Cover of issue no. 68.
|Circulation||triannual (print, ended 2007)|
|Publisher||Jersey Beat & Not a Mongo Multimedia|
|First issue||March 1982|
|Based in||Weehawken, New Jersey|
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 states.
By the late 1970s, Testa had graduated from Rutgers University and upon returning home, frequented burgeoning punk music clubs like CBGB and Maxwell's. A former college associate was running a fanzine in Washington D.C. called Discords, which featured a column submitted by Testa called "Jersey Beat". After Discords folded, Testa began publishing his own zine Jersey Beat in 1982. The name is a play on Mersey Beat, an early 1960s English music publication. 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".
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, Johnny Puke, and Tris McCall. In 1998, Screeching Weasel's Ben Weasel included Jersey Beat in the lyrics to "My Friends Are Getting Famous," which appeared on Lookout Records' Punk USA compilation.
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". Jersey Beat covers a wide range of music, focusing on many of the various permutations of punk, including subgenres pop punk, hardcore, anti-folk and electropunk. The zine features extensive reviews of zines, CDs, demo tapes and vinyl recordings. Jersey Beat has interviewed prominent musical acts. Green Day was interviewed in the early 1990s, and Jersey Beat published one of the first comprehensive articles on the marketing of punk into mainstream music. In 2013, Jersey Beat interviewed HIM frontman Ville Valo during the Rock Allegiance Tour.
Testa is a staff writer for the Jersey Journal and the Star Ledger, and previously wrote for The Aquarian Weekly. He has also written for Rolling Stone magazine, as well as Ghetto Blaster, Hoboken Now, Request and Guitar World. In 1998, Testa received the Asbury Music Award's Living Legends Award. and in 2013, was named the Hoboken Music Award's Living Legend Honoree.
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- Gunderloy & Goldberg Janice, p. 54.
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- Kot 2009, p. 116.
- Hoboken Music Awards.
- DeRogatis, Jim (2003), Milk It!: Collected Musings on the Alternative Music Explosion of the 90's, Da Capo Press, ISBN 9780306812712, OCLC 52979223
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- Stapinski, Helene (2005), Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, with Music, Villard, ISBN 9780812967890
- "HIM Frontman Interviewed By Jersey Beat Magazine (Video)", Blabbermouth.net, Borivoj Krgin, 2 October 2013, retrieved 12 February 2014
- Heinrich, Katherine (1 July 2004), "Turn the Beat Around Maxwell's hosts fund-raiser for Jersey music fanzine", Hudson Reporter, retrieved 12 February 2014
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- Schmidt, Margaret (16 February 2010), "Veteran Jersey music critic Jim Testa joins Hoboken Now", Jersey Journal, retrieved 12 February 2014
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