21 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

You won’t find a more thorough compilation of recordings by hardcore heroes Reagan Youth. The first half of Punk Rock New York was recorded in 1983 and 1984. A pioneer band on the East Coast hardcore scene, Reagan Youth was fronted by Dave Rubinstein (a.k.a. Dave Insurgent). That fact that his parents were Holocaust survivors inspired much of his anti-racist lyrics, as heard here on the adrenalin-charged “I Hate Hate” and the erratic “Down with the New Aryans,” a song that shared Dead Kennedys leader Jello Biafra’s views that Ronald Reagan’s administration and the Christian right had beliefs paralleling those of white-supremacy hate groups. Rubinstein’s bratty, nasal-toned inflections also suited songs like “No Class,” a powerful tirade railing against economic division. Tracks 10-21 were recorded in 1990, and though Reagan Youth were still railing against the system, these songs sound like a different band.

EDITORS’ NOTES

You won’t find a more thorough compilation of recordings by hardcore heroes Reagan Youth. The first half of Punk Rock New York was recorded in 1983 and 1984. A pioneer band on the East Coast hardcore scene, Reagan Youth was fronted by Dave Rubinstein (a.k.a. Dave Insurgent). That fact that his parents were Holocaust survivors inspired much of his anti-racist lyrics, as heard here on the adrenalin-charged “I Hate Hate” and the erratic “Down with the New Aryans,” a song that shared Dead Kennedys leader Jello Biafra’s views that Ronald Reagan’s administration and the Christian right had beliefs paralleling those of white-supremacy hate groups. Rubinstein’s bratty, nasal-toned inflections also suited songs like “No Class,” a powerful tirade railing against economic division. Tracks 10-21 were recorded in 1990, and though Reagan Youth were still railing against the system, these songs sound like a different band.

TITLE TIME

About Reagan Youth

Be forewarned: The story of this early-'80s New York punk band does not have a happy ending. Reagan Youth got their start in 1980 while founding members Dave Rubinstein -- later known as Dave Insurgent -- and Paul Bakija, aka Paul Cripple, were in high school. Soon after their formation, the band started playing punk clubs around Manhattan; they even managed to enlist one of their high school professors as a roadie. Local tours quickly turned into national tours and Reagan Youth found themselves sharing bills with the likes of the Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and most of the other major punk bands of that time. Their music reflected their name -- ironic, bratty, and opinionated. The band released a few singles and a couple of albums during their existence, which ended appropriately enough with the exit of Ronald Reagan from the White House. By the end, the band was worn down from excessive touring and heavy drug use. Insurgent developed a serious heroin addiction, and after losing his mother in a car accident and his girlfriend to serial killer Joel Rifkin he committed suicide in 1993. ~ Kevin Odle

ORIGIN
New York, NY
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1980

Songs

Albums

Listeners Also Played