The Gangsta Rabbi has been at it again and is now releasing an amazing, 27th studio album, an all new remix of The Who’s first rock opera, ‘Tommy’. This twenty-track beast of an album was a monster to cover, but The Gangsta Rabbi does it with all of his trademark distortion, horns, and twisted angst!
If you’ve followed our blog much over the last few months, you already know that death is pretty much an ever present companion these days to Steve Lieberman, AKA The Gangsta Rabbi.
He has been diagnosed with a terminal case of leukemia, and he has also faced a life-long battle with bi-polar disorder. The drugs and treatments he takes often leave him disoriented, wiped out, hallucinating and on the border of madness. He had his final live performance last month, and is now facing severe physical and mental challenges related to his progressing illness. These kinds of challenges would probably shut down most people completely, but for Lieberman, life’s challenges only ever seem to encourage him and drive him to create more music.
For his 27th album, The Gangsta Rabbi decided to tackle a remake of The Who’s first “rock opera”, ‘Tommy’. Since this is Lieberman’s second cover of an epic album by The Who, it seems fairly obvious that they have been a huge influence on him. Lieberman’s music is really nothing like The Who’s music when it comes to the overall sound though, so what is it within these albums that The Gangsta Rabbi identifies with and relates to?
I dug into the background of ‘Tommy’ a little more and found that the generally accepted “concepts” for this particular ‘rock opera’ are pretty dark and serious with story lines involving torture, brainwashing, hallucinogenic experiences, and a search for purpose and enlightenment. Suddenly, it became clear that The Gangsta Rabbi’s take on ‘Tommy’ was never about covering the music. Instead, his version of ‘Tommy’ seems to be more about exploring the concepts of the album in such a way that his music is almost a literal expression of those concepts. The music is meant to make you feel uncomfortable, hallucinogenic, and paranoid like the character, Tommy. Lieberman has spent his life making these kinds of expressions a musical reality, so this album is just a natural extension of his musical path.
“Captain Walker It’s A Boy”, “Pinball Wizard”, “Tommy Can You Hear Me”, and “Tommy’s Holiday Camp” are highlights on this album, but you can stream the whole thing and follow The Gangsta Rabbi’s story and music at the links below.
* This fellow artist is supporting our local scene right here in and around Dayton! Go check out their music! If you would like to help support this page and our local scene, email us at DaytonMC@Live.com!