by RICHARD JOHNSON with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson

NOT many moviegoers who have made "Meet the Parents" the box-office champ know that star Ben Stiller was once a drummer in a band called Capital Punishment.

In the introduction to Guy Oseary's new book, "Jews Who Rock," Stiller divulges it was a short-lived career. The band played its first gig at his bar mitzvah to mixed reviews: "We covered 'Hey, Jude.' My father panicked, misunderstanding the lyrics and thinking our lead singer was belting out 'Hey, Jew' to a roomful of Holocaust survivors."

Israel-born Oseary is Madonna's partner in Maverick Records. He wrote the book to celebrate Jews in the rock world, and drops all sorts of little-known factoids about them.

Everyone knows Bob Dylan was so inspired by the poet Dylan Thomas that he shed his given name, Robert Zimmerman. But how many know Kiss frontman Gene Simmons was born in Israel as Chaim Whitz, and changed his name after emigrating to America? As a teenager, he worked as an assistant to editors at Vogue and Glamour, and once managed Liza Minnelli.

As a kid, Lisa Loeb played Linus in "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" at her local Jewish community center.

All three Beastie Boys are Jews. Said Mike D., "People who are into our music have mentioned that knowing we are Jewish has helped them feel more comfortable in their love of hip hop and in their own identity."

Lenny Kravitz, the son of NBC producer Sy Kravitz and "The Jeffersons" co-star Roxie Roker, attended Beverly Hills High School with fellow half-Jewish rocker Slash.

Barry Manilow, formerly Pincus, received a piano for his bar mitzvah. According to the crooner, music was in his blood at an early age: "Every Jewish kid in my neighborhood had an accordion dumped in their laps as soon as they could lift the thing - they strapped it on me."

Others who come under Oseary's gaze include Billy Joel, Michael Bolton, Neil Diamond, Kenny G, Art Garfunkel, Susanna Hoffs, Courtney Love, Bette Midler, Joey Ramone, Lou Reed, David Lee Roth and Dee Snider.

The book, which will hit stores in time for Chanukah, also features the lyrics to Adam Sandler's "Chanukah Song" and an afterword by Porno for Pyros' Perry Farrell.

Sandler, Stiller and Farrell are expected at Oseary's ultra-exclusive book launch party this Sunday night at Eugene.

{Hal's note: Anyone remember the Jewish All Star Blues Band from NYC late '60s? Michael Bloomfield, Al Kooper, and, and, ohmigod, the memory the memory. Internal RAM zapped. There's Vince Welnick of The Tubes and more recently The Grateful Dead. The drummer, lead guitarist and keyboardist from the Dave Nelson Band are all left handed Jews (Charlie Crane, Barry Sless & Mookie Segal). Greg Anton, drummer from Zero (played last year w/ Sless & Perry Farrell @ SF Rabbi Langers Bill Graham Memorial Chanukah Candle Lighting Ceremony.) and his lead guitar virtuoso Steve Kimock are also Jewish. Country Joe McDonald is a Jew! So is Mr. Fish himself, Barry Melton *the* originial psychedelic lead guitar player. Interesting. Janis Ian, and Ramblin Jack Elliott, son of a Brooklyn Doctor.}

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