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Jersey Beat

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Jersey Beat
Jersey Beat issue 37.jpg
Cover of issue No. 37.
EditorJim Testa
Staff writers
Tony B.
James Damion
Deborah Draisin
Jesse Gillett
Stephen Gritzan
Rich Quinlin
Paul Silver
Jim Testa
Eric Walls
Joe Wawzyrniak
Circulationtriannual (print, ended 2007)
PublisherNot a Mongo
FounderJim Testa
First issueMarch 1982 (1982-03)
CountryUnited States
Based inWeehawken, New Jersey
OCLC number61183832

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Jersey Beat is an American music zine. It was founded in 1982 by music critic Jim Testa. As of 2007, the zine stopped publishing print issues, but continues as an online publication. Jersey Beat covers the music scene both internationally and locally, with special emphasis on the East Coast of the United States.[1]


By the late 1970s, Testa graduated from Rutgers University, and upon returning home, he frequented burgeoning punk music clubs like CBGB and Maxwell's. A former college associate was running a fanzine called Dischords from Washington D.C., which featured a column submitted by Testa called "Jersey Beat." The name is a play on Mersey Beat, an early 1960s English music publication.[2][3] After Discords folded, Testa began publishing his own zine, Jersey Beat, in March 1982.[4][5][6] Testa registered the domain jerseybeat.com in 1995.[7] In The World of Zines: a Guide to the Independent Magazine Revolution, authors Gunderloy and Goldberg Janice note that Jersey Beat went "from a small review of New Jersey alternative bands to becoming one of the most thoughtful new music zines in the nation."[8] By the early 1990s, the magazine grew to one-hundred and twenty-eight pages, with glossy color covers, and as BlowUpRadio notes, they "were like novels."[7]

There have been many well-known staff and contributors to Jersey Beat; former writers include Donny the Punk, Jim DeRogatis, Karen Schoemer, Chris Frantz, Ben Weasel, Joe Queer, Mick Hale, Johnny Puke and Tris McCall.[9] In 1998, Ben Weasel from the punk band Screeching Weasel included Jersey Beat in the lyrics to the song "My Friends Are Getting Famous," which appears on Lookout Records' Punk USA compilation album.[10]


In Rolling Stone's Alt-rock-a-rama, Testa described the zine as "an ongoing excursion through the punk-rock underground, with occasional detours into the mainstream."[11] Jersey Beat covers a wide range of music, focusing on many of the various permutations of punk, including the subgenres pop punk, hardcore, anti-folk and electropunk. The zine features extensive reviews of zines, compact discs, demo tapes and vinyl recordings. Jersey Beat has also interviewed many prominent musical acts. The punk rock band Green Day was interviewed in the early 1990s, and Jersey Beat published one of the first comprehensive articles on the marketing of punk rock into mainstream music.[12] The final print issue is No. 77 in 2007, and the first exclusive online issue features a piece on the Screaming Females with original artwork by Marissa Paternoster, which was intended to be the cover for issue No. 78.[6][13] In 2013, Jersey Beat interviewed Finnish gothic metal band HIM frontman Ville Valo, during the Rock Allegiance Tour.[14]

Testa is a staff writer for the the newspaper Jersey Journal, and the news site NJ.com, and previously wrote for the music magazine The Aquarian Weekly, and the newspaper the Star Ledger.[15][16] He has also written for the music magazine Rolling Stone, as well as Ghetto Blaster, Hoboken Now, Request and Guitar World.[15][5] In 1998, Testa received the Asbury Park Music Awards' Living Legends Award, and in 2013, he was named the Hoboken Music Awards' Living Legend Honoree.[17]



External links[edit]