Friday, December 24, 2010

Neil Rogers RIP



It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Neil Rogers.

Neil was a formative influence in my life and helped shape who I am today.  He was smart, funny, irreverent, fearless, and spoke -- sometimes yelled -- truth to power.

Even when he started in South Florida, doing "issue" radio in the mid-70s, he was sui generis.  Although Neil followed in the footsteps of other brash Miami radio icons such as Alan Burke, his persona was entirely different -- Neil knew his yiddishisms, like Burke did, but he took his personal obsessions, quirks, and idiosyncrasies and made them compelling, groundbreaking entertainment.

By the time he abandoned the issue format and let loose his freewheeling mix of hockey, horse racing, movies, politics, cheapskate Canadians, fart jokes, song parodies, and condo commandos, Neil was in orbit and brought his listeners along for the ride.  He exposed phonies, fraud, injustice and pretense, joked about the petty frustrations of life in South Florida, battled with his radio colleagues, censors and management, and proudly wore his political leanings and sexuality on his sleeve at a time and in a place (sports radio) where neither were especially welcomed.

Thank you Neil for saving so many of us, along with all the jokes.

18 comments:

  1. He was the best. I am heartbroken. Many a long day at the office reading boring depos was passed listening to Uncle Neil. He was brave, talented beyond belief, and a Miami original. I have missed him since he left the airways. Another tough loss in a very bad December 2010.

    Rest in Peace Uncle Neil.

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  2. Thank you. Very sad.

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. I would give just about anything to hear him talk up the I-95 song just one more time. Make fun of Steve Kane, play the Stan Majors song, play the cart at Christmas time, and just one more time hear Larry King mutter "Can you loan me fifty dollars?"

    You were the very best Neil. You brought me thousands of hours over decades of joy and happiness listening to your radio show. Rest In Peace my friend.

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  5. Neil wakes me up in the morning...
    Neil wakes me up with a smile
    driving to work in my rolls with Zeta 4 on the dial.

    Neil Neil Neil he's the one yeah
    Neil Neil Neil Neil Neil....

    (sniffle)

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  6. Neil wakes me up in the morning...
    Neil wakes me up with a smile
    driving to work in my rolls with the darling Neil and Zeta 4 on the dial.

    Neil Neil Neil he's the one yeah
    Neil Neil Neil Neil Neil....

    (sniffle)

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  7. An American Original. The HL Mencken of the South Florida airwaves. Thanks for the memories. RIP.

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  8. rumple...

    ABSOLUTELY CORRECT SIR!!!!

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  9. Really nice tribute SFL. Thanks.

    His impact on this formerly young gay guy was profound. In a world that always tried to portray homosexual men as weak and powerless, the fact that the most outspoken, in-your-face, uncompromising, incorruptible, unyielding man on radio had as much of a thing for Jeffrey Stryker as I did taught me unequivocally that 'gay did not equal wimp.'

    I can only hope that, like with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Neil is still with us and has become 'more powerful than we can possibly imagine.' If so 'they' should start dropping like flies any moment.

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  10. He spoke truth to power in a place and a market where few dared, and he did it in a way that was informative and entertaining. I doubt we'll experience anything like that again. His departure from the air was a big loss.....his departure from life just underlines how large that loss was.

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  11. Checking watch . . .

    is it too early to speak ill of the dead?

    never got his schtick.

    thought he was mean and vulgar.

    i think you needed to invest alot more time than i was willing to understand all the inside jokes.

    nonetheless, rescante en pace

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  12. To 5:02. You miss the larger point. Rogers understood one thing about his audience: whether conservative or liberal, there were many people out there who were angry about the hypocrisy and little annoyances of life. He hit a raw nerve with these people. The first time I listened to his show, he made some crude remark about the way old people drove. I was sitting in traffic in Hallandale. I was hooked. The way he went after Larry King was precious. His humor was effective because underneath the so called cruelty was an element of truth. The fact that he was gay was irrelevant. His appeal transcended politics. He channeled my anger at society. God bless him. For the second and last time, RIP.

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  13. I didn't listen to him very much, but I admired his acerbic wit, even when I disagreed with him on substance. I'll never forget a couple of his nicknames for the cast of characters in the Elian Gonzalez saga. Funny stuff.

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