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Friday, October 13, 2006

Photo Friday (vol. LXXX) [Rock & Roll Fantasy edition]

Every so often I start to think that in addition to simply living my ordinary suburban life I'm also subconsciously collecting experiences.  That's not a bad thing, mind you... but it sometimes makes me want to pinch myself to see if all this is real.

Take for example my arrival in Israel.  Most people book a flight and fight their way through customs before wandering alone to find a cab at the curb.  I (meaning we) had the good fortune to be welcomed to Israel like visiting heads of state.   When I wrote about that experience, I tossed off a casual comment that it was an experience that everyone should try at least once in their life.

Well, this past week I found myself in another setting where all I could think to myself was 'savor this moment and burn it into your memory because most people will never get to experience what this feels like'.

For the past few years during the Sukkot vacation there has been a big corporate-sponsored outdoor concert held in Beit Shemesh here in Israel.  I've been fortunate enough to be asked to play with one of the bands (Shlock Rock) almost every year (last year was rained out), and each time I'm up there on stage in front of that enormous screaming audience I catch myself thinking "this can't possibly be real".

This year I asked my wife if she would mind snapping a few shots from her vantage point with the kids about a quarter of the way back in the crowd so I could see what it looked like. 

When I first saw the results I was a little disappointed.  Using my little point & shoot digital camera, Zahava had collected what looked like views through a broken kaleidoscope.  When she saw my reaction she said, "Don't worry... I'm a Photoshop® genius!".

When she emailed me the photos I was impressed with how well she'd cleaned them up.  However I told her, "If you're such a Photoshop® genius why didn't you give me a full head of hair and take 20 pounds off my gut".  To which she replied "I'm a Photoshop® genius... not a miracle worker!".

So here's what she came up with:

That's me there on the right (stage left) with the trombone.  The drummer is Mike Roth... the keyboardist is Lenny Solomon... the sax player is Danny Block.  Our Regular guitarist was out of town so we 'borrowed' the guitarist from the band 'Reva 'L'shevah':

A little closer:

Another view:

The miracle of zoom:

The miracle of zoom AND cropping:
I hope I get a chance to play the concert again next year.  I mean, where else can a bald, overweight, middle-aged husband/father stand up in front of thousands of screaming people and have a bunch of teenagers down front singing along... waving their hands in the air... and basically doing a damned good impression of open adulation?

When I left the U.S. I also left behind the music business.  I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to get a taste of the old life now and then... y'know, just to be able to hoard a few more experiences for my collection.  :-)

Shabbat Shalom and have a great Simchat Torah (for those celebrating).

Posted by David Bogner on October 13, 2006 | Permalink


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While the big kids always enjoy watching David perform, as 12 and 11 year olds, even they would have to admit that some of the novelty factor has worn off....

This year's concert, however, was the first time that Yonah was old enough to 1) attend, and 2) make the "oh-my-G-d-that's-MY-ABBA- on-stage" connection!

When we first arrived the band that preceded Shlock Rock was playing, and the loud noise startled Yonah... I was a little worried that I wouldn't be able to snap David's requested pix (what with Yonah's limbs velcroed to my head and all!)...

He thankfully settled down onto our spectator blanket during the announcements which came between bands. He sat quietly between Gili, Ari and I as the band came on stage and began to set-up....

But as they started to play, the dawn-of-recognition descended on his precious head! He leapt up from the blanket and shrieked (like a true adoring fan) "HEY! DAT MY ABBA!"


From that moment on Yonah simply couldn't sit down! He danced, vibrating with the music, eyes transfixed on HIS Abba, occassionally squealing with delight, "Hi Abba!" and waving wildly toward the stage!

While I too enjoy watching David perform -- Yonah's delighted reaction made this performance extra special! :-)

Posted by: zahava | Oct 13, 2006 12:01:09 PM

oy i love both sides of this story...thanks trepp and zahava...yonah you are da man!!! shabbat shalom and happy simchat torah

Posted by: marallyn | Oct 13, 2006 12:23:06 PM


Posted by: Doctor Bean | Oct 13, 2006 3:16:15 PM

Loved the "Yonah perspective" and happy for ya David, that you got to get the 'band high' once again.
... just like riding a bicycle!
Have a good Simchat Torah.

Posted by: val | Oct 13, 2006 3:31:26 PM

It would take a lot more than David playing trombone to get that band high.

Posted by: Jordan Hirsch | Oct 13, 2006 4:25:26 PM

Zahava, thanks for the pics and for your addition to the post! Love the 2-sided story. Looks like a lot of fun. Shabbat Shalom & Chag Sameach.

Posted by: Essie | Oct 13, 2006 4:29:17 PM

Cool! U must have a strong pair of lungs for that part.

Have a good Weekend.

Posted by: pk | Oct 13, 2006 4:37:40 PM

That sounds like fun. Good Shabbos.

Posted by: Jack | Oct 13, 2006 5:14:12 PM

It looks great! Must have been an adrenaline-filled experience.

Posted by: Irina | Oct 13, 2006 7:58:44 PM

Yonah's reaction is so adorable. I can just imagine how excited he must have been.

Love that song, btw.

Have a great wknd.

Posted by: jaime | Oct 14, 2006 1:13:14 AM

Pictures are nice, but where are the MP3s? :)

Posted by: Chris | Oct 14, 2006 11:21:47 AM

you were there!!! gosh...i was there that night. i didnt realize it was you. i dont know if you said anything about it on your blog before that -- its been hard in yeshiva to stay in it. but i was there when shlock rock played. MAN!

Posted by: Tonny | Oct 15, 2006 8:04:24 PM

Zahava... It goes without saying that I appreciate beyond measure what a gift it is to be able to perform on stage in front of my kids (and wife, of course). Few fathers /husbands get such an opportunity.

Marallyn... Me too... thanks. :-)

Doctor Bean... A couple of good strong doses of broad spectrum antibiotics should clear that right up for you. :-)

Val... Thanks. It was a high.

Jordan... Two words, my friend: Glass Houses. :-)

Essie... Great fun.

pk... strong lips, anyway.

Jack... You should try it some time.

Irina... Yes, you could say that. Looking out at thousands of screaming people will do that to you. :-)

Jaime... When we were standing up there getting ready to play, all I could hear in my head was that song. ;-)

Chris... I couldn't think of everything! Maybe next year.

Tonny... Clearly you were too busy looking at the pretty teen-aged girls! :-)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Oct 16, 2006 11:09:32 AM

Way cool, from both perspectives. :)

Danny Block was there, too?! I just schlepped out my "Rock of Sages" CD and listened to him wailing away on the original (Kabbalah Band) version of Mark Skier's Ki V'Simchah (not to be confused with Lenny Solomon's Ki V'Simchah).

We saw Shlock Rock recently in New York City, with Mark (a.k.a. Capn Crunch) imported from Milwaukee to play bass. I can't help thinking that Shlock Rock is where "professionals" and ex-professionals go to play, both literally and figuratively--the band includes an ex-accountant, a dentist, and an internist. You're not the only middle-aged guy who gets his jollies from performing for enthusiastic fans. :)

So, where can we get hold of some recordings of the resident trombonist?

Posted by: Shira Salamone | Oct 19, 2006 7:19:49 AM

You make all us secret rock star wannabes proud! Loved the Yonah perspective add-on...

To answer your question...Phil Collins, maybe?

Posted by: mcaryeh | Nov 5, 2006 6:57:34 AM

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