“A fact not widely known is that the Greek rock music scene exists for almost 5 decades now. Greek rock musicians have shown noticeable skills on playing and composing music and some of them are widely known abroad. But it was only during a single period of these five decades that the music trends of the Athenian underground were fully synchronized with the music played and heard all over the western world –and that was the decade of the 80s. It was the only time in which the music trend in Athens was no different than that of London, New York, Berlin or Paris. For that reason a lot of Greek bands were included in compilations from European and American labels and some of them participated in concerts or went on tours in the big cities of Europe and the USA. The purpose of this documentary is to highlight the all but forgotten DIY music culture of the Punk, Post Punk and New Wave Music Scene in Athens in the 80s.
For this purpose members of the most important bands, club owners and independent record label owners of this period will be interviewed. We are going to use footage from 80s concerts and clips from the riots and other events that took place at that time as well as images of music and political posters and photos from newspapers and magazines.
The landmarks guiding our trek through the 80s will be 6 musical and political events:
1. The 1980 concert of The Police (the first rock concert held in Greece ever since the appearance of the Rolling Stones in 1967!) and the “3 days of Independent Rock” concert in 1982 (The Birthday Party, The Fall, New Order plus the Greek bands Metro Decay, Magic De Spell and Forward Music Quintet) that provided the spark for the indie music scene in Athens.
2. The occupations of universities by students and anarchists in the center of Athens in 1984-85 as a result of the murder of Michalis Kaltezas. Kaltezas, a 15 y old student, was murdered by a policeman who shot him during riots.
3. The 1985 “Rock in Athens” concert (The Clash, The Stranglers, The Cure, Nina Hagen, Talk Talk, Depeche Mode, The Culture Club and Telephone).
4. The 1988-1989 decentralization of the anti-establishment political movement and the faction of the DIY music scene that was part of this. This decentralization was a result of the police raids known as “Epichirisi Areti” (Greek for “Operation: Virtue”) in the center of Athens and mainly in the area surrounding Exarchia Square.
5. The 1988 Triffids concert violently interrupted by the fans (right before the appearance of Public Image Ltd) that signed the “end of innocence” for the 80s generation.
6.The ending of the Polytechnic School occupation [students and anarchists had occupied the campus protesting the “free of all charges” release of the policeman who had killed the 15 year old in 1984] with the “300 Meter March”, which was all that the police permitted. The march can be accordingly headlined with the legendary banner crying “WE ARE THE BLOOM OF YOUTH”, the exact expression that the Minister of Public Order had previously used to describe the men of the riot police… These were the events that signaled the end of this period’s anti-establishment movement.
The title of the documentary is a quote from the following announcement made by the chief of the Athenian police addressing the protesters in Exarchia Square at 5/9/1985:
“The protest march is forbidden, remaining in the Square is also forbidden because there is no asylum here. Also, if you dare to shout anything like ‘cops, pigs, murderers’ you will be crushed”. The announcement forced the protesters out of the square actually “guiding” them to occupy the nearby university grounds where the police could not enter (Universities in Greece are considered an “Asylum” where the police are not allowed) –so a new kind of anti-establishment struggle began.
Our objective is the use of a three level structure (mixed but not equally divided) in this documentary:
1. The main part will consist of interviews with the bands, music video tapes, 80’s news clips, posters, pictures etc
2. One of the major participants in the 80s riots, Panayiotis Papadopoulos (“Cain”), will in a preface briefly describe the most important events of that decade.
3. The plot of the film will incorporate all these elements with a complimentary fictional storyline. The audience is first confronted with a woman (she is actually a ghost, a reference to the 70s) trying to pass a cassette tape (trademark medium for exchanging music at that time) through the members of the bands interviewed to her daughter (a reference to the 90s). The band members are inhibited to see the woman of the past and to connect to the woman from the 90’s due to their radical approach to music. So, the transaction will occur without their participation (as it did in fact happen to music in real life) only to conclude the whole effort was pointless after all.
Interviews and music from the following bands:
AntiTroppau Council, Metro Decay, Clown, Magic De Spell, Libido Blume, Villa 21, Yell-o-Yell, Parthenogenesis, FMQ, Stress, Auschwitz, Arnakia (“Lambs”), ANTI (“Against”), Anypophoroi (“Intolerables”),The Last Drive, Choris Perideraeo (“Without a Necklace”), Genia tou Chaous (“Chaos Generation”), Ex Humans, The Flowers of Romance, Not 2 without 3 and South of no North.”