THE BLOCKHEADS saxophonist-turned-jazz star GILAD ATZMON has hit back at UK Jewish lobbying group the Board Of Deputies (BOD) after being branded an "anti-Semite" on launching his satirical Zionist alter ego ARTIE FISHEL on London's jazz scene.
The award-winning musician's concerts at trendy venue Pizza On The Park last week (ends21OCT06) were targetted by "abusive" protestors, who tried to force the organisers to cancel Atzmon's sell-out gigs.
Jewish Atzmon vehemently denies claims of racism or anti-Semitism, insisting Artie Fishel and the Promised Band are pure satire. But the SEX AND DRUGS AND ROCK 'N' ROLL star, famed for his work with late rocker IAN DURY, has been lambasted and threatened by the BOD, who he claims have grossly misrepresented him.
He says he is "embarrassed by the saga. (The venue) had to hire bouncers to protect its customers. (But) Artie is predominantly an entertainer. Some may see him as a glimpse into the Israeli and Zionist mindset, others may just laugh.
"My management and I worked very hard to remove any elements which may be considered offensive. ."
A spokesperson for Pizza On The Park adds, "Atzmon has been hired for his musical talents as an internationally recognized, respected and award-winning saxophonist."