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Hoisting jolly Rogers

When the Penetrators' lead guitarist Scott "Rip Thrillby" Rogers died last May, the world lost not just a tireless champion of surf music, but an outspoken devotee of Polynesian tiki culture. Friends fondly recall his enthusiasm for Trader Vic's, the exotic bamboo lounge he regularly frequented.

"Trader Vic's kinda became his living room," says Penetrators drummer Elliot "Sticks" Dangar. "He had the calmest sense about him when he was there."

On Saturday, May 15, Trader Vic's offers a tiki-themed tribute to the late musician, giving friends and fans a chance to remember Rogers in fitting style: with rum drink specials and live surf music. Scheduled performers include the Intoxicators, a surf-rock band much in the Penetrators' spirit, and the Surge, a new Atlanta instrumental combo featuring Dangar and X-Rays guitarist John "Eddie" McCorvey.

McCorvey, who cites Rogers' on-the-go lifestyle as an ongoing inspiration, says that the Surge will perform a memorial instrumental he composed titled "Rippin': The Legend of Scott Rogers."

"It's one of those rare songs which came to me as a complete and finished work," says McCorvey. "It sort of helps me feel his presence."

Dangar recalls that Rogers most enjoyed being in the company of friends, especially when the booze was flowing.

"The drink he loved was the Black Stripe, the one Vic's serves in the white skull with fire coming out of it," says Dangar. "So come drink a couple of those in his honor. I'm sure he'd appreciate it!"

The tiki tribute to Scott Rogers is at Trader Vic's (inside downtown's Atlanta Hilton) Sat., May 15.