Charlie Megira is a highly talented Berlin based Israeli guitarist. He has released some different style albums under various monikers in the last few years. His music ranges from 50s style surf rock and roll through dark wave to garage rock.

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I grew up in the 70s and was surrounded mostly by traditional Moroccan music and on top of it all my father still owned a very nice records collection of popular music in the likes of Elvis Presley, RitchieValens, The Platters, Buddy Holly, Little Richard, Bill Haley, James Brown, The Temptations, Santana, some disco records like Boney M and ABBA. I can also recall some Sanremo records and Julio Iglesias, Johnny Holliday, Nino Ferrer and so on… A beat later I also used to hang out with my older cousin that introduced me to some rock music like Whitesnake, Iron Maiden, Scorpions and more. I remember I once asked him why all those bands are wearing dirty and ripped cloths, I thought they were poor and maybe could not afford to buy nice cloths… Anyway I really got into this heavy rock and also liked Bob Marley a lot.

I was a very good student and a talented swimmer

so by the age of 12 I was sent from home to a boarding school in the city of Kfar Saba (near Tel-Aviv). I would say that meeting those city kids had a big affect on me. Example, on my first week there I had a roommate that played The Smiths on a tape and for me it sounded horrible so I punched him in the face and broke the cassette and put on the Scorpions’ gold ballads.

In Israel the military service is compulsory, 3 years for men, 2 years for women. He started his first band in the army.

“I and some guys used to jam but we could not really play the instruments, it was just noise but it sure was a great feeling.” It’s almost sure there was a very special cover of In The Army Now by Status Quo.

After demobilization he, as a biologist

threw himself into improvement of peanut and potato. He joined a group of scientists who were working in a governmental agricultural project in order to make special types of peanut and potato, which bear its fruits above the ground, so the harvest become simplified, and the fruits get a special taste by the sun. During this time he has begun his rock and roll experiments on guitar more seriously.

His first solo effort was a very fine, nearly ethereal surf guitar EP. There were no drums, just guitars, piano and castanets. The first album was the Rock And Roll Fragments in 2003. It is perfectly equal with its title. The 25 tracks mostly are different long song fragments.

“RnR Fragments is a two-headed monster spitting rings of fire that burns like love.”

It was the first case that he worked together with the Puerto Rican born Michal Kahan. She has begun her career in Israeli garage rock scene in the 90s. After two solo EP she joined Megira, also as girlfriend. Baby Escapo has been taken from her second EP

 

Their next album “Charlie Megira und Hefker Girl” 

is almost totally different world. Cure-, Sisters of Mercy- and Joy Division-like dark wave. “That was the first test in recording on a real to real tape machine. That is really all there is to it, that and some bunch of boring and tedious subjects.

The next chapter is Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club. In this quartet – where Kahan was the drummer – every mentioned style was mixed with high energy garage rock. Unfortunately after one, but double album it broke up.

 

And finally his way went back to the beach where The Bet-She’an Valley Hillbillies play minimal 50s surf rock and roll on easy waves. Dead Girl on bass from Modern Dance Club, and Corso on bongos are by Charlie’s side. The band got its name after his hometown. Their first album was released recently. Be-bop.

You can find some songs from his albums in this playlist

1. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Shake It (live, Ozen Bar, Tel-Aviv, 2009)
2. Charlie Megira – Dan Electro & The Fabtones Psychopaths
3. Charlie Megira – Dynamite Rock
4. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Rhythm of Hate
5. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – The Wall of Death
6. Charlie Megira – ZooZoo Otamootoo
7. Charlie Megira & Hefker Girl – Nothing
8. Charlie Megira – The Beit-Shean Valley Hillbilys Song
9. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Elvis is Not Dead
10. Charlie Megira – If You Only Knew
11. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Homeless Body
12. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – No Wave Excercise
13. Charlie Megira & Hefker Girl – Kiss of Death
14. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Sababa
15. Charlie Megira – D.D.T & The Tralalala Boys
16. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Je ne parle pas Francais
17. Charlie Megira – Radio 106FM (Joy Division Transmission)
18. Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – U.S.F.
19. Charlie Megira – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow
20. Charlie Megira – An Owl, A Forest, A Whistle, Crickets and a Monkey

Charlie Megira – The Abtomic Misterzinger Mambo Shik (2001): 19
Charlie Megira – Rock’n’Roll Fragments (2003) : 2, 3, 6, 8, 10, 15, 20
Charlie Megira & Hefker Girl: 7, 13
Charlie Megira & The Modern Dance Club – Love Police (2011): 4, 5, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18

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