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Jews Who Rock [Paperback]

Guy Oseary , Perry Farrell , Ben Stiller
2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jan. 4 2001
Foreword by Ben Stiller
Afterword by Perry Farrell

Jewish achievement in the sciences? Celebrated. Jews in literature? Lionized. But until now, there's been no record of the massive contributions of Jews in Rock n' Roll. Jews Who Rock features 100 top Jewish rockers, from Bob Dylan to Adam Horowitz, Courtney Love (yes, she's half Jewish) to John Zorn, with a concise page of essential data and a biography of each one.

Includes the complete lyrics to "The Chanukah Song" by Adam Sandler

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"People who are into our music have mentioned to me that knowing we are Jewish has helped them feel more comfortable in their love of hip hop and sometimes even more comfortable and reassured in their own identity. If someone reads Jews Who Rock and feels empowered to make music or be creative because they identify with our being Jewish, that to me is a very positive thing." --Beastie Boy Mike D.

About the Author

Guy Oseary is one of the hottest executives in the music business. He started working with Madonna when he was just seventeen, and is now her partner at Maverick Records. He lives in Los Angeles, and is definitely a Jew who rocks.

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First Sentence
While under contract as a recording artists for RCA in 1962, Herb formed A&M Records with his friend Jerry Moss. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed-Up Confusion! Sept. 20 2002
After having received this book as a gift, one wonders how much griping is allowable. Nonetheless, after having skimmed through the book and after having read the entry on Bob Dylan, it gave me good pause. Since there were multiple errors on Dylan's one page, it naturally made me ask the question, "How many other errors might abound?" I am not proposing that the book should be error-free (no book is), but after having read some of the reviews, it's clear that someone should take the responsibility (Guy Oseary? or maybe his editor or researcher? or maybe the publisher?) for the many errors that fill its pages.
I'll simply point out the errors on the Dylan page. The singer did not graduate from the University of Minnesota in 1959 (nor any other university). He graduated from his high school, Hibbing High, in 1959, and then merely attended the Univ. of Minn. for a few semesters. And Dylan's second album, "The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" didn't come out in 1962 (it was 1963). Additionally, to say Dylan's songs "extolled the use of certain drugs" and to use "Rainy Day Women #12&35" as an example ("everybody must get stoned"), oversimplifies things; the lyrics to this song are actually quite rich (despite them being made almost cliche because of radio overplay and overplay in concert) but Dylan has denied--on more than one occasion--writing "drug songs." In one interview he mentioned it was hard enough to write songs without making it harder [through drugs].
After referencing the 1966 era, we're then told that Dylan "toured and recorded tirelessly" for the next 30 years. Really? Most fans will vividly recall when Dylan did not embark on a single tour from 1967-1973; he also abstained from touring in 1977, 1982-1983 and 1985.
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By A Customer
Being Jewish myself, "Jews Who Rock" by Guy Oseary is an excellent idea, and it would entertain everyone who thought that "Jew" and "rock and roll" don't go together. That is, if it could be entirely trusted.
The sections about the personalities who actually are Jewish are very good, with some great quotes and interesting facts (who knew that Paul Stanley once worked in a kosher deli?), however, we are let down with the mistakes and omissions.
However, there are some major errors. John and Michelle Phillips of the Mamas & the Papas and Walter Becker of Steely Dan are listed. They do have a Jewish band member (Mamas Cass Elliott and Donald Fagen, respectively), but these people are not Jewish and need more research. Judah Bauer, the guitarist for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, is not Jewish either, and I'm not too sure about drummer Russell Simins.
It does not have any information about parentage. Twisted Sister's Dee Snider is listed without any information on parentage, and so are Carly Simon, Robbie Robertson (The Band), Mark Volman (The Turtles) and Warren Zevon. All are Jewish on their father's side.
There are also some prominent omissions - Scott Walker (The Walker Brothers), Phoebe Snow, Paula Abdul, Tiny Tim, The Tokens, Keith Reid (Procol Harum), Jay Black (Jay and the Americans), Country Joe and the Fish, Marianne Faithfull, Mick Hucknall (Simply Red), Graham Gouldman (10cc), Chris & Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes), Jay Kay (Jamiroquai), Natalie & Nicole Appleton and Mel Blatt (All Saints), Rachel Stevens (S Club 7) - I could go on. I will excuse the last five since they are not household names in the US.
It also touches upon some mebers of a particular band and not others; these include the J.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Good Job; Some big Errors Nov. 24 2000
By A Customer
I admit a certain potential conflict of interest. I run a web site that is largely devoted to the relation of Jewish people to popular culture.... When I heard this book was coming out--I looked forward to some new insights from an "insider." The book consists of one page profiles of "Jewish" performers. Each page consists of credits that could be found anywhere on the web. The biggest surprise to me was the listing of John and Michelle Phillips of, "The Mamas and the Papas", as Jewish. Mama Cass Elliott (born Ellen Cohen) was Jewish--this is well known. But the Phillips are not! How can I be sure? I am in contact with an author who is half way through a major book on the band. But this error seems typical of the tossed off quality of the book. Another Amazon reviewer noted that Robbie Robertson is listed and that he is half Native American and questioned whether he was "half" Jewish. He has, in fact, a Jewish father--but he is much closer to his Native roots. You would never find this out from the book. Also listed are a number of people who are "half" Jewish, but who were raised in another faith. There are so many Jewish rockers today who relate to their Jewishness in their work or lives. Many writers have written articles on this very subject. I hate to be mean--but it appears that this gentleman used his name and connections to put out a book that is little more than a list of "possibly" Jewish rockers. In some cases, he lists some Jewish members of a band (J. Geils band stands out)--and omits other Jewish members of the same band! Beyond everything else, if he blew it on the Phillips--how can we trust other stuff? The final weirdness is that he dedicates the book to his pal, Madonna--"the rockingest Jew I know. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Iggy isn't Jewish.
I have not read the book. I leafed through it in a book store. What can I add that others haven't already said. Read more
Published on May 23 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Sparse
This book has short profiles of Jews in rock n roll. One reviewer accurately set forth many serious omissions including two great Jays, Jay Segal of the Tokens and Jay Black of Jay... Read more
Published on April 17 2002 by David E. Levine
3.0 out of 5 stars Really?
Including Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and Neil Diamond in a book called "Jews Who Rock" only confirms that Jews have an elevated sense of humor. Read more
Published on March 17 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Really?
Including Kenny G, Michael Bolton, and Neil Diamond in a book called "Jews Who Rock" only confirms that Jews have an elevated sense of humor. Read more
Published on March 17 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's Mr. Pop?
Let's face it: a book like this should have come out a long time ago. But it's NOT complete. Why isn't the "godfather of punk" and greatest talent of the second half of... Read more
Published on June 21 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars Ahem, what about 50% of Phish?
A great idea, and a fun coffee table (bathroom) book. I am, however, disturbed by the omission of Phish's rhythm section. Read more
Published on April 2 2001 by Russell Kahn
1.0 out of 5 stars dreadful book riddled with errors
a fun topic for a gift book, sure to bring a few chuckles... but poorly researched and very thin on biographical information. Read more
Published on Dec 25 2000 by anonymous
4.0 out of 5 stars You Forgot Robert Ozn & Ned Liben
Fun book, good holiday gift. But Oseary forgot Robert Ozn (Robert Rosen) and Ned Ebn (Ned Liben) of EBN-OZN and Dada Nada fame. Read more
Published on Dec 19 2000 by d. frank
1.0 out of 5 stars I WISH I COULD GIVE IT LESS STARS
I am proud to be Jewish, but this book has embarrassed me and my culture. What took 2,000 years to accomplish has been destroyed by one idiodic book. Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars This book rocks!
I am glad that someone finally decided to write this book. Being a Jewish Rocker myself, I love to read about the people who inspire me. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2000 by Mahala
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