Sunday, July 22, 2007
SHALOM HANOCH IS A NATIONAL TREASURE
I also had no idea who the popular music stars of the day were - except for Yoram Gaon, Yaffa Yarkoni and Shoshana Damari...whose music had made it to New York.
So that when I arrived here and began to listen to the radio and heard the popular songs and popular singers I became very excited with the music. And the first three records I bought -- 12 inch 33 1/3 LPs - no tapes or CDs then -- were by "Poogy", "Chocolat, Menta, Mastik" and Shalom Hanoch. "Poogy" and "Chocolat, Menta, Mastic" disbanded long ago - Shalom Hanoch is still going strong.
As I said, I had no Hebrew and so couldn't understand the words - and, therefore, had no idea what a fabulous songwriter Shalom Hanoch was/is - but his music really turned me on.
And so it was that last Thursday night Marallyn and Shosh and I went to a "live" Shalom Hanoch concert. The man has never been out of fashion - that's 32 years - and he was singing even before I got here.
There's a relatively new club across the road from my house called "Hamabada" (The Laboratory) which is a small and intimate venue and which I visited for the first time during the Film Festival a week or so ago.
It's a sort of theatre-in-the-"U" - not quite a theatre-in-the-round - and we were sitting along one side of the "U" so that we had a great view of the stage and also of the audience. What can I tell you - Shalom Hanoch and his accompanist, Moshe Levi - who is so much more than that, a really fabulously talented musician in his own right - sang and played for two hours without a break. And Israeli audiences being what we are - we sang along with him. And clapped in time to the music. And waved - well, at one time the audiences waved cigarette lighters and candles - but as that's not allowed anymore we waved lighted cell phones! Keeping up with the times, I guess. And no, we weren't being rude or disruptive - we were encouraged to participate.
There were two young boys - they couldn't have been more than about 16 years of age - sitting in the front row facing the stage - and they knew every single word of every single song - along with the appropriate hand gestures. The audience represented three generations!! Can you imagine such an evening? When I looked out over the audience I noticed that there was no one just sitting still - each and every one of us was moving in time to the music. I'm still on a high. He promised to come back to Jerusalem and sing for us again - I'll be first on line to buy tickets.
In the meantime, Marallyn and I are going to see Ninette next week - can anything measure up to Shalom?
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