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Itzhak Klepter

He stands out as one of the most exceptional, highly regarded, and influential guitarists in the realm of Israeli rock. Additionally, he possesses notable talents as a skilled writer and composer. This remarkable blend of technical prowess, emotional expression, and melodious creativity is instrumental in shaping Iron Flock's contributions to Israeli music.

(Photo: Oren Agmon)

The sheet falls short in capturing the extensive legacy of the iconic guitarist Yitzhak Klepter, also known as "Churchill." Here are 50 facts shedding light on both the man and the legend:

1. Born on March 31, 1950, in Haifa.

2. From an early age, he immersed himself in music, with a musical household where his mother sang, his father played the violin and guitar, and his brother handled the accordion.

3. His first instrument was the accordion, picked up at the age of 7.

4. Transitioned to playing the guitar at the age of 13, a musical companion ever since.

5. Formed the "Churchills" band at 15, along with Chaim Romano, Miki Gavrielov, and others, adopting the band's name from Klepter's school days nickname, "Churchill."

6. Became one of the pioneering "rhythm bands" in Israel during that era, performing in clubs across the country.

7. In the early days, Klepter focused on rhythm guitar, with Chaim Romano handling lead guitar duties.

8. Remained with the band until May 1968, when he enlisted in the IDF.

9. Concurrently, Klepter led guitar for another rhythm band, "The Styles," where he coined the band's name. This period also marked his friendship with guitarist Uzi Fox.

10. Post-IDF service, worked as a session guitarist, contributing to various artists anonymously due to contractual constraints.

11. Joined the "Apocalypse" band in 1971 alongside Zohar Levy, Eli Magen, Gabi Shoshan, and Miri Aloni, releasing their sole album in 1972.

(Photo: YouTube)

12. The album achieved considerable acclaim, even earning the "David's Violin" award. It features enduring Klepter solos in tracks such as "The Tree Is Tall," "Under the Eucalyptus Tree," "There Is No Room for Two on a Power Pole," and "Open the Door for Me."

13. Despite the artistic triumph, the band faced commercial challenges, leading to its dissolution. Klepter returned to his role as a studio player. Notably, he played and arranged some tracks on Arik Einstein's "Jasmine" album, including "How Good You Came Home." Additionally, he contributed to Zvika Pick's second album in the song "Signs."

14. Subsequently, Klepter attempted to form a trio with Zohar Levy, his fellow member from the "Apocalypse" band, along with Shlomo Yidov.

15. In 1973, he abandoned the trio idea and joined the "Kaveret" band, heeding the persuasions of Danny Sanderson.

(Photo: Monty Abrahamson)

16. Drawing from his background in "rhythm bands," Klepter brought his wealth of experience to the "Nahal Veterans" group. Conversely, the band represented a departure in style for Klepter, involving more accessible and humorous material.

17. Within the band, Klepter contributed to memorable melodies such as "Yu Ya," "She Is So Beautiful," "Tango Frogs," "That's How She Is in the Middle," and "Go Tell Grandma." He also composed and sang solo in the song "The Idiot."

18. Klepter had the opportunity to perform with the band at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, presenting the song "I Gave Her My Life."

19. In 1976, "Kaveret" disbanded, leading to a decline in Klepter's financial and mental well-being.

20. A turning point for Klepter occurred in 1978 when Jonathan Geffen extended an invitation to participate in his show "Living Room Talks." Klepter contributed songs like "Bedouin Love Song," "Green Island in the Sea," "Forever I Will Wait," and the segment "Picture."

21. During the same year, he composed "Simple Account" and "Let's Stay" for Gidi Gov's debut album.

22. 1978 proved to be a bustling year for Klepter as he also collaborated on a song from the album "The Sixteenth Lamb."

23. In 1979, he teamed up with Shlomo Yidov and Shem Tov Levy to form the ensemble "Tuned Sound," which featured the unforgettable theme song written and sung by Klepter.

24. In 1980, Zvika Pick's album "The Mirror" was released, featuring the participation of Klepter.

25. That very year marked the commencement of Klepter's solo career. It began with a broadcast record released in 1980, followed by his debut album "Isaac" which included tracks like "My Love Is Not His Love," "Me and Then," and "We Met."

26. In 1981, he wrote and composed the song "If You Are Around" for Eric Sinai's album "Heavy Shadow."

27. 1982 saw Klepter as a member of Yigal Bashan in the duet "We Are Both Together."

28. During the same year, he engaged in his first substantive collaboration with Arik Einstein on the album "Sitting on the Fence." Klepter composed all the songs on the album and received credit for the album title.

29. Continuing the collaboration with Einstein, the album "Fragile" was released in 1983. Once again, all the melodies were crafted by Klepter, who earned credit on the album cover.

(Photo: promo shots for a reunion show, Wikipedia)

30. Klepter's collaboration with Einstein extended to several albums, including "Time Out," "Loves to Be at Home," "On the Border of Light," "I Was Once a Child," "I Have Love," and more.

31. Notably, in 2011, Arik Einstein released the collection "Arik Einstein, Sings Yitzhak Klepter."

32. The collection comprised songs composed by Klepter for Arik Einstein, along with a cover of Einstein's song "Tuned Sound" and a new song, "Laboratories for Freedom," co-composed by Klepter and Guy Bucati.

33. The collection's booklet emphasized Arik's initiative, expressing how he rediscovered the magical and special nature of their collaboration upon revisiting their albums together.

34. In 1984, Klepter released his second studio album in his solo career, "Alone." Unfortunately, the album faced commercial failure, leading Klepter into a period of depression and contemplation of retirement.

35. Serendipitously, "Kaveret" reunited that year for a significant show, thrusting Klepter back into the limelight and improving his financial situation.

36. Over the next four years, Klepter continued composing songs for various singers, including Gali Atari, Arik Sinai, and Rivka Zohar.

37. In 1988, he released his third solo album, "Sustaining," featuring the hit "Free Imagination." However, this album also experienced commercial setbacks.

38. From the late 1980s and early 1990s, Klepter shifted his focus to composing for other artists, including Chaim Moshe, Yael Levy, and Roni Turgeman.

39. In 1993, he released his fourth solo album, "Those Streets." During the same year, he also unveiled his collection "Isaac, Alone, Holds On," encompassing songs from his first three albums.

40. 1998 saw Klepter's participation in another reunion of "Kaveret," resulting in the release of the album and DVD "Kaveret in the Park."

41. The members of "Kaveret" organized a fundraiser for Klepter two years later to support him during the recovery from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor from his head.

42. In 2008, Klepter received the Lifetime Achievement Award as a composer in the field of Hebrew songs.

43. During the same year, he was further honored with an entire episode of the show "A Star Is Born" dedicated to his songs, where he also made an appearance.

44. In 2009, his live album "Free Imagination" was released, featuring a recording from 1989.

(Photo: Jarar Alon)

45. In that same year, another live album, "We Met," featuring Klepter, Alon Olarchik, and Ephraim Shamir, was released.

46. In 2013, Klepter participated in yet another reunion of "Kaveret," performing in five different shows across the country.

47. Throughout the 2000s, Klepter collaborated with various artists, including Arik Sinai, Gali Atari, Nurit Galron, Shlomi Shaban, Hadag Nachash, and more. In 2019, he collaborated with the band "Swan Band."

48. In 2012, Klepter recorded a remake of the song "Free Imagination" for the soundtrack of the movie "Cannon Flesh."

49. Klepter also composed music for several other Israeli films, such as "Road Without a Dead End" (1982), "Lena" (1980), and "Fictitious Marriage" (1988).

50. In his later years, Klepter faced health challenges, particularly chronic lung disease. He passed away on December 8, 2022, at the age of 72, in his home.

We have prepared a playlist that includes selected songs he has written and/or performed during his tremendous career.

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