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Category Archives: Baby steps to a new era

Tribe4mian Revisited

I must have woken up on the up-side of the bed this morning cause I felt the need to once again read through a few old posts from the tribe4mian blog.  I stumbled upon the Greek punk rock scene of the 80s and how it all started. 

Sometimes it’s nice reading about the days of our youth.

So, if you wanna take a glimpse into the generation that refuses to die, come read the posts I titled “Baby Steps To A New Era”.

You can click on the links and get an idea of how it was back then, as follows:
Baby Steps To a New Era I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI

If it’s videos you crave, you can take a peek at how the Greek punk rock scene was by clicking here, or, you can read about Lefki Symfonia, the first band of that generation that made it kinda big.

While we’re romping through nostalgic moments, you can read about my good Goth friends, Film Noir, a band we will all miss, Yell-O-Yell, and many more featured in each section of the Baby Steps series…

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Baby steps to a new era

 

Baby steps to a new era vol. XI

Ok, I had this hidden somewhere and yesterday I found it.

Blue Note was a pub in the center of Athens where young people who  listened to new wave and punk rock were hanging around, back in the early 80’s.

It’s funny cause I guess it will make at least a few people smile as the memories that this cheap catalogue will dig up.

There one could meet members of the bands Ex- Humans, AnypoforoiFlowers Of Romance, Alive She Died, Ding An Sich, South of No North, Panx Romana and many others.

The pub changed its name after a couple of years and became Masswell (anyone who has a better memory can correct the spelling…)

And yes, I admit it: I stole the menu.

Sue me.

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. X

Ex Humans live 1984Well, things were not all “sugar and spice” in the Greek punk rock circles during the early ‘80’s.

It wasn’t a non-stop party at all.

I guess, though, shit happens everywhere and people go bananas.

I remember one particular night there were these kids trying to make a freaked-out pill-popping friend of theirs shut up in the toilet of a club.  All this was taking place while cops were raiding the club and Ex Humans were playing a song on stage about pigs and cops etc…

Youth is a period of time in human life which is full of sensitivities.

It’s the “holy shit” period…

The “outside” world is new, bitter and harmful when you’re a teenager.

Heartbroken, feeling different, with family problems, un-employment, outcast, betrayed, with no future, living on the edge…

Some kids can’t handle it while others fight back and carry on.

Happens to all countries no matter the religion or the color of the skin.

You don’t have to get involved with punk rock or heavy metal or some other kind of music to get all that.

You get these feelings anyways…

Fuck, huh ?

Well, you are reading this, so…I guess you know what I mean…

If we could just control our feelings and be less self-destructive while we were teenagers, maybe lots of absent friends would be with us right now.

Music is always a good way to express all that shit a teenager holds inside.

The more you get pissed, the more violent your music comes out.

That’s the spirit.

Revolting teenagers means healthy teenagers within a sick society.

People have all the time in the world to be stupified when they grow up.

By the way, did you like the Black Flag ?

Ex HumansCause, I remember Yiannis Trombetas had a Black Flag sticker on his Rickenbacker bass.

His band, the Ex Humans, was probably the first hardcore punk rock band in Greece.

The band was formed in Athens, initially by the name Guillotines,and had a few gigs by that name before changing it to Soldiers of Anarchy.

Sometimes they were jamming with R.R. Hearse,  and you now have a little snippet from one night in 1983.

R.R. Hearse joined them for awhile when they were called Soldiers of Anarchy.

You can read a story about that here.

They finally settled on the name Ex Humans.

The line up of that trio was:  Yiannis Trombetas – bass, Giorgos “Havoc” Alevras – vocals/guitar and Fivos Pergaliotis on the drums.

Their songs were antimilitaristic, or about the nuclear holocaust, and in general they were dealing with social matters.

Ex Humans liveEx Humans were supported by the whole Athenian punk rock movement since they were very friendly and very helpful to the rest of the bands, sharing their rehearsal room and their instruments (not the Rickenbacker bass though).

Their base camp was in the Galatsi area and they were usually hanging around Halepa Square, which became the HQ of a punk rock group of people called Halepades.

Nothing dangerous though, since there were also members from other bands in that group of people and their aim was to follow Ex Humans to their gigs or to any other punk rock gig in the city.

In 1983 they released a 4 track cassette and when the compilation LP “Diataraxi Kinis Isixias” was released in 1984, they participated with the songs “Aftoktonia se argi kinisi” (engl. Suicide in slow motion ελλ. Αυτοκτονια Σε Αργη Κίνηση) and “Ektyflotiki Lampsi” (engl. Blinding Shine ελλ. Εκτυφλωτική Λάμψη).

the albumTwo members from the band Anypofori joined them in the studio, Giorgos Demelos and Giorgos Glynelis for these recordings and the forthcoming gigs.

(In general, Glynelis was considered one of the top musicians in the Greek punk rock scene. You can find him playing also with Metro Decay…)

Their one and only LP titled “Anofeli Epiviosi” (engl. Survival without a cause ελλ. Ανώφελη Επιβίωση) was released in 1984.

Although the album received great reviews by the Greek music press, the band decided to split a little later, leaving behind them this album as a landmark for the Greek punk rock scene.

Pergaliotis joined the band South of No North while Alevras, Trombetas and guitar player Giorgos Giannopoulos formed the H/C band Abolish Authority.

(Giannopoulos would later become a sax teacher…).

Trombetas and Alevras formed the band Velocity in 1998.

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. IX

During the early 80′s, there was a place called “Dragon Fly” on Zoodohou Pigis avenue (Athens center – very close to Exarhia district).
“Dragon Fly” was a kind of cafeteria thing where punks could go and watch the latest videos of the english and american
punk rock bands.
Every Saturday, one could watch “The Great Rock’n’Roll swindle” or the Clash on the “White Riot Tour” or even some Plasmatics live.
On the first floor of the building there was a video store so access to music videos was easy (“Dragon Fly” was owned by
the video store owner…)
adieksodoThat was the place were guitar player Dimitris Spyropoulos met the singer Sotiris Theoharis in 1983 and agreed to form a punk rock band
called Adiexodo.
Soon, the drummer Stathis Papandreou and bass player Mimis Alibrantis joined in.
Adiexodo was a short lived band and had a few releases but most of the members would form other bands or join other bands in the future.
They had a very close relationship to the band Genia Tou Chaous, released a split cassette with them through Art Nouveau
(a small record store in Exarhia) titled “kali Orexi” and also shared two members with them.
Adiexodo had their first gig in a movie theater called “Anemoni” during October 1983 supporting Genia tou Chaous.
Both bands also had a string of gigs together, in some other Greek cities.
Going through several line up changes, they participated in the Greek punk compilation “Diataraxi Kinis Isixias
(engl. Disruption of public peace ελλ.Διατάραξη Kοινής Hσυχίας) in 1984.

Since their first gig, Papandreou and Alibrantis had left the band.
He was replaced by the 14 years old Maria Vassilaki who soon was replaced by Nikos Zoumperis. who was replaced also
by Nikos “Tsouloufis” Charalampopoulos.
Papandreou was replaced by the formed Genia Tou Chaous drummer, Yannis Venardis.

38xilWith this line up, they recorded the tracks “Efialtis” (engl. Nightmare ελλ. Εφιάλτης)
and “Apomonosi” (engl. Isolation ελλ. Απομόνωση) that were featured in the compilation “Diataraxi Kinis Isixias”.
With the same line up they released their one and only album “38 hiliosta” (engl. 38 millimeters ελλ.38 Χιλιοστά) in 1986 mostly dedicated to Michalis Kaltezas who was killed by the police.
A little later in 1986 the band split after a gig in Kallithea Theater.

The year before that, friend of the band recorded a rehearsal of theirs with 7 tracks.
These songs were released in a split cassette with the band “Apognosi“.
One more tape was released with the band on stage, sharing the two sides with Genia Tou Chaous from a concert in the city of Agrinio.
and titled…”Live at Agrinio”.
They also participated in the compilation “Lasta EP II” of the record label, ST Records, from Finland.

Adiexodo’s founding member, Dimitris Spyropoulos, formed later the band Deus X Machina and Nikos “Tsouloufis” Charalampopoulos
followed him a little later but this time as the singer of the band.
Sotiris Theoharis became the singer of the band Spyridoula and joined later the band Ihoglykaimia (a s/t album released).
Charalampopoulos would form later the band “Tilt“.

Despise

Despise

Nikos Zoumperis joined the band Echo Tatoo while Maria Vassilaki along with former singer/guitarist of the band Hamena Idanika,
Makis Dedes formed the heavy metal band Despise in 1986.
They released the  “State of Brutality” in 1993 and “Indefinite Force” in 2006.
Stathis Papandreou played the drums for Split Image.
Yannis Venardis joined the band Lefki Symfonia during the early 90′s.

We have to take in consideration that all the band members were a lot younger than 18 back in those days…

Without a doubt, Deus Ex Machina survived a lot of problems and several setbacks.
Car accidents and line up changes gave a hard time to the band.

Three years after the Adiexodo disbanded, Dimitris Spyropoulos and bass player Dimitris Manthos formed this new band with the formed
Adiexodo members,drummer Yiannis Venardis and Nikos “Tsouloufis” Charalambopoulos.

Deus Ex Machina featuring Sotiris Theoharis

The new band, used english lyrics and gave hundreds of gigs building a reputation of a predominantly kicking live band in spite of their limited discography.

I am quoting from their myspace profile the following: 

deus“Deus Ex Machina played for the anti-Bosnian war concerts in Skopje, FYROM in 1994.
In 1995, on the height of the Bosnian war, they toured Serbia and appeared in major festivals in the cause of peace in the Balkans.
They performed live at the Biennale 2000 in Torino, Italy and supported acts such as “The Dubrovniks“, “New Model Army“, “Madball“, “Public Enemy” and “The Buzzcocks“.

During the years they performed in a large number of events promoting social consciousness, something which is reflected on the lyrics and the overall attitude of the band.

execute-deusAs active supporters of the peace movement, they participated in several protest activities against the war in IRAQ.
Suffice to say that this last war came as if anticipated by the band’s grimly prophetic “Iraq & Roll“.
The song was written back in 1991 inspired by the first Gulf War.”

During 1990, the band recorded their first album, “Motorpsycho“.
An 8 track punk album that would be followed by the single “Execute” in 1992 featuring their hit track “Iraq & Roll”.
In 1993 they released the album “Worlds apart” in the same musical spirit.
They were featured in the Greek compilation “Toxic babies in a rock ‘n’ roll land” with their track “Deus“.
This release which was followed by two singles:
No silence” in 1995 and “Different?” in 1997.
worlds-apart-deus1During 1995 their album “False Promises” was on the Greek compilation “Act Up-Εν τούτω νίκα “.
That compilation had a weird “gathering for Greek bands such as: Stereo Nova, En Plo, Make Believe, Trypes and others.
Their following album was a bit different, with more…”hard” music elements and it was titled “Signs“.
It was released in 2003 and about that year…maybe a year later, I saw them playing live at “AN” club.
It was a great show, the band’s evolved to an even more “sophisticated” sound, sometimes reminding me of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Their last release is the last year’s album “Time expires“.

Deus Ex Machina are still alive and kicking and it is one of the best live bands of Greece.
Don’t miss their gigs.

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. VIII

rollinAthens wasn’t the only city in Greece that moved forward the Greek underground scene.
In 1985, a fanzine saw the light of day.
It was titled “Rollin Under” and it was published by a small record store in the center of
Thessaloniki.
The name of the record store was “Rollin Under” too.
Babis Argyriou who tried his best to bring the fanzine on a high level status, initialy started
with xerox copied b/w issues written with a typewriter, that would promote the tape releases of his record store.
As “Rollin Under”, the store, became also the basis of a record label named “Lazy Dog“,
this fanzine was the best way to give informations about the releases of the label and even more.

This might have been the first Greek music fanzine, I am not sure about that.
I think the rest of the zines came all after that.

underIssue by issue, it became an official publication with a circulation in most parts of Greece,
covering issues about the american h/c punk scene and later on, almost anything about the underground.
It stoped being active by the early 90′s.
The following is a funny story:
The rumor has it that the Athenian indie record labels sent a shovel, as a gift, to the editors of “Rollin’ Under”
fanzine cause they were giving very bad reviews to their releases… (A joke, meaning that “Rollin Under” was “burying” the Athenian releases …)
Anyways…

colorThe second tentacle of the record shop, the alternative record “Lazy Dog”, kept on releasing
albums for a few more years.
The label was either releasing matterial from Greek bands or was licensed to re-release
foreign bands for the Greek market.

Releases of Lazy Dog Records:

Γκούλαγκ – Είσοδος Κινδύνου (LP) 1987
Ορα Μηδέν – Μόνα Λίζα (7″)  1989
Γκούλαγκ – Στην Αυλή Των Θεαμάτων (LP, Album)  1990
Ziggy Was – Here (LP, Album)  1994
Γκούλαγκ – Η Άλλη Πλευρά (7″, Single)  1994
Middle Fingers – Middle Fingers (7″, Single)  1994
Εκτός Ελέγχου – Εκτός Ελέγχου (LP, Album)  1994
Patrik Fitzgerald Group – Pillow Tension (CD)  1995
Bokomolech – Xero (LP)  1995
Ziggy Was – Two Turns To One (Vinyl, MiniAlbum, S/S)  1995
Ροδάμα – Κάτω Απ’ Το Δέρμα (LP)  1995
Raining Pleasure – Memory Comes Back (LP) 1996
Γκούλαγκ – Πάτα Γερά (LP, Album)  1996
Lost Bodies – Ζωή (CD, Album)  1997
Τα Ρόδα Της Ερήμου – Ταξίδι Σα Ψέμα (LP)  1997
Raining Pleasure -Nostalgia (LP) 1998
Πράκτορες Του Χάους – Τρανσατλάντικα (CD)  1999
Various – In Dog We Trust (CD, Comp)                                                                      Deep Freeze Mice – The Saw A Ranch House Burning Last Night (LP, Ltd)  1995
The Astronauts – It’s All Done By Mirrors (CD, Album)  1995
17 Pygmies – Jedda By The Sea (CD)  1995
The Astronauts -  Peter Pan Hits The Suburbs (CD, Album)  1994

ceb3cebacebfcf85cebbceb1ceb3cebaI also have to mention here, Costas Apostolidis, the partner of Babis Argyriou.
Apostolidis was the guitar player of the h/c punk band Goulag who were formed in 1985.
The band released their first album, “Isodos Kindinou“, in 1987 and went off to tour Germany, Norway and Italy.
“Rollin Under” this tour by an extensive article tha you can read here (its in Greek).
part1, part2, part3, part4 and part5.
The German label, Wreck Age Records, released their single “Big Talk” in 1989 right before their second European tour.
The tour covered Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy.
In 1990 they released their second album, “Stin Avli ton Theamaton” and during December the made a mini tour in Germany.
By the same year, one more 7″ was released through the German label Weed Productions as a compilation
titled “16 guys against the rest of the world vol. 1” featuring also bands from USA, Germany and Switzerland.
On February 1994 they released the 7″ single “I alli plevra” and during 1995 they were featured in  the German
compilation “Lacmayer’s Island“.
In 1996, Lazy Dog released their album “Pata Gera” finding the group with a different line up and more heavy metal elements.

For more about the band press here .

During the early 2000, Lazy Dog stoped releasing albums too, so only the record store is still there today.

As it is obvious, this record shop became the main center of the underground scene in the city of Thessaloniki, helping
the bands release their music and also passing around news about the underground.

Some of the bands would be signed later to major labels, such as, The Lost Bodies and Raining Pleasure from the city of Athens and Patras respectively.

“Rollin’ Under”, the fanzine transformed into MIC and can be found today  here .

 
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Posted by on February 16, 2009 in Baby steps to a new era, Publications

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. VII

I took the Yeah ! poster from Hryssa Pantazi’s blog, Here Comes A Sun.

I had the pleasure to see the band playing live that night and as this world is not big enough, I found the poster.

I can’t remember the year though…

yeahgraffity_copy

I was very surprised when I found an A.E.T.A. blog. Nice !!!!

This is where I found this poster from. So, we posted the first one and now we got the second…

Cool, cause we’re talking bout the 80′s…

afisa_park_eley8erias

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2009 in Baby steps to a new era, Posters/Ads

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. VI

Life plays strange games sometimes.
People change during time in unexpected ways.
Things change as we grow up and that is not bad.
Michalis Koumbios is a Greek composer with lots of releases.
He released several albums of Greek bouzouki music and worked with popular Greek musicians such as:
Giorgos Dalaras, Elias Klonaridis, Dimitra Papiou and others.
He also sings.
 
Michalis Koumbios has also been the chief of staff of the Greek mainstream music magazine “Difono” for a while.
“Difono” is a magazine dealing with Greek music, not exactly the “well known” bouzouki kind but…close enough.

Michalis Koumbios was also hosting a tv show on the Greek national tv channel during 1990, presenting Greek rock bands (One Night Suzan was one I can remember of…).

And going even more back, Michalis Koumbios released the first punk rock 7″ single with Greek lyrics.
Who would expect it huh ?
When I last met him sometime during 1992-93 he told me that he discovered “the magic of Greek music” so he became a Greek music composer…
Fair enough.
But, long before that, when this kind of magic wasn’t that obvious to him, his band, Koumbotripes A.E. (engl. Buttonholes S.A. ελλ.
Κουμπότρυπες Α.Ε.) released the single “Kainourgia Epanastasi/Kathimerines Katastaseis” (engl. New Revolution/Everyday situations
ελλ. Καινουργια Επανάσταση/Καθημερινες Καταστάσεις).

Koumbotripes A.E. were rehearsing in the same studio with the h/c punk band Birth Ward 82 (they released the first Greek punk rock single with english lyrics) in Tambouria-Piraeus.
koump1aThe band Koumbotripes A.E. was playing a wonderful post punk style and the lyrics were political and sarcastic.
Their single was released through Happening Records in 1983 and they had their first radio interview the same year
with Argiris Zilos on national broadcasting.

“Kainourgia Epanastasi”  is an excelent song.
As the production was in the spirit of DIY, it sounds exactly as it should.
I believe that if by some chance, the whole outcome would sound better, the feeling would be lost.
But what we got here, to me, is a post punk masterpiece.

“Kathimerines Katastaseis” gives me the impression that Koumbotripes were influenced a bit by Birth Ward 82 cause it sounds
more to the Athenian punk sound.

Later they would have a couple of more releases (a tape, they would participate to a compilation and one more 7″ single) and they would split in 1986 to reform again for one more album that I never
listened of, in 1998.

In any case, Koumbotripes A.E. released the first punk rock single with Greek lyrics.

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. V

Parthenogennesis - 1980 (Mousiko Express issue 24)

Parthenogennesis - 1980 (Mousiko Express issue 24)

Advertisement of the forthcoming gig of the band Parthenogennesis. The band would play live on Sunday October 26 1980.

They never released their matterial – check past postings.

Parthenogenesis 2 - the Makridis accident

Parthenogenesis 2 - the Makridis accident

Funny advertisement of the same gig , with the band announcing that bass player George Makridis (he would form later the band Forward Music Quintet) broke his leg. The gig wasn’t canceled.

Spyridoula - Tiffany's (Mousiko Express issue 4 - 1979)

Spyridoula - Tiffany's (Mousiko Express issue 4 - 1979)

Advertisement of the forthcoming shows of the classic rock band Spyridoula at the Tiffany’s Rock Club. Spyridoula reached a cult status during the next years. This comes from 1979.

Infa Riot - TVC - FMQ 1983

Infa Riot - TVC - FMQ 1983

T.V.C. and Forward Music Quintet supporting the english punk rock band Infa Riot. T.V.C. was the band of Panx Romanas’s drumer Dimitris Dimitrakas, oriented in a more new wave sound. Forward Music Quinter were George Makridis new band.

Flower Of Romance 1985

Flowers Of Romance 1985

Poster of the band The Flowers of Romance for their gig on April 24 1985. The band would achieve cult status in the following years – check past and forthcoming postings.

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2009 in Baby steps to a new era, Posters/Ads

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol.IV

Poster

Poster

I guess there are a lot of people out there that would like to have it .

Thanks to a friend (hello Marios) it came to my possesion and it might make  somebody’s weekend.

The poster of a historic event that took place in Sporting basket ball stadium in 1982 or 1983…I seem to forget lately…

Birthday Party, The Fall and New Order.

Metro Decay, Magic De Spell and Forward Music Quintet.

The 80′s were not that bad after all :)

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2008 in Baby steps to a new era, Posters/Ads

 

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Baby steps to a new era vol. III

Vanakos

Vanakos

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.

back sleeve

back sleeve

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”.

 
 
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