, a threesome of surly New York City club kids (LoveLeigh, Geo and Greg K.) and longtime Last Night's Party stars, have elevated themselves to deity status. The trio, none of whom goes by last names, host/DJ MisShapes, a Lower East Side dance party named after a song by Britpop legends Pulp.

That is all they do. And they've got the entire NYC club scene eating from the palms of their hands.

Of the three, Leigh gets the most attention. New York magazine named her one of the most influential New Yorkers, and she's the cover girl for Swedish band The Sounds' new album Dying to Say This To You.

The 22-year-old has managed to build a career on fashionable hair, a patented surly look, the fact that she's extremely photogenic, and a group of wanna-be-hip kids who follow and worship her every move.

Kinda like Katie Rose.


Katie Rose is 23 tonight, and she's lording over a table of the Valley's cool kids at her birthday party at Casey Moore's in Tempe. To her left sits William Reed (better known as William "Fucking" Reed), DJ at The Rogue's very successful Saturday night dance party Shake!, and his girlfriend Celine. Across the table is Katie Rose's boyfriend TeeRoy, designer of the popular local clothing line Debris Blanc. Dirty Dave, former Hot Pink! DJ who now works with Reed at The Rogue, sits to her left. Behind her is a table filled with girlfriends, models and fellow bartenders -- the ladies in waiting to the queen of the scene.

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3 comments
carolinafirerescue
carolinafirerescue

What an amazing story about Katie, going through Detox in Phoenix is not an easy thing to do, but she did it! I went to http://www.arizonadetoxcenters.org for detox, it worked but was the hardest decision I had to make in a long time. After that went to rehab, and I'm now clean and sober.

Bomisfit
Bomisfit

well could you tell me where she is now in 2011?

 
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