NY musician Lenny Solomon, famous for his Jewish parodies of popular music in the guise of Shlock Rock, tells of his unlikely decision to become an accountant, despite his father's wish that he study at Julliard and become a full-time musician.
Over 450 recorded songs and over 2,000 concerts later, Lenny reflects upon his living a G-dly life as a basis for the gift of creating songs.
According to Lenny, all songwriting is tapping into a Divine pipeline, and even bad songs connect to G-d. "You can write secular music that's good, but when stuff comes out that's bad, it's still all connecting to that same pipeline," he explains. "The melody is pure. The words come from deep within the person writing the song."
And what of secular music that he "converts" to Jewish music, as in his parodies or his "Shabbat in Liverpool" album in which Shabbat liturgy is put to Beatles' music?
"Our sages teach us that we have an obligation to take the most beautiful melodies of the soul, and to put in the words of the prayer book. That way, you're taking the song from the side of darkness to the side of light."
Since making Aliyah, Lenny feels that his music-writing pipeline has grown stronger and faster. Sometimes an entire song creates itself in his head before he even finishes the phone call requesting it.
His latest project is a rock opera telling the story of Daniel from the Bible. "It's going to become even bigger than Joseph," Lenny predicts. The story is fascinating, and the songs almost wrote themselves. Lenny's telling of the Daniel story stays true, of course, to the Biblical story. "It's the words of the prophets, set to music that flowed into my head like water."
Tune in to get to know a funny, talented and spiritual person who sees his music as a mission, and sees his life as a script written by G-d.