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Re: Great Jewish Rock Stars

On Sun, 18 May 1997, Ari Davidow wrote:

> Well, this will certainly start the week off with some lively
> discussion, although, I have to admit that I find myself
> perplexed at the subject--I mean, unless an artist
> identifies him or herself as Jewish, and uses Jewish sources,
> or Jewish subjects, or something Jewish-identified in the 
> music, to what degree, other than trivial pursuit, does it
> matter? I mean, Randy California even did a rather nice heavy
> metal version of "Hine Ma Tov" on an early Spirit album, but
> I still have trouble of thinking of him as a Jewish artist

yes, but is he Jewish?

There is no other point to this exercise other than to identify Jewish
musicians as such. It's the same guiding force that produces books like
"Great Jewish Sports Stars." Although I could argue (and will, at some
later date, at greater length) that there IS a common thread linking many
of these artists (if certinaly not all but enough to signify) that
suggests a common experience that may be attributed to their being Jewish.
Hint: many of those on the list were groundbreakers or influential
trendsetters who nevertheless did not enjoy mass success. In other words,
at the top rung you have the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, R.E.M. and
Nirvana. But just as influential, or even more so, you have trendsetting
groundbreakers like Bob Dylan, the Velvet Underground (lou Reed), the
Blues Project, the Ramones and the Beastie Boys.

It is, at the very least, suggestive of something.

In the hopes of staving off a lot of traffic begging the question or
complaining about why we are talking about this on this list, the list
title is "World Music from a Jewish slant."  I think this topic obviously
fits. In any case, anyone who doesn't want to participate in this thread
is welcome not to.


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