Reagan Youth was a punk band
from the 1980s. Led by David "The Insurgent" Rubenstein, Reagan Youth was a satire on both U.S. President Ronald Reagan
, and Adolf Hitler
's Hitler Youth
groups (ironic, because of Rubenstein's family's experiences in Nazi concentration camp
Reagan Youth got its start as the members were graduating from high school. They regularly played at CBGB's alongside The Ramones and other early punk bands. Their first single led to an album, and then to a cross-country tour, where they performed at many different shows.
Despite the intimidating imagery on the covers of their albums (Ku Klux Klan band members, Hitler shaking hands with an emmisary of the Vatican) the overall message of the Reagan Youth was that of peace punk. Many of their songs had deeply political and social meanings. Some classic Reagan Youth songs: "Jesus Was a Communist", "New Aryans", "Are You Happy?", "No Class", and "I Hate Hate".
The band disbanded in 1988 when Ronald Reagan left office. David Rubenstein played with other groups, but never met with the same success he had with Reagan Youth. Rubenstein then fell into a serious heroin addiction, was hospitalized for a drug-related beating, and eventually comitted suicide.
Reagan Youth released two albums, Volume 1 and Volume 2. There have been several live collections released in the past few years as well, with varying quality.