Now, this might make some “old timers” crack a smile.
George Vanakos was the owner (and propably he still is) of the “new wave” store “Remember 79” in Plaka, Athens.
Following the punk fashion of the late 70’s, “Remember” was the place where rich young fashion victims could buy their clothes, badges, record albums, hair spreys and all that was needed for someone to look “cool”.
Since Plaka was the center of the Athenian punk underground, the store soon became a target for the young punks who didn’t like such an exploitation of their ideals. Sometimes the owner was standing terrified in front of the broken glass windows of his store trying to find where the Hell this brick came from. Since punks were leaving the place without paying for what they got, the owner decided to use cameras to cut down his loss… A couple of years later, a new shop opened in a different area by the name “Plaza” (this was owned by punks) so the “brick incidents” against “Remember” stopped.
Meanwhile, on the other hand, the Greek goverment decided to turn the whole area of Plaka into a tourist attraction so, since the punk clubs had to change location, the punks had to leave too.
George Vanakos was a member of the band Sybligades and I am not quite sure whether this very single was released to promote his “Remember 79” store or simply to express himself…
In any case, the label belongs to “Remember 79” and states the year of release as “1980”. On the back sleeve, the year of release is stated as “1981”…
What we got here are two new wave songs by the titles: “If You Want To Go To Amsterdam / You Say You Are A Good Boy“. I won’t review this single as I find it hilarious.
So, for those of you who haven’t heard of these songs, I’ve uploaded the back sleeve so you can at least read the lyrics… where there was a strong suggestion to the listener to visit the city of Amsterdam… cause you can “see them fucking on the road”…
Johnny Alex is mentioned as bass player. This is the name of Johnny Vavouras of the Vavoura Band.
In 1983 I attended an Infa-Riot gig in the basketball stadium of Panellinios in Athens. The Greek band of TVC opened for Infa-Riot and everything was fine till they played a Sex Pistols cover and the punk audience started throwing empty (of course…) beer cans at them.
Since the audience hadn’t forgetten the “Remember” store, when Vanakos entered the stadium to watch the show, the empty beer cans changed direction and within a short time there was a small aluminum hill forming in front of his feet…
“Remember 79” still operates in Plaka selling new wave stuff, I hope without any further problems like the ones of the past… but I guess they are doing well since they opened as second store on Myconos island.
The last time I met Vanakos was during the 90’s in a gallery where he was exhibiting a number of his paintings.
He never released anything else.
Back in the early 80’s, one of the clerks of “Remember 79” was Glaufx Garland (aka Stefanos Koukoulomatis), of the experimental band Viridian Green, which later started his own record label, Capp.
“Plaza” operated for a few years on Voukourestiou Street and was closed after the sudden death of the owner.
P.S. I can’t remember how I got this single…
*CLARIFICATION NOTATION OF ALBUM ARTWORK: It should be duly noted that drummer Thanos Papapostolou (Θάνος Παπαποστόλου) plays only on the track “If You Want To Go To Amsterdam”.