LOUD! FAST! PHILLY! Episode 55: Jo-Ann Rogan of Thorazine

Stacey Finney guest interviews Jo-Ann Rogan, lead singer of the band Thorazine. Jo-Ann was born and raised in North Babylon, New York, a suburb of Long Island. In 1985, Jo-Ann moved to Philadelphia where she began attending Temple University for Kinesiology. Shortly after coming to Philadelphia, she connected with West Philly punks and ultimately lived at Kill Time warehouse, a punk venue and living space. Jo-Ann helped put on shows that included many local artists such as Flag of Democracy (FOD) and hosted other events in Clark Park, a West Philadelphia land mark for outdoor festivals. Prior to entering Thorazine, Jo-Ann tells wild tales of backpacking through Europe and following FOD while they were on tour there. From dancing naked on stage with FOD to hitching a ride with a driver who jerked off in front of her and a friend, she weaves the tale of a young woman sowing her adventures and exploring the world on her own terms. Jo-Ann talks about touring and living with her band mates as well as being sued by the pharmaceutical giant, Smith-Kline-Beecham for using the name Thorazine. Jo-Ann shares many stories about the band’s ten-year stint: making a music video, playing Lalapalooza, and opening for the band Fear. Jo-Ann speaks with a heavy heart about the band’s break up in 2003, but shares her excitement for their recent reunion and what is happening with them now. She also discusses some of the barriers to being a female in the Philly punk scene as well as being the mother of two special needs boys. Jo-Ann talks about how her involvement in the punk scene has taught her to be a bold advocate where her children are concerned. Additionally, Jo-Ann blogs as “Punky Mamma,” where she writes about her daily experiences as a mother, among other topics. Jo-Ann shares some unbelievable stories and, in her own words, says, “Oh, it happened and it happened to me!”

Photos by Stacey Finney

 

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Joseph A. Gervasi

Joseph co-owns DiabolikDVD.com, programs films and events as a founding member of Exhumed Films, and is a freelance writer, reviewing films for Cinedelphia. Joseph was a founding member of the Cabbage Collective in Philadelphia and Orgasmic Productions in NJ, organizing DIY hardcore punk and spoken word shows. He also "sang" in The Orgasmic Toilet Band (TOTB). He edited NO LONGER A FANzine (NLAFz) and co-edited the later stages of Philly Zine. Gervasi co-conceived The Valerie Project with Greg Weeks.
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