Ziggy Was, took their name from two songs of the 70’s, David Bowie’s “Ziggy Stardust” and
Bob Marley’s “Johnny Was“.
They were formed by drummer Costas Karapanos, singer/guitar player Panos Rosis and bassist
Lambros Saltsidis in Thessaloniki in 1992.
They started performing live during 1993 and first recorded a t track demo titled “Oil Land” which
attracted the interest of the local indie record label Lazy Dog.
The members of the band were very experienced (Karapanos was a former member of the band Goulag
while Saltsidis was an ex member of the band Lolama) and Ziggy Was became well known for
their powerfull live performances.
The music style of the band was a mixture of hardcore punk, grunge, and metal with funk touches.
The band entered Rock Sound Studios to start recording.
Meanwhile they were driving down south in Athens, playing live and creating a fan base.
This is where the people of the Athenian fanzine “Fractal” got in touch with them and
during 1994 Ziggy Was spawned two releases, the 7″ “Take A Look At The Kids/Oil Land” and their
debut for Lazy Dog, “Here” on April 3rd.
Once there is no myspace profile available of this band or any video to give an example of their sound, I have to describe
it in my own words…
So, I think “Here” would be the essential album for the fans of Rollins band.
The track listing:
1. Shot Gun
2. Take a Look at the Kids
4. No Way
5. I Swear
6. Right Train To Moscow
8. Time’s Over
9. Ziggy Was
10.Roses For U
“Take A Look At The Kids/Oil Land” was a freebie with the 102nd issue of Fractal.
In 1995 the “Two Turns To One” EP came out while their next release, “Three Turns To One“, was a
re-release of both “Here” and “Two Turns To One” in one.
In the mid 90’s, the Greek underground scene was so “hot” that the major record labels changed their minds and decided
to start signing Greek underground bands.
Greek bands such as the Last Drive, The Flowers Of Romance, Trypes (engl. Holes ελλ. Τρύπες) – who were already signed to Virgin Records-
Rotting Christ, Deus Ex Machina, Panx Romana, Nightfall, Andidrasi (engl. Reaction ελλ. Αντίδραση), Mora Stin Fotia (engl.
Babies on Fire ελλ. Μωρά στην Φωτιά), Xylina Spathia (engl. Wooden Swords ελλ. Ξύλινα Σπαθιά) – also signed to Virgin –
were selling thousands of albums.
There were dosins of fanzines, some of them specialised in Greek Rock, many radio shows about Greek Rock, books about
the Greek indie scene and every now and then…some “special” tv show for Greek Groups.
Many bands already managed to release albums out of the Greek borders and some of them were already distributed abroad.
So, a few years before the collapse of the Greek major record labels, Virgin started signing bands.
One of those bands, was Ziggy Was who by the addition of Costas Pantelis (ex member of the hardcore band Pissa kai
Poupoula) they signed to Virgin – Greece in 1997.
Their third and final album was titled “Unicorn Pan“.
The singer of Trypes is also participating in one of the songs.
My personal opinion is that “Unicorn Pan” is sometimes close to the style of Rage Against the Machine.
The track listing:
1. Car Crash
2. Baby’s Breath
3. What Hippie
6. Salted Kiss
9. When It Comes
10.Speak of the Gun
The band split for reasons unknown to me and Pandelis joined an other band from Thessaloniki, Xilina Spathia.
Once I mentioned Fractal zine, Fractal was mostly dealing with this “hard alternative” sound and stopped existing by the late 90’s.
Here you can see the issue that was giving away for free the Ziggy Was single.