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Just Being at Interesting Places at Interesting Times...

Zvika Pick, Israeli singer-songwriter and perennial pop star, passed away on August 14, 2022.

In the summer of 1970 I visited Tel Aviv and discovered that the Hebrew version of Hair was auditioning for singers. I decided to try my luck, and was told to be at the Oasis Theater in Ramat Gan at 5 pm.

Two young men and I waited to be auditioned on the parking level of a tall apartment building on a hillside, with a theater underneath; the backstage facilities had been extended into the parking area with a series of plywood cubicles which were serving as dressing rooms.

A matinee was in progress. As we waited to be interviewed the intermission began... and a man walked down the hallway stark naked except for blue and red body paint. I stared, speechless. As he was about to enter his dressing room he saw me. For a split second he popped back out of the doorway, threw his arms in the air and cried out "Arghh…" in falsetto before disappearing.

I didn't get the job; they wanted a solo soprano, not a choir soprano or Joan Baez voice.

Two days later I saw the production from a balcony seat and learned that the man in body paint was Zvika Pick in the role of Claude. At the end of the show the audience was invited to dance on-stage with the cast; I clomped my way down the catwalk connecting the balcony with the stage, was handed down the step by a tall black dancer, and kicked off my wooden clogs to join in the dancing and singing of Let the Sunshine In. When the music ended we all turned towards the audience, many of whom had been dancing in place, to make V signs.

Until this moment it never occurred to me that I "shared a stage" with an Israeli icon. Zvika Pick went on to have a phenomenal music career, write the music for Israel's Eurovision win Diva, and become Quentin Tarantino's father-in-law.

 

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Saturday, 26 November 2022

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