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Dave Rubinstein: Wikis


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David Rubinstein
Also known as Dave Insurgent
Born September 5, 1964
Origin Forest Hills, Queens, New York, USA
Died July 3, 1993 (age 29)
Genres Punk
Occupations Musician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1980–1990
Associated acts Reagan Youth

David Rubinstein (1964 – July 3, 1993) was an American musician, the co-founder of the influential New York-based punk rock group Reagan Youth. He founded the group with guitarist Paul Bakija when both were in Forest Hills High School in Forest Hills, Queens. While they were still in high school, the band played the punk clubs of Manhattan. Paul's physics teacher from Forest Hills High School, Jack DePalma became friends with the band. De Palma had his head shaved at a gig at CBGB's. He was not rehired by the school administration at Forest Hills but continued to hang with the band so the underage fans could attend places with liquor. He drove equipment and attended shows in NYC.


Reagan Youth

As the members went to Forest Hills High School, Reagan Youth was performing regularly at CBGB's and an established band on the country's budding punk scene. They never recorded a single, only some self published tapes and an album that got cut down into an E.P. They toured cross-country twice, in 84 and 87, performing with many great punk bands of that era. At the "Rock Against Racism" shows in the early 1980s, Reagan Youth shared the bill with the Dead Kennedys, the Bad Brains, and others. They were a mainstay at CBGB's Sunday matinee concerts.

Reagan Youth recorded only a seven-song E.P. and never signed a contract. When Reagan Youth showed up in San Francisco in 1987, a hand-written contract on the back of a poster for a gig was signed. That E.P. sold over forty thousand (40,000) copies. The band also appeared on several compilations albums, including Live at CBGB's. Reagan Youth's music was ironic and political. They preached the gospel of "peace punk." David was known as "Dave Insurgent." The name "Reagan Youth" was ironic, given David's family background as Holocaust survivors. The cover of their 2nd LP featured a photo of Adolf Hitler shaking hands with an emissary of Pope Pius XII. Their song titles included "Jesus Was A Communist" and "New Aryans." The song "Reagan Youth" was their signature tune and songs like "In Dog We Trust" showed their irrevence and creativity.

Break up

By the late 1980s, the members of Reagan Youth were frustrated and worn out from years of touring and drug abuse. They had never made any money in the music industry. When Ronald Reagan left the White House, they officially disbanded. David and several other band members continued to play music together, although their new group never achieved the same success or momentum as Reagan Youth.

Personal problems and suicide

By this time as well, David had developed a serious heroin addiction. He was also dealing drugs, although he was not very shrewd at it. David had the bad habit of consuming the drugs he was supposed to be selling. He was a loudmouth. When a supplier would ask him for money that was owed, David would sometimes reply, "You'll get you money when I say you get it."

In a drug deal gone bad, another drug dealer violently beat up David with a baseball bat, leaving him in a coma. After receiving a lobotomy to save his life, David had permanent stitches around his forehead from ear to ear, and his eyelid was "swollen so much it reached all the way down to his upper lip."[1] When he got out of the hospital, he returned to his parents' home. There, he continued to use drugs, smoking pot in his bedroom as his parents tried to help him recover. Eventually David left his parents' home and moved back to the Lower East Side. By now, between the violent assault and his continued drug use, he was no longer an energetic anarchist. He had become a bit disheveled, and many of his friends from the punk scene no longer associated with him.

David began dating Tiffany Bresciani, a prostitute who worked on Houston Street. David had told his parents that she was a dancer. Tiffany, a native of Metairie, Louisiana, supported the couple and their drug habit by turning tricks. David would often hang out on the street with Tiffany, waiting while she serviced a customer, and then going with her to score drugs.

On June 24, 1993, David and Tiffany were waiting on Allen Street when a familiar customer pulled up in a Mazda pick-up truck. Tiffany got in, telling David that she would return in twenty minutes. She never came back. David called the police with a description of the truck and went to all the hospital emergency rooms in the city searching for Tiffany. A few days later, on June 28, New York state troopers Sean Ruane and Deborah Spaargaren were patrolling Long Island's Southern State Parkway when they pulled over the truck and found Tiffany's body in the back after a high speed chase. They arrested the driver, Joel Rifkin, one of Long Island's most famous serial killers, who was later linked to killing numerous prostitutes.

Not long after this, David's father accidentally ran over his mother in a parking lot, killing her.

Depressed and alone, after the unexpected losses of his girlfriend and his mother, David headed into a downward spiral. Less than a week later, Rubinstein committed suicide by heroin overdose on July 3, 1993.


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