The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's

The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's
The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's

The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB's

A Secret History of Jewish Punk
By Steven Beeber


272 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Trade Paper, PDF, EPUB, Mobipocket

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $18.95)

ISBN 9781556527616

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Apr 2008)


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $16.95
Google Preview
Media Copy


A fascinating look at the intersection of Jewish identity and punk rock
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.


"A unique new perspective on the history of punk rock."  —Tommy Ramone, The Ramones

"Shocking confessions of an eternally wicked tribe of dysfunctional kids in search of an identity."  —Malcolm McLaren, manager for the Sex Pistols

"A beautiful, well-written book that's not only the kind you can't put down but also a true revelation."  —Alan Vega, Suicide

"A remarkably rich and rewarding read."  —The Dallas Morning News

"Beeber is an original thinker with an impressive gift for sociology, psychology and gossip."   —Ketzel Levine, NPR

"The best account of punk’s nascent years."  —The Boston Globe

"Mines a vein in punk’s needle-marked history that no one else has explored and is highly recommended."  —Vanity Fair

"Entertaining, engrossing, and provocative."  —The Villager

Author Biography

Steven Lee Beeber has written for many publications, including Bridge, Conduit, Fiction, Heeb, Maxim, MOJO, The New York Times, The Paris Review,, Rain Taxi, and Spin. He is the editor of Awake: A Reader for the Sleepless, an anthology featuring work by writers including Margaret Atwood, Aimee Bender, Joyce Carol Oates, and Davy Rothbart. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.