Yehuda Koton took me to one of the earliest Sympozion gigs, at Rimon. They were truly a great group, and I remember being duly impressed by Arik's compositional sense, which unfolded maturely in terms of both harmonic content and dynamic intent, instead of coming off like it had something to prove. I left Rimon that night realising that we'd just witnessed something special; a band that, along with only a scant few others, might actually be able to go beyond the normal ilk of "copying" their heros -which is the norm in Israel- and hence make the country proud.רוק מתקדם >>
Later, when it came to his attention that I needed a set of drums (Udi and I were constantly borrowing Yossi Halachmi's back then) Arik stepped up to the plate and, as a testament to his generosity, offered me his own. I didn't feel right about taking them from him, so he allowed me the dignity of giving him what amounted to pin-money, and a meal on me.
During this lunch, I realised that I was in the company of a special young man; Twenty years my junior, and concomitantly sharing none of the jaded or ho-hum ideals that yours truly belayed, he was wide-eyed and open-minded about life, and music in particular. He outright rejected propositions like "Prog is dead, man" or, "That can't happen here", instead bringing to my attention that Israel is a place of miracle and wonder far beyond my own petty understanding. I couldn't argue with him, and he'd put me in my place, in the most brethrenly of ways.
I sometimes wonder why it seems that the most altruistic and brilliant of us often choose to take our own lives. I humbly suggest that I'll probably never know the answer in this lifetime. But I do know that, in this case, we have lost a great talent, a gentle, caring, giving, and generous soul. He will be greatly missed.