Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Logo #176: Reagan Youth

Paul Cripple of Reagan Youth: "At out first show on August 20, 1980, we all wore leather jackets (like The Ramones, we also went to Forest Hills High School) and Dave Insurgent {born David Rubinstein, September 5, 1964 - July 3, 1993} made these armbands (like the Nazis wore) and he painted each one with the stormtrooper thing you're talkin' about. We wore the armbands for the first few shows. I have a picture where I'm wearing it, but you can't really make it out because it wasn't a side view. They really were cool. Shit, I'm gonna tell my singer to make four of 'em and make the band wear 'em (I doubt they'll wear leather motorcycle jackets, though). So, thanks for the inspiration." The same day, somewhere in Maryland, aviation pioneer James Smith McDonnell died. He founded McDonnell Aircraft Corporation (later McDonnell Douglas) in 1939. The company became the principal supplier of fighter aircraft to the U.S. Air Force and Navy. Cosmic balance and all that. Also, if you were with-it enough to be one of those lifestyle geniuses like Jeff Koons, you could've seen the birth of Reagan Youth and then hopped aboard the SST to Europe to catch the premiere of Jean Rollin's "La nuit des traquées" (starring the endlessly beautiful Brigitte Lahaie), but I digress. Reagan Youth were a startling welter of conflicting images: apparent reggae hippies bedecked in tie-dye who released records with seemingly supremacist sleeve designs. Dave Insurgent's girlfriend Tiffany Bresciani became the final victim of Joel Rifkin, the Long Island serial murderer dubbed "Joel the Ripper" by the scandal sheets. Consumed by grief, Dave killed himself shortly afterwards. There really is no good segue to go into after that. Here they are doing a very "rock" set with the song "In the Beginning." I had at that point just turned 18 years old. Where was I? And where have all those people in that audience gone?

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