twilight singers in tel aviv
In light of the recent aggression between Israel and the Hezbollah terrorist faction in Lebanon and Syria, I have been moved to comment on my feelings regarding this conflict. While I am saddened by the loss of life and property on both sides, my belief in freedom, democracy and the peaceful existence of the state of Israel remains steadfast. To this end, the Twilight Singers show in Tel Aviv on August 30 will go on as scheduled. We look forward to performing our songs for an audience who has yet to see us in their own country and hope to be visiting in a time of peace.
Many of you likely know that I have two passports and spent six years living in Tel Aviv. I don’t want to turn this into a political discussion but I’m glad he’s still going, and it’s important to me that he is.
My best friend from those years just recently visited and we were talking about how chickenshit Metallica were back in the day when they played Israel, how they made up some story about why they didn’t spend the night on Israeli soil (they stayed in Cyprus and flew in and out for the show) because there was some random routine going on way up north – it would have been like saying, “Gee, something’s going on at the Canadian border, I better not go to Boston.”
(Except that isn’t exactly true, your concept of what danger really is changes when you live in a war zone.)
(But it was still chickenshit and Lars lied very badly [quelle surprise, I hear you saying] when someone in the media called him on it.)
Now, of course, the situation is VERY different, even in Tel Aviv, a city that you would recognize, no matter where you live right now. But it doesn’t truly impact day-to-day on the street and I’m glad he’s going; a lesser man would have cancelled and not been that badly thought of in this context. But, Dulli is not a lesser man.
I also take particular pride in Dulli’s Israeli outing because I had some direct impact on this, believe it or not. When I lived in Israel, I was the Label Manager for the former Warner/Elektra/Atlantic, and it was my decision to release the Afghan Whigs’ Gentlemen locally. It was the first release of the Whigs over there – before that, maybe you could have special-ordered or found one or two copies of the Sub Pop releases in the funky record store – maybe. Israel is a small, quirky market that can’t possibly support every record released in the US or UK. Some things just don’t sell; some things do sell if you work at it hard enough. Understand that this was a market where I had to make a VERY VERY VERY strong case to the Managing Director that this band called Nirvana was worth taking a chance on.
Anyway, by the time the advance cassette for Gentlemen appeared on my desk, I had enough credibility that I could release it, and hand-carry it over to one of the top DJ’s in the country to make sure it was debuted on his show. It turned out to be a BIG hit,too (well, big in a country where a Gold record was 20,000 – and it was fucking hard to get that). But I do remember the requests at the dj booth (oh yeah, I used to quasi-dj at the big club in Tel Aviv at the time) and the pride at watching a whole room of kids and just-past-kids gyrating and singing along to the Whigs.
I don’t really talk much about what I did there and I’m not quite sure why, because I still have the gold records and the award plaques and stories to tell. Some day, maybe.
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