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Counting Crows frontman calls Israel ‘a heady liquor’ for Jews

Founding member and lead singer of rock band performing in Ra’anana on Wednesday says he has longed to play Israel for decades

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, speaking on Times Will Tell, The Times of Israel weekly podcast ahead of his September 14 concert in Ra'anana (Times Will Tell)
Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows, speaking on Times Will Tell, The Times of Israel weekly podcast ahead of his September 14 concert in Ra'anana (Times Will Tell)

Adam Duritz has waited decades to play in Israel, a place that he “loves,” the Counting Crows frontman has told The Times of Israel.

“I have pretty powerful memories in Israel,” says Duritz, 58, who landed Sunday morning in Tel Aviv, ahead of the band’s September 14 performance in Ra’anana.

Duritz’s full comments will air on Times Will Tell, a weekly ToI podcast that comes out Wednesday for Community members and Friday for all Times of Israel readers.

Duritz visited Israel several times in his teens, hiking through Sinai, working on a kibbutz and later learning Torah in Jerusalem, a “powerful place” for him, he says.

The lead singer of the California-founded band, known for hits such as “Mr. Jones,” “Round Here,” and “Accidentally In Love,” credited the physical work he learned on the kibbutz as the foundation for the landscaping and construction jobs that he later did to support himself while building his musical career.

He also spoke about his own struggles with religion and faith, and how those issues showed up in his music.

While religious issues don’t play a role in Duritz’s music any longer, there are things about Israel “that tug at me a lot,” he said. “Being here is intoxicating in that way, it’s a very heady liquor.”

“It’s a country full of Jews as opposed to being one of a crowd,” says Duritz. “In the rest of the world, you’re one in a crowd and here you’re part of the crowd, and that’s a unique thing.”

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