With just 28 days left until the Rolling Stones’ June 4 performance in Tel Aviv’s Hayarkon park, producer Shuki Weiss announced Thursday that the band had chosen Rami Fortis, one of Israel’s original rock ‘n rollers, as the warm-up act.
“I have no words,” said Fortis, also known as 4tis, in a statement. “To say that it’s very exciting is an understatement. I’m almost their age, and this band has accompanied me my whole life — there’s no doubt that they are my soundtrack and a huge source of inspiration for me. If you would have told me that I would end up performing for them, it would have seemed like a joke to me, but everything is possible in life, and therefore, very exciting.”
According to Merav Lahav, who handles the press relations for Weiss, the producer sent several musicians’ clips to the Rolling Stones, who then chose Fortis.
The punk rocker will probably play about 45 minutes before the band comes onstage, said Lahav.
Fortis, 59, who came of age as a musician in the 1970s with his debut album, “Plonter,” is considered a pioneer of Israeli punk rock. His first album wasn’t commercially successful when it was first released, but is now considered a cult favorite. He became known for “Sipurim Me’hakufsa” (Tales from the Box, 1998), and his wild behavior onstage, which earned him the moniker The Madman.
The beloved rocker is now known to younger audiences as one of the mentors on TV reality show “The X Factor Israel,” where he showed himself to be a gentle, supportive mentor who takes time to meditate each morning.