The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's: A Secret History of Jewish Punk
--the definitive volume about the role of Jews in punk rock--will be released on October 1. I've done quite a bit of research into this topic myself and even wrote an article about it last year
. After you get past the initial shock of how many prominent Jews there are in the punk scene, it's also fascinating to note that many of them are vegetarians and animal advocates.
Did you know?
* Joey Ramone, the late frontman of The Ramones, went vegetarian after reading a PETA leaflet. According to an article on OfficialRamones.com
, Joey also avoided dairy products because they had a negative impact on his singing voice. Last year, Joey posthumously received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Heeb Magazine
at the Jewish Music Awards.
* Fat Mike released an awesome compilation to benefit PETA
with his Fat Wreck Chords label. He's the frontman of NOFX, which did a song called "The Brews" that's the greatest Jewish punk anthem of all time. Fat Mike also plays bass in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, which released a hilarious live album that was recorded at a bar mitzvah.
* Bassist Ian Grushka is one of three Jews in the Florida-based quintet New Found Glory. Grushka designed the classic "Want Fries With That?" pro-vegetarian T-shirt
, and he's now teamed up with peta2.com to give away a free copy of NFG's upcoming new album
* The members of Useless ID, the biggest punk band to ever come out of Israel, are all vegetarian. Their Web site
features links to various animal rights sites and the statement
: "well, falafel is the fuel and the main force behind useless id. see, even if we werent all broke, lazy, vegeretian [sic] punx, we'd like to think that falafel was [the bomb]. we eat falafel all the time, and we talk about it even more."
* Bram Presser--the lead singer of the zany Australia-based Yidcore, the world's foremost Jewish punk band--is vegetarian. While he's said that potato latkes are his favorite Jewish food because they're "without animal products,"
he's also absolutely obsessed with hummus, describing himself as "more hummus than hummus" on his Myspace page. He loves to profess his love for Natalie Portman
, a Jewess who has twice been declared the world's sexiest vegetarian. When Yidcore takes "chicken soup shots" onstage, Bram's are vegetarian. The liner notes to Yidcore's last album note that "Yidcore like to … support a cruelty free, egalitarian lifestyle. Despite the dumb stuff they do."