The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk

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Chicago Review Press, 2006 - Music - 259 pages
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Based in part on the recent interviews with more than 125 people—among them Tommy Ramone, Chris Stein (Blondie), Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group), Hilly Kristal (CBGBs owner), and John Zorn—this book focuses on punk’s beginnings in New York City to show that punk was the most Jewish of rock movements, in both makeup and attitude. As it originated in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in the early 1970s, punk rock was the apotheosis of a Jewish cultural tradition that found its ultimate expression in the generation born after the Holocaust. Beginning with Lenny Bruce, “the patron saint of punk,” and following pre-punk progenitors such as Lou Reed, Jonathan Richman, Suicide, and the Dictators, this fascinating mixture of biography, cultural studies, and musical analysis delves into the lives of these and other Jewish punks—including Richard Hell and Joey Ramone—to create a fascinating historical overview of the scene. Reflecting the irony, romanticism, and, above all, the humor of the Jewish experience, this tale of changing Jewish identity in America reveals the conscious and unconscious forces that drove New York Jewish rockers to reinvent themselves—and popular music.

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The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk

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Punk is Jewish-that├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żs the central tenet of Beeber├ƒ┬»├‚┬┐├‚┬Żs (editor,Awake!: A Reader for the Sleepless )Heebie-Jeebies . Whereas most punk histories focus on England as the "true ... Read full review


The Patron Saint of Jewish New York
The Godfather of Jewish Punk
3 A Nice Jewish Boy Danny Fields Begets the Shaman the Misfit and the Punk
4 Suicide Is Painful Martin Rev and Alan Vega Bring the Jewish Streets Indoors
Cool Nerd
6 The Ten Nuggets Lenny Kaye and the Compilation of the Ten Punk Commandments
7 The Fiddler on the Bowery Hilly Kristal Sets Up a DIYCBGB OMFUG
8 Juidos n Decaf Italians Irony Blasphemy and Jewish Shtick
12 The Shiksa Goddess Chris Stein Creates the First Punk Princess
13 HotsyTotsy Nazi Shatzes Nazi Imagery and the Final Solution to the Final Solution
14 The New JAPS Jewish American Punks Jewish American Women and the Birth of Female Punk
15 Write Yiddish Cast British How England Stole Jewish Punk
16 A PostPunk History of a PreCool Jew World How the Radical Jewish Culture Movement Took NY Punk Further Downtown
Epilogue One of Us
Afterword Seeing God
Source Notes

9 A Jewish American Band The Hebraic Foundations of the Ramones
10 Der ▄bermensch Comic Books Golems and SuperJews Christen PUNK
11 A Jewish Hell Richard Meyers Creates a Jewish Mothers Worst Nightmare

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About the author (2006)

Steven Lee Beeber’s writing has appeared in Bridge, Conduit, Fiction, Heeb, Maxim, MOJO, The New York Times, The Paris Review,, Rain Taxi, Spin and elsewhere. He is the editor of Awake: A Reader for the Sleepless.

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