Farewell to the automatic dancer: there was no figure in Israeli culture like Zvika Pick
Over the decades Peak left a huge mark on Israeli music, which was only strengthened by a colorful, original persona and always hungry for success.
In such a serious country, he created songs that celebrate youth, love and music, and the audience repaid him with cross-generational love.
Sunday, August 14, 2022, 4:18 p.m. Updated: 4:51 p.m.
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For the first time in front of an audience since she had a stroke, Zvika Pick appears in front of an audience, at the press conference for the festival (stills: Reuven Castro, video: Sagi Ben Noon)
He had more iconic songs - "Ma'ale Ma'ale", "Mary Lou", "Love at the end of summer", "Diva" for sure - but there is no song that so perfectly distilled the being of Zvika Peak as "The Automatic Dancer", which he performed alongside Ruti Navon .
It's a feast for the ears: the drums speak with the guitars, the applause with the wind instruments, the beloved opening and the cry at the end of the chorus, and of course the words of Mirit Shem Or, which celebrate the moment.
"He lives the melody, his body is electrified - inside him the heart beats to the beat. One more dance and the electricity stops, the dancer remains as still as a stone, a stone," sang Pick and Wise.
Today, with the passing of the 72-year-old Peak, the dancer bled for the last time, and this song, like the countless favorite songs left behind by "the maestro", has become a stylish pop monument.
The automatic dancer fell asleep.
Zvika Peak (Photo: Government Press Office, Yaakov Sa'ar)
There was no other figure in Israeli music like Zvika Pick, in every sense of the word figure, and from all sides.
On the one hand, Peake was a wonderful and very prolific pop composer, who for decades churned out hit after hit.
There is no other person who left such a big mark on Israeli pop in the 70s, 80s and 90s like him, a mark that encompasses beyond his private legacy also huge hits by names such as Ofra Haza, Ricky Gal, Dana International, Yoram Gaon, Shari and Ruti intelligent.
But these were only amplified by the persona - the genteelness, the make-up, the long hair, the aesthetics of the glam that was imported to Israel before everyone else;
The style of speaking and singing are so characteristic, to the extent that every Israeli in the relevant generations could imitate them;
And of course the hunger - even though he enjoyed the fruits of the audience's nostalgia for his old songs, even after decades, he always had the same dream in front of his eyes: a return to the top with a new hit.
When I spoke to him ten years ago on the occasion of the release of a new single he released at the time, he was really angry with me - perhaps rightly so - for asking him about the past as well, and refused any thought of a conclusion.
"When you get up in the morning, do you look and make summaries? You get up and do what you have to do that day. This thing is not what's important. All the awards, all the honors are fine, it's something that exists, that you feel it on the street 24 hours a day," he told me So, "But these are not my occupations as a person and as an artist. I am busy with the daily work, that is the only thing that interests me."
This attitude accompanied him throughout the great ups and downs in his career, and even after the brain event that happened four years ago, he still hoped for a comeback - a word that itself became synonymous with Zvika Pick's name.
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Zvika Peak, one of the pioneers of Israeli pop, passed away at the age of 72
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Pick broke into consciousness as an actor in the Hebrew version of the musical "Hair", but unlike the heroes of the musical, he is not considered a rebellious musician.
Almost the opposite: in the eyes of many, he represented the middle of the road, a singer with a penchant for cuteness and kitsch, whose trademark is a vibrating voice.
The truth is, of course, more complex: Pick was a trailblazer in his extravagant performance, becoming a pop star unlike any before him, and he was definitely also a musical pioneer, a very central player in the early days of Israeli pop and in shaping the entire Israeli sound over two generations.
From the distance of time, and in front of the never-ending pile of songs, it is much easier to appreciate the huge achievements he has made.
Above all, what characterizes his tremendous contribution to Israeli culture is the unique point of view of his songs, offensively pop, so foreign to the Israeli establishment at the time: in such a serious country, he presented a celebration of youth, of love, of music - of course in collaboration Close cooperation with his ex-wife, the songwriter Mirit Shem Or, winner of the Acomm Lifetime Achievement Award in her own right. Not only that: Pick zigzagged between the high and the low and between several genres, and was successful in all of them: he wrote songs for Eurovision with the same hands ("Diva" , "Let's light a candle together") and compositions for Nathan Yonatan and Alexander Penn ("Nesef Tishrei", "No I am the man"), songs from movies ("Shir Hafriha", for example) and children's songs ("The soap cried a lot").
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A popish point of view in offensive.
Pick (Photo: Maariv, Yonatan Shaul)
But even if there were those who turned up their noses at him, the audience's love for Pick won, and he remained loved and embraced even when many other musicians disappeared from the surface.
In real time, and again with his return to the spotlight in the 90s and 2000s, the audience drank these songs with great love, and they became Israeli classics in every way.
This legacy also helped to raise the following: every pop artist who grew up here after him, from Adam and Maya Buskila, through Aviv Gefen to Noa Kirel and Margie, stand on the shoulders of all his songs and melodies.
That's how it is, the world always belongs to the young stars.
Pick had time to see all of this happen, and in recent years has received many tributes and honors.
He still hoped to return to the stage in the near future and perform, but he did not get it.
The power went out, the automatic dancer bled.
Mirit Shem Or