Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



Doctors like to complain how their pay isn’t what it used to be.  Another  gripe of docs is the increased paperwork.

But doctors do all right.  They are one of the few professions that still hire bands.

A side benefit for Yiddishe Cup is we sometimes get free medical advice at gigs.   At a Pittsburgh wedding, a doctor checked one of our guys for a hernia in the men’s room stall.

In Cleveland, a doctor asked me for an appointment.  He was a Washington heart specialist, considering a job at the Cleveland Clinic.  He played mandolin.  He wanted to know if Cleveland had a good quality of life.

I said yes.

He spent several years at the Cleveland Clinic giving me –- and others — the lowdown on HDL.  (The lowdown is there is no sure-fire way to raise your HDL.)

Yiddishe Cup occasionally gets gigs from immigrant doctors from South Africa.   One doc had a diploma on his office wall from the University of Witwatersrand (South Africa).  I thought “witch doctor” — like the doctor in the Mickey Katz parody “My Son the Knish Doctor.”  The Katz doc had studied at the Bwana Wana Yeshiva.

South African doctors are often Litvaks (Lithuanian Jews) and plugged into Yiddish culture — what’s left of it.


I met a doc at Klezkamp who was atrocious on soprano sax and would repeat,  “I’m a doctor!  I’m a doctor!”  That worked.  It made him feel better.

He had a point.  He saved lives.  So what if he couldn’t play “Khasidim Tantz”?

Yiddishe Cup had a medical student in the band.  Dave Jaffe, guitarist/singer and Case medical student.  He lasted a year.  Med school and the band were too much.

Doctors often form their own bands because of their busy schedules.  These bands play a couple benefits a year and often have names like No Evidence of Disease.

I wish I had studied harder in Inorganic and Organic Chemistry.  I wouldn’t mind being a brain surgeon with a side interest in klezmer.

Turns out I’m a klezmer musician with a side interest in brain surgery.  This scares people.

I accept most insurance plans.

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1 Bill Jones { 10.05.11 at 10:32 am }

Maybe your parents used the term “lochen kop” frequently when you were a child and that is why you were interested in brain surgery to cure all of those “holes in the brain” that no one needed.

2 Larry Sam of Michigania { 10.05.11 at 11:51 am }

Bert, you could easily pass for a doctor.

I did for 40 some years.

3 marc { 10.05.11 at 1:44 pm }

We have an optometrist in our band. Does that count?

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