I was first exposed to the colorful figure of Zvika Pick as a child, somewhere in the early 1970s, when she was emblazoned on the cover of the weekly "Lehton". The new pop star was completely different from the swarthy, blue-eyed beauty that was accepted at the time, of veterans of military bands such as Shashi Keshet and Yigal Bashan.
I was first exposed to the colorful figure of Zvika Pick as a child, somewhere in the early 1970s, when she was emblazoned on the cover of the weekly "Lehton".
The new pop star was completely different from the swarthy, blue-eyed beauty that was accepted at the time, of veterans of military bands such as Shashi Keshet and Yigal Bashan.
Pick, who was cast in the lead role in the local production of the musical "Hair" as Claude, had long hair, dressed in shiny suits and - and this was a revolution - he had make-up on.
The very different image that the young musician, born in Poland, has adapted for himself, has made life difficult for him among critics.
For almost his entire career, he was slaughtered by the media, and was sometimes the object of ridicule by opinion leaders in the field of popular culture, when the strange chicken that gained immense popularity among the audience did not sit well with them.
If you like revolutionaries - the establishment preference was for Eric Einstein's coop group, Beehive and their friends.
A strange chicken that gained enormous popularity.
Peak, photography: Zohar Shetrit
The stylized kitsch cover of the melodist, who was one of the pioneers who electrified their compositions with a synthesizer, gained many fans and admirers in the audience, but was generally dismissed as a joke among the serious critics.
But for Zvika Pick, the genius musician who grew up from his childhood on the knees of classical music - it didn't bother him at all, on the contrary.
It seems that going against the flow actually empowered him as a prolific creator.
He created scaffolding from his classical education, and composed more and more huge pop songs such as "Ma'ale Ma'ale", "Shir Farha", "Love at the end of the summer" and "Living with him", and ballads by poets such as "Nasaf Tishri", which have survived the filter of the years and are danced, broadcast and sung To this day.
24 years ago I had the privilege of giving Zvika a great gift.
I believed that he, and only he, was the composer who could handle the text I wrote for Dana International for Eurovision.
Indeed, in May 1998, the stars aligned.
Our "diva" won Eurovision, and was (and still is) an anthem and a symbol of freedom, openness and acceptance of others.
Going against the flow actually empowered him as a prolific creator, photo: Shuka Cohen public relations
The win breathed new life into Zvika's career.
He returned to performing, took part in television series, was a judge in "A Star is Born", and Yaakov Agmon, the CEO of Bhima, bet on "Mary Lou", the musical of his songs, which was an unprecedented success in the Israeli theater.
Later we also wrote together for the Eurovision song "Light a candle together" for Sharit Hadad, which was a prayer song in the Jewish communities around the world.
When I talked to Tzvika a few days ago, he sounded optimistic, and as usual, full of humor, he told me: "You know, Yoavi, that music is my life, and my planned show will be the biggest."
Every time we talk I remember him sitting with a new text in front of the piano, and becoming "Zvika Peak" - just like before.
That Zvika, bright and full of energy, a genius musician with the face of Madonna.
"Music is my life."
Tzvika Pick, photo: Koko
I have no doubt that even where he is now he plays a white piano and sings:
"Up, up, up,
all the sounds play you
a song from the heart, a beautiful song like you,
up, up, up"
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