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Reagan Youth

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Biography

Be forewarned: The story of this early-'80s New York punk band does not have a happy ending. Reagan Youth got their start in 1980 while founding members Dave Rubinstein -- later known as Dave Insurgent -- and Paul Bakija, aka Paul Cripple, were in high school. Soon after their formation, the band started playing punk clubs around Manhattan; they even managed to enlist one of their high school professors as a roadie. Local tours quickly turned into national tours and Reagan Youth found themselves sharing bills with the likes of the Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, and most of the other major punk bands of that time. Their music reflected their name -- ironic, bratty, and opinionated. The band released a few singles and a couple of albums during their existence, which ended appropriately enough with the exit of Ronald Reagan from the White House. By the end, the band was worn down from excessive touring and heavy drug use. Insurgent developed a serious heroin addiction, and after losing his mother in a car accident and his girlfriend to serial killer Joel Rifkin he committed suicide in 1993. ~ Kevin Odle
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