Ariel Rogers is a rock ‘n’ roll aficionado who played bass in a group known as Girl Band, graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and interned with City Pulse. Her favorite thing is a collection of T-shirts that belonged to her musician brother, Pierce Rogers, who died in 2018 and left many in the Lansing music scene in mourning. Adding to the collection of shirts is one of the ways she keeps the spirit of her brother alive.
It’s a bunch of various shirts — band shirts and other stupid shirts that Pierce collected throughout the years that I’ve hung onto. Even after he wanted to get rid of them, I still hung onto some of them because they’re so much fun. I’m just glad I’ve got them now, it’s another piece of him I think I’m hanging onto. It’s nostalgic. There are also tie-dye shirts he made himself that are special.
I like his Hunter S. Thompson shirt. I love his shirt from an animal farm that says “I Got Slimed” and it has a picture of a yak — or something — on it drooling. The bands on these shirts include Andrew WK, Iron Maiden, Mac DeMarco, The Black Lips, The Ramones and Trash Talk. All of them, except for The Ramones, he got from the actual shows. If he didn’t get his shirts from concerts, he liked to thrift them. He was always getting cool ones from Goodwill and garage sales. He also had a couple of Grateful Dead shirts he bought from artists on Instagram.
He was super involved with the Lansing music scene, everybody knew who he was. He played with Cosmic Priest, a stoner-doom metal band, and then he was in Stop Bobby Hatch with Troy Burris — they were a little psychedelic and kind of folky. They had a lot of fans and a lot of people have reached out to me — people I didn’t even know — since he died and told me how much his music meant to them. I still feel his presence in my life. It was fun playing with Pierce in Girl Band. He helped me out a lot even if he didn’t want to necessarily. He was always down to be the good guy and help his sister out. His energy at shows was really contagious. He’d always pick up the musicians and tell them, “That was the best show ever!”
I still wear these shirts. It makes feel closer to him. It’s really cool. He was my baby brother and the coolest guy I think I’ll ever know. He was super kind to everybody he met. He never treated anybody poorly and he would always show interest in the things you were interested in. He’d always have something to talk about and he’d be your friend. It makes me sad that his collection won’t be growing, but I will keep it up. If I see a silly, fun shirt — I’ll pick it up and carry on the tradition because I miss him.
Interview edited and condensed by Skyler Ashley. If you have suggestions for Favorite Things, please email Skyler@LansingCityPulse.com