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.