The New York City club CBGB (OMFUG) was the bastion of punk rock for over three decades, and since it closed in 2006, the city has been without a true music dive of historical nature. However, the city will relive a bit of its punk heyday later this month with an all-star look at the American music movement’s Jewish roots.
The roundtable “Loud Fast Jews: A Summit with Four Jewish Fathers of Punk Rock” will take place on June 11 at the YIVO Institute of Jewish Research in New York’s Union Square district. Tickets are available to the public for $18, with student tickets priced at $12. Both are available at SmartTix.com.
Drummer Tommy Ramone of the Ramones, guitarist Lenny Kaye of the Patti Smith Group, guitarist Chris Stein of Blondie, and singer Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators will go back in time and discuss New York’s early punk scene and what impact their Jewish culture had on their music and careers.
“Much like their American and European Jewish forebears, these pioneer punks both reflected and redefined the culture of their day to create a dynamic new art form,” noted a statement from the YIVO Institute. “In the process, they birthed an aesthetic that continues to influence not only music but also the visual arts, literature, fashion and language.”
Tommy Ramone, the only living Hall of Fame member from the Ramones, recently received Joey Ramone’s induction award at an impromptu ceremony held May 14 at the NYC Hall Annex. When the punk group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the recently deceased Joey Ramone was never formally inducted, and his statue was never awarded to his heirs.
Tommy Ramone and Manitoba were part of the May 14 ceremony, while Kaye, also a true rock historian, was in attendance. However, instead of tons of praise for Joey Ramone, the participants talked about his mental health and ailments more than his music. The “Loud Fast Jews” event might just be as unpredictable.