Punk Rock Paradise

After blowing most of our dolo at that swank strip club Skin last week, Jett and I needed a low-rent joint at which to chillax (that's chill and relax, yo). Fortunately, my pally Gatsby, ribald renaissance man and massage therapist to club hotties, had a semi-genius idea for us.

"Monday night is PBR night at the Rogue," explained the G-man, known far and wide in PHX for his ability to spit game. "Everybody goes there, Kreme. Mainly because the PBR is 50 cents a can."

Fifty cents a can?! Sure, PBR ain't exactly Hypnotiq, but for half a buck, I'd knock back Macy Gray's sweat in a shot glass if it were fermented. That is, assuming I was as light in the wallet as I've been since Jett went through all my $20s last week getting lap dances.

So with the lezzie Halle Berry ridin' shotgun, we cruise down to 423 North Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, where the Rogue shares a parking lot with Friendly Market Discount Liquor. On Monday night, that lot is jammed, as are all the side streets, with motorcycles and hoopties.

Inside, the Rogue is one big, cavernous hall, decorated with neon PBR signs, black-and-white posters of Robert De Niro from Taxi Driver and a young Johnny Cash, and a punk rock mural featuring Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and Sid Vicious. To the right are three pool tables and a big-screen TV playing exploitation videos. To the left is the bar, which tonight is at least three-deep with tatted, Von Dutch-wearin', white-trash-chic chicks, and dudes in tees and jeans with big belt buckles. We ease up to the corner of the bar, where a small cluster is watching a pair of cuties stick their tongues down each other's throats.

I nudge the lesbo Jay-Z, but she's got peepers only for the Rogue's lone bar siren, the lovely Rik Dimmick, 33, who's been slingin' suds at this spot for the last couple of years. She has long, black hair, alabaster skin, and a curvaceous frame, and nearly everyone rocking a PBR at the bar is making pie-eyes at her. But Rik seems fine with the attention. After all, she's used to a pretty rowdy crowd.

"It's tough being a bartender at a dive bar, period," she tells me, as Jett drools. "I've had cigarettes thrown at my back, and cans. I've had to fly over the bar a few times and break up fights. But I don't have to do that anymore because now we have security."

"Cool," says Jett, duly impressed. "So, uh, why PBR?"

"Actually, it was my ex-husband's idea," she responds. "He used to work here, too. He's from Long Beach, and it's a big Long Beach thing to drink PBR. But the kids love it because it's cheap. Normally, it's only $1 a can. But from 7 p.m. to midnight on Monday, it's 50 cents, and the PBR rep comes in and gives away tee shirts and stuff. It's the busiest night of the week for us."

"Give us an example of how crazy Monday nights are," I ask.

"Well, let's say it's the best place to see a girl take off her top or make out with another girl," she says, laughing. "I like to say, 'The Rogue -- the best place to meet a girl, for the evening.' It gets so wild that we've even had guys get naked and dance on the bar."

I try to block that last, unwelcome image of male sexuality as we wade into the crowd, PBRs in hand. The jukebox is blasting that X song "Los Angeles," and the first gal we bump into is punk nymphet Andrea Okamura, 23, whose coal-black hair is pulled back behind her ears and whose arms are crossed over a black wife-beater with a skull-and-crossbones on it.

Reminds me a little of Christina Ricci, 'cept that her flesh is a butter-pecan brown instead of baby-powder white (at least in this light). She tells us she's a roller-derby girl, with the team Smash Squad.

"I've been doing it for about three months now," she explains. "My skate name is 'Krystie I'mahoochie.' I'm number 1-900. You know, like phone sex."

"That's funny," says Jett. "You guys get injuries doing that?"

"I've bruised my thumb. That's about it for me. But one of our girls did break her leg the other day in five spots. We have an injuries page up at, if you wanna check it out."

"Damn!" I say. "And I thought all that roller-derby crap was fake."

Jett pops me in the belly, and Krystie I'mahoochie stares at me like she's about to go all Lucy Liu on my ass.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons