Reagan Youth

Reagan Youth is a political hardcore punk band that embraces "Anarchy + Peace & Unity" school of thought. Reagan Youth parodies and pokes fun at Republicanism, the Religious Right, Racists and of course; Ronald Reagan's policies. The band formed in 1980 as it became obvious to the lead singer, Dave Insurgent, that Ronald Reagan was to become America's next president. The band's songs were about the evils of society and the band's name was a play on HITLER YOUTH; comparing Reagan to Hitler due to the Republican party's fascist tendencies.

Paul, the guitarist, had already been playing guitar in Dave's previous band; Pus, a silly band with a silly name from they're junior high school days. Now Paul and Dave turned the band into a loud, fast, anarchist hardcore punk band. The rhythm section came from Dave and Paul's high school acquaintances.

With Reagan as president Paul Cripple, Dave Insurgent, Charlie Tripper and Andy Apathy played their first gig on August, 21st 1981 at the A7 club under the name Reagan Youth. The music was like having the Who's rhythm section playing behind fuzzed out, feedback laden guitar while Dave I spread his message of Anarchy, Peace and Unity! Unfortunately the rhythm section from the band's high school days were not up to that caliber of playing, so Al Pike replaced Andy Apathy on bass. The band rehearsed but soon after Charlie Tripper left he was replaced by Steve of The Abused.

This new lineup with Steve, Dave, Paul and Al was Reagan Youth's most popular line-up, playing numerous matinee shows at the CBGB's, as well as other venues in N.Y.C. They went to record from Spring of 1983 until spring of 1984 and released their first recording, a 12 inch e.p. with seven songs.

In 1984 the band left for the west coast for a two month excursion, playing political minded free festivals with R.A.R. (ROCK AGAINST RACISM) and had to replace the rhythm section once again when Steve left for college and Al refused to take a break from his mail route to tour. They were replaced with Rick Royale on drums and Viktor Venom on bass.

At this point the band's music was growing and changing with songs like "Jesus Was A Communist" and "What Will The Neighbors Think?". After Rick left Paul and Dave were more focused on their new musical project HOUSE OF GOD. Their new band would take on organized religion the same way Reagan Youth sung songs critical of fascist politics with music best described as "Neo Classic Rock".The band continued with Johnny Aztec on drums in '85 when Rick left after one year. The band went out to the West Coast in 1987 as the gigs were bigger and better over on the California coast as the N.Y.H.C. scene distanced themselves from Reagan Youth when Dave told Chris Williamson of Rock Hotel to go kiss him where the sun don't shine. So they carried on playing free festivals and when Reagan was ready to leave office Dave and Paul contacted Viktor to play one last show but Victor refused and said he'd never play with Reagan Youth again.

So for Dave and Paul HOUSE OF GOD became the priority when they got Chris Simunek as their new bassist. Their new band only played a few shows before they were approached by Nicky Garratt of New Red Archives who offered a deal to re-release the band's only recording with new songs making it album length. Dave insisted on recording and releasing all of the band's unreleased material. After Dave found extra songs for Volume I, which included seven alternate versions of the songs from the e.p. along with the songs "Anytown'', "No Class" and "In Dog We Trust". Then they started recording the rest of the songs from Reagan Youth's career. Paul Cripple and Johnny Aztec recorded all the music for Volume II with Paul playing both guitar and bass. Dave I, who was suffering from the disease of addiction, ceased to show up after the music was recorded. Paul and Nicky Garratt made sure Dave ended up singing all 11 songs, with two vocal tracks on each song. When Dave was finished, he swore he'd come back and fix up his weak spots and then do the all important mix. But Dave never did and when Nicky asked Paul what to do, Paul answered "If Dave don't give a shit, then neither do I". What no one outside Dave's family knew at that time was that Dave wasn't able to do anything as he was attacked by a drug dealer he owed $500 to and ended up at Bellevue hospital literally hours after he sang the songs for Volume II. And so Volume II was released and due to the circumstances described above, it is un-mixed and could have sounded better but not with the ugly vibes that had taken over the recording process at the time. The band ceased to exist after Reagan's departure and there was to be no new band HOUSE OF GOD because the wounds Dave had suffered from being attacked over a drug debt would never heal. Dave "Insurgent" Rubinstein committed suicide July 3rd, 1994

As for what happened to the rest of the band, Charley Tripper never stopped banging on the drums and is happy to be a family man. During the summer of 2002 Andy Apathy died from an overdose right after contacting Paul about reforming Reagan Youth. Al Pike never quit his job as a mail man and Steve became a college professor and will always be the best musician Reagan Youth ever had. Rick "Royale" Griffith disappeared and has never been heard. Viktor went on to record and tour with Nausea and Johnny Aztec is happily married raising a family.

As for Reagan Youth's most important member; the man with the plan, the most amazing lyricist, songwriter, arranger, that kid with the most brilliant mind until some unbelievable circumstances led him to take his own life. Dave "Insurgent" will always be missed. The band will forever be in your debt to your wisdom and greatness that you imparted unto your band mates. Dave Insurgent was like no other singer and I'm skeptical we'll ever see the likes of him in others fronting bands

Paul Cripple plans on making that one last Reagan Youth album which will focus on the life and times of the band's spiritual guiding force; DAVE INSURGENT. Paul would love to give his friend a different ending than the one he has now because one last album, with all the songs standing on their own, with no filler, praising the man and his message. Only time will tell if Paul and Charlie will make it happen the way it needs to, with three chords and the truth.

Midnight Track

San Diego based punk-rock / ska band.



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