Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth to play in Israel

In 2015, bandmate Thurston Moore expressed support for BDS movement

June 26, 2018 22:16
1 minute read.
Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth

Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth. (photo credit: ANNA BOGACIOVAS)


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Lee Ranaldo, a founding member and guitarists of iconic American rock band Sonic Youth, will be performing in Israel this fall.

Ranaldo will be playing a concert on October 20 at the Enav Cultural Center in Tel Aviv. Sonic Youth – consisting at the time of Ranaldo, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon and Steve Shelley – played in Tel Aviv in 1996 for thousands of Israeli fans. In 2011, the legendary band split up after Moore and Gordon began divorce proceedings.

In 2015, Moore scheduled a solo concert in Tel Aviv, then abruptly canceled it with no explanation. Later that year, he penned a letter saying that “to perform with my band in Israel was in direct conflict to my values,” and that he did not want to violate “a boycott based on principles of non-violence.”

Moore added that “When Sonic Youth played Tel Aviv in 1996 it was an amazing, wonderful experience and education. I hope to return soon.” Since then he has joined celebrity artists letters condemning Israel and calling for artistic boycotts.

While Moore isn’t likely to head back to Israel anytime soon, Ranaldo apparently has no qualms about returning to Israel, to the delight of Sonic Youth fans. He’s bringing his “Solos and Stories” tour around Europe this fall to promote his latest solo album, 2017’s Electric Trim.

Ranaldo is considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time – ranked No. 33 by Rolling Stone and No. 1 (with Moore) by Spin magazine.

Several months before Sonic Youth played in Israel in 1996, Ranaldo arrived for a solo show at a music festival in Tel Aviv. In an interview with The Jerusalem Post’s David Brinn, the guitarist said he was “coming only to Israel to perform this trip, and we’re plan on staying on for a week or so just to experience the country.”

Tickets for the show are available at zappa-club.co.il and range from NIS 169-189.

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