Tim Rogers

Words and photography: Cory White

This is a very special feature for me. Realising the goal I set myself years ago to capture an honest portrait of the man who pretty much wrote the soundtrack to my youth. A man who is equally at home discussing philosophy, life and love, music history, or the dark side of life on the road and its vices,  as he is enjoying his beloved game of AFL with a cold beer in hand. He is a true modern Australian gentleman. Educated, but decidedly raw.

Sir Timothy Rogers is what I like to call him.  Guardian of Australian rock and roll , lead vocalist of You am I,  solo artist in his own right, honest and gifted lyricist. A convict , born during the summer of love , with a quick wit and a colloquial twang.  I am sure you all know who he is. So read on and enjoy the fruits of my labour.  (a very excited) Mr. Blanc

Nicknames? “Jolly”. Or “That guy in You Am I”

If you could sing only one song for the rest of your life, what would it be? “Stardust” by Hoagy Carmichel

Coffee of choice: Satanically strong flat white. And a smoke.

Last movie you saw and score out of 5. “Gainsbourg” :3 and an ‘arf.

Complete this sentence. Without my daughter; my bum would be a bike rack.

What should ARIA stand for? Another Rogers Idiosyncrasy Awarded

What makes Tim Rogers an Australian? A lopsided grin and days of silence.

Have you ever owned purple sneakers? Why yes, still do. The originals were bought by my dad and I was ridiculed wearing them through Year…3? Adelaide.

Most important book you have read? Nine Stories by JD Salinger.

What exhausts you? Anger. I do anything and everything to exhaust myself otherwise.

Is pleasure possible without pain? Bad timing to answer, but yes I’m in the pursuit of pleasure without pain.

Sea or mountain air? Mountain. I adore sea air but mountain air clears my synapses. And makes me think anything is possible.

What legacy would you like to leave? My daughters perennial happiness and wonder.

Favourite  venue in the world to perform? Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland.

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given and by whom? “You’re a very capable person”. It sounds like a compliment, but i took it as advice. From someone who has a strong, silent regard.

Worst habit? I have a plethora of cleaning habits that swell and abate in times of sadness and joy. I don’t like em.

Pizza of choice? Anchovies, Olives and thin crusts are my only demands. As a former pizza maker/deliverer I ate pizza two times a day for years.

Describe ‘You am I’ in five words. Stoic. Flaky. Excitable. Romantic. Potential.

Song that reminds you of your parents? “Tug Of War” by Paul McCartney.

What drives Tim Rogers? The ecstatic moment a song begins to crack open in writing, and a fear of being the guy at the bar moaning about “music today” bitterly. And the feeling after a good show. Nothin’ beats it.

Have you got a signature dish? A secret, but the cooking of it has a shifting soundtrack and the chef quaffs wine or whiskey and is ecstatically happy.

Who is the biggest inspiration in your life? Apart from Ruby? The biggest inspiration is the possibility of being a person of substance.

Last person you sent a hand written letter to? The last person who sent me one. And it meant so much to me to receive. To imagine they would feel the same thrill left me… thrilled.

Where might we find you on a Sunday afternoon? If not in a tavern of some ill-repute, reading or listening, I’ll be wandering.  Walking with no purpose but cognition is a simple, necessary delight. If in Melbourne, it’ll be post footy training, so the aches will be sweet. If elsewhere, the gaze will be the same, bemused.

Best Prime Minister this grand country of ours has endured? Joseph Lyons had a lovely smile. But i trusted Bob Hawke.

Favourite summer aroma? A companion.

Can you judge a man by his shoes? Yes. And it has nothing at all to do with the cost.

How much is Enough? Regularly and furiously.

How do you know when you’ve become a man? I stopped apologising for myself, and apologised when I did something wrong

Describe your mot memorable “rock star”  moment? In a London hotel with Anita Pallenberg and Patti Paladin, both politely refusing my offer of Class A refreshments, but they were wonderful company. And i was, to be sure, out of my depth but i couldn’t have cared. It was funny, and cheeky. I think I know what you mean by “rock star” moments, and I gotta say, I get em a lot on stage. If it looks like i’m enjoying it, your damn right.

If you weren’t musically inclined what would you do for a crust? A gardener.

Stones or Beatles? Stones. They were my conduit into so much. And playing with em and meeting them was, well, it reminded me.

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