The Rogue

By the time I’d reached my colleagues on the second floor of The Irish Rogue, I’d navigated a labyrinth of dough-headed bouncers, slow-poke tourists, and beer-goggled frat brothers.

“Jesus, Rod,” I said, “When did you go and pledge Sigma Nu?”

Say what you will about The MTV (and the press has: see “Does MTV Still Rock?” or “MTV: Tone Deaf At 25” or “Viewers Abandon MTV Video Music Awards”), the place employs some intelligent, passionate, and downright good people.

Take Rod Perez. I met Rod on a soggy winter day in 2000. I was interviewing his buddy — let’s call him Carl, because I don’t remember his name — with whom Rod had road tripped from Toronto. Both dudes worked for our Canadian competition, Much Music. (I love hiring the competition.) My HR contact said, “Why don’t you interview Rod too.”

Obviously, I hired Rod.

Dude knew his way around music. Still does. It’s not that he can name drop whatever is cool and hip and current (not that I’d know Aberdeen City from Say Hi To Your Mom), it’s that he can talk with intelligence and passion about how it makes him feel, and why: the secret chord, minor fall, the major lift.

Sure, Rod’s Playlist should rival Stereogum by now (much as I love the good Mr. Lapatine), and sure, Rod should have released at least one solo album following the demise of his synth-pop trio, Hamster. But…

Rod’s last day with News was Friday. And though The Irish Rogue’s pool table, poor music selection, and general populace in no way reflected the man’s individuality, at least the establishment’s name did.

We knocked back a few, talked music, and got misty. Eight fifteen rolled around, though, and I turned into a Harp-flavored pumpkin.

“I gotta go,” I said, “I have to swim to Brooklyn in the morning.”

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