It Girl

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

Since Shake! began, The Rogue has experienced a surge in business, something Maertens credits at least partially to Katie Rose. These days, everyone associated with the bar, from its nightly DJs to its bar staff, is a friend of hers. She's built an attractive staff, making the bar the place to be seen for a certain social group.

Reed agrees that the night he and Katie created has transformed The Rogue.

"Shake! has helped popularize the venue in general," he says. "They've reaped the benefits above and beyond Saturday night because of Shake!. I can back that up without sounding arrogant -- just look at the numbers."

Katie Rose at work.
Luke Holwerda
Katie Rose at work.
Jared Donkersly co-founded the Palo Verde's Donkey Show with Katie Rose.
Jared Donkersly co-founded the Palo Verde's Donkey Show with Katie Rose.

When Shake! took off, suddenly Katie Rose was everywhere. When she started bartending at the Palo Verde Lounge, a Tempe dive bar, she created another night called The Donkey Show, this time with her boyfriend, TeeRoy, and his roommate Jared Donkersly behind the decks. The flier designed to promote the night touted her as a "celebrity bartender," feeding the image that was starting to surround her.

"I didn't even make that flier," she says. "My friends made so much fun of me for that. Everyone was like, 'Oh, can you sign my flier?' It was kind of embarrassing."

A few months later, when wanna-be party monster/glamour-puss Jonny Noir launched his now-defunct party Filthy/Gorgeous at Ain't Nobody's Bizness, his flier advertised "appearances by William Fucking Reed and Katie Rose." The flier didn't advertise that Katie would bartend or Reed would DJ. It simply advertised their presence was expected.

To Reed, it makes sense that people pay attention to Katie.

"There's no one else like Katie Rose in this town," he says. "She a startender, but she's also just Katie Rose. She's a musician and entrepreneur. When she wants something, she gets it. One day she's going to be on the cover of Rolling Stone."


Being the Phoenix hipster set's most recognizable face has its pitfalls. There is enough scandal surrounding Katie Rose to make Lindsay Lohan look boring. Surprisingly, instead of trying to deny what people say, she ignores it and/or admits to it, depending on how true the rumor is.

"I'm fucking used to it by now. It used to make me insecure, and I have a lot of social anxiety. But now I'm like, 'Fuck it,'" she says. "I understand how rumors are. You see someone making out with someone, and it gets translated to you saw them butt-fucking in the alley."

One rumor Katie Rose openly confirms is the cocaine addiction for which she just did a stint in detox.

"I used coke every day. If the sun went down, I had already scored. Oh my God, did I just say 'scored'?" she says, taking a long drag on her Camel Silver cigarette, from her perch in a black corner booth at The Rogue. "It was a $40 to $80-a-night thing. If it was dark outside, I was probably high."

She admits to using the drug off and on since she was 17 or 18, but says her use got worse over the past year, peaking when her mother died of cancer six months ago.

"I've noticed myself slacking on things I really want to do. My fuse started getting shorter and shorter. I've been getting in fistfights," she says. "That's so bro of me. Who am I? A college bro? Am I going to start building beeramids? It's embarrassing."

The day before she enters detox, she sits on a barstool at The Rogue chain-smoking and drinking vodka, trying to figure out how she got there. Her usually enormous hair is covered in a newsboy cap. She looks drained from a doctor's appointment earlier that day. Her mother is very much on her mind tonight.

"My blood and piss reek of cocaine," she says. "I'm thinking my mom's probably pissed off at me for doing this to myself."

She takes another deep drag and sighs as she thinks about what she has to do tomorrow. At the moment she looks like anything but a "celebrity." She looks partied out and ready to go home.

A week later, she's back at The Rogue, fresh from rehab and in top Katie Rose form. In hot pants and full makeup, she alternately sucks down cigarettes and Bud Lights and announces she has been drug-free for one week. She made it through Shake! a few days before without touching drugs -- quite an accomplishment in a scene known for its cocaine use -- and says she's been to a few N.A. meetings since she left detox a day ahead of schedule on early release, per the detox center's team of doctors. She's called all her dealers and told them not to call or text message her. She's told her friends not to bring drugs around her.

"I was worried about coming home and having people say, 'What, she doesn't party anymore?' but they respected it," she says. "My huge debate was should I be sober and use nothing, like no alcohol. But I decided as long as I stay on track and keep going to the N.A. meetings, I would be okay. I'm scared to go too extreme because I'm afraid of snapping."

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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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