It is Issue nr 337 – December 2008.
Well, it might not mean much to a foreigner but it meant a lot for the Greek post-junda generations.
The first “Pop & Rock” magazine was released in March 1978 with Jimi Hendrix on the front cover. For almost 25 years, it kept covering international pop and rock events, as well as some events of the Greek rock scene.
The name of chief of staff was insuring the Greek rock audience about the good quality of this mag since everybody respected (and still respects) him. His name is Giannis Petridis and for more than 30 years he has been the top Greek radio DJ. His famous radio shows, “Pop Club” and “Rock Club”, informs young people about new releases, gigs, movies and stuff like that. This radio show is still on-the-air every weekday from four to five in the afternoon.
Since Greek audiences were thirsty for information about the international rock scene, the circulation of “Pop & Rock” reached 60.000 at one point. Apart from some translations from magazines, such as “Rolling Stone”, the people of the mag
moved on to interview rock stars on their own and developed some very, very close relationships to the major record labels of Greece.
Giannis Petridis began as Managing Director on Polygram-Greece and when Virgin opened a Greek branch he became Managing Director of Virgin-Greece.
Many “Pop & Rock” contributors were working for major record labels which made me suspicious after awhile. Soon, I lost my trust in “Pop & Rock” and considered it mostly as a direct advertisement of major labels’ releases and less as a publication of music lovers. Apart from that, many fine music critics spread their ink on the “Pop & Rock” pages. In some way it served its cause by giving the chance for young Greeks to know major, as well as underground artists too.
One of the most interesting sections of the mag was filled with letters from readers who made suggestions, complaints, or were attacking each other, which brought a few hours of fun to the rest of the viewers. When it first came out there were critics (I will never forget Pete Konstanteas’s reviews) attacking punk rock releases (mainly because they were stuck in their prog-rock music tastes) which resulted in the lowest possible ratings.
There were also other great contributors, such as Giannis Malathronas, who was very open-minded and backed the new wave bands as much as he could.
Manos Bouras, another one, opened up to the audience the magic world of 4AD and gave us the chance to see Vaughan Oliver’s works.
To make a long story short, “Pop & Rock” was very useful when there wasn’t any internet involved (skipping the involvement of the major labels). As the indiependent press started flourishing, it started losing its audience. People became more curious with indie bands. Underground stuff.
The Greek fanzines took that part of the cake, and since “Pop & Rock” was stuck to the major labels and their advertisements, it couldn’t change drastically. (A trap that soon would be followed by the fanzines as well).
Giannis Petridis had passed his position on to other people and the publishing company tried to sell issues (without any luck) by changing the staff every six months or so. In the 90’s, they experimented with some Greek music too but everything was lost. Sometime during 2005 or 2006 “Pop & Rock” suddenly disappeared from the face of the earth … exactly
like the dinosaurs did.
The staff did try all possible means that one could think of.
During all those years we experienced the release of at least four vinyl albums (I remember three vinyl compilations and the “Sisters feelings Call” by the Simple Minds). They released CD compilations during the last years too…
The Publication Company also changed during the last years…
So, I hold this new issue in my hands wondering why they came back now with all this free information via the internet.
It comes with free CDs too…but…
I am still of the impression that some big Greek record label needs support.
I am not naive anymore.
I am sorry if this would hurt the contributors’s feelings and I understand that they want to do their job, get paid or get some free albums while reviewing, but I am not getting any money from anyone.
I am writing on the internet and I am entitled to my own opinion.