Eran Zur

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A man with a guitar and a woman with a microphone
Zur (left) in concert with the guest Efrat Ben-Tsur, 2007

Eran Zur (Hebrew: ערן צור‎; born 11 July 1965 in Kiryat Bialik) is an Israeli rock singer and songwriter and prose writer, who started his career in late 1980s. He wrote dozens of songs for himself as well as for other Israeli artists. He mostly plays bass guitar. One of the characteristics of his songs is strong and explicit accent on love and sexuality.

Musical career[edit]

First years and Tatu[edit]

In high school Zur started playing rock songs with Eyal Schechter and Amir Ben-David, who later formed the band Avtipus in a band with the English name "Mother Brain Crazy", but it didn't record anything.

In 1986, after he graduated from the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music, Zur formed the band Tatu (טאטו) with his school mates Yuval Messner, Uri Balak and Alona Daniel. The band released one album, Khatokh Tokhen (Cut Content). Daniel, who went on to become a successful solo singer, sang most of the songs on it. Zur was the singer on one of the songs Bekhatserot bakhoshekh (In the Yards in Darkness), which describes the thoughts of a rapist in first person. This song was censored and forbidden for broadcasting on Israeli radio. The band protested against it - in the video for the theme song the band members were shown cutting magnetic tape, and briefly showing the title of the censored song. The band broke up in 1989, though later it reunited several times for concerts.

Carmela Gross Wagner[edit]

After the break-up of Tatu, Zur started another band named Carmela Gross Wagner. The band included Uri Balak, who earlier played in Tatu, as well as Uri Frost and Avshalom Kaspi. Another Tatu band mate Yuval Messner acted as a cello player in several songs and co-wrote some of them - a partnership that continued throughout Zur's career. The band's first album was released in 1991, with most songs written by Zur, one song by Meir Ariel, and several songs by the poet and the gender researcher Amalia Ziv. The album did not sell well initially, although the song Tmuna impressionistit (מונה אימפרסיוניסטית, Impressionist Picture), performed with Corinne Allal, became a major radio hit.

in 1992 the guitar player Uri Frost left Carmela Gross Wagner to join Rir. He was replaced by Dror Orgad and later by Ram Orion, of the Top-Hat Carriers. Another new band member as Yarona Caspi of Gvanim Kehim, who later went on to be a solo singer.

In 1994 Zur sang in two songs on the album Radio Bla Bla by Natasha's Friends. The same band's singer produced Carmela Gross Wagner's second album, Iver be-lev yam (Blindfold in the Middle of the Sea). The album became more popular than its predecessor, producing the hits Erev bet kislev (partially based on a medieval poem by Solomon ibn Gabirol) and Kayits (Summer). Both songs were composed by Messner. In 1995 Carmela Gross Wagner broke up although, like Tatu, it played several reunion shows in different line-ups in the years that followed.

Solo albums[edit]

After the success of Iver belev yam Zur started a series of intimate concerts, with himself on bass guitar and Messner on cello. Despite the unusual line-up, the show garnered very positive reviews and Zur continued staging up for many years to come, gradually adding newer songs.

In 1997 he staged Ata khavera sheli (You Are My Girlfriend, with the masculine form of "you"), a concert based on poems by Yona Wallach. Rona Kenan, Dana International and Corinne Allal all performed as guests singers on the concert. An album based on the concert was also released - essentially Zur's first album as a solo artist. The ballad Tutim (Strawberries) becoming a hit despite its highly explicit sexual lyrics.

In 2000 Zur released his first studio solo album Takhlit batakhtit. The album had a mellower pop sound, and generated two radio hits - Leilot shel yareakh male (Full Moon Nights) and Hu ve-hi (He and She).

In 2004 Zur published his first book as a prose writer - The Ashman House through the Keter Publishing House.

In 2006 he released the album Khotekh bekhatakh hazahav (Cutting the Golden Section). Zur wrote most of the songs, except three - by Inbal Perlmuter, Joshua Sobol and Naim Araidi.

In 2010 he released Kol ma she-enoshi, (Anything Human), with lyrics by himself as well as by Yair Hurvitz, Avraham Shlonsky and Etgar Keret.

In 2013 he received the Meir Ariel award for Creativity in the Hebrew language.

In addition to playing concerts, Zur is a teacher in the Rimon school, where he studied himself.

Personal life[edit]

Zur is married to Avital and has two children.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Padva, Gilad (2006). 'Hey, Man, You're My Girlfriend!' Poetic Genderfuck and Queer Hebrew in Eran Zur's Performance of Yona Wallach's Lyrics. In Whiteley, Sheila and Rycenga, Jennifer (Eds.), Queering the Popular Pitch (pp. 101–113). London and New York: Routledge.

External links[edit]