Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Babis The "Flou" (Pavlos Sidiropoulos, 1978)

he Prince. That's Pavlos' nickname. The Prince of Greek Rock. A musician-symbol of a whole generation. His life has been widely discussed. His addiction to drugs, his early death. Before introducing the song, a little bit of information dragged from wikipedia which briefly presents his music path (but not his life):

Pavlos Sidiropoulos (Greek: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος) (Athens, August 27, 1948 – Athens, 6 December 1990) was a Rock musician, noted for supporting the use of Greek lyrics in rock music, at a time when most Greek rock groups were using English lyrics. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was arguably the most popular Greek rock musician. Despite his early death, he remains one of the most popular rock musicians in Greece.

Sidiropoulos began his career in 1970 in Thessaloniki, where he was studying mathematics. Together with Pantelis Delleyannidis he founded the rock group “Damon and Phidias”. They soon met the influential Greek musician Dionysis Savvopoulos and his group “Bourboulia”. They joined that group and participated in the album “Damis the tough” (Greek: Ντάμης ο σκληρός). They stayed in this group for two years until 1974 when Bourboulia and Sidiropoulos's ways parted. It was through this group that Sidiropoulos first experimented with combining Greek and Rock music.

Afterwards, Sidiropoulos collaborated with the Greek composer Yannis Markopoulos: he sang in his compositions “Oropedio”, “Thessalikos Kiklos” and "Electric Theseus" on lyrics by the poet Dimitris Varos. In 1976, together with Spiropoulos brothers, he founded the music group “Spiridoula”. They created the album "Flou", considered by many the most important album in Greek rock music. A song of that era (“Clown”) later came out in the album “Zorba the Freak”. It was during this period that Sidiropoulos made his two film appearances. He had the leading role in the film “O Asymvivastos”, directed by Andreas Thomopoulos. He also sang all of the songs of the soundtrack, written mostly by Thomopoulos, from which the greatest rock hit of Greece, 'Na m' Agapas' was later sang by the forthcoming generations. At the same time, he starred (together with Dimitris Poulikakos) in another movie by Thomopoulos, “Aldevaran”. Sidiropoulos also made one appearance on TV in a series called “Oikogeneia Zarnti”, directed by Kostas Ferris.

In 1980, Sidiropoulos joined the band “Oi Aprosarmostoi”, where he remained until his death. This was arguably his most successful collaboration with a band. They released several albums and made numerous live performances. In 1982, the album “En Leyko” was published. Unfortunately, many of the songs were censored. In 1985, the notable LP “Zorba the Freak” was released, and in 1989 they released “Without Make-up” (in Greek), which was recorded live at Metro club in Athens.

In the summer of 1990, his right hand started getting paralyzed, as a result of his long term drug use that he was trying to overcome for many years. He continued his live performances but the deterioration of his health had serious psychological implications. On December 6, 1990 he died from heart attack, caused by heroin overdose.

In 1991, his band “Oi Aprosarmostoi” released the album “Ante... ke Kali Tichi Maghes”, named after one of his songs (realised in 1985), the title of which can be interpreted as “So long folks”. Some of the songs were sung by Sidiropoulos in earlier recordings; others by various artists. In 1992, the album “The Blues of the Prince” (in Greek) was released. It contained experimental recordings from 1979 to 1981. In this disc, Sidiropoulos combined the blues with what can be considered as its Greek equivalent, rebetiko. In 1994, the album “En Archi In o Logos” came out; it contained recordings from the years 1978-1989 and fragments of an interview of his on the Greek channel ET2. In 2001, the EP "Day after Day" came out; composed by the rocker's friend, Michael Karras, the songs were recorded in 1973 with Sidiropoulos, the band "Bourboulia" and bouzouki player Thanassis Polykandriotis. After Sidiropoulos's death, Karras discovered the lost recording and orchestrated the release of "Day after Day" through Minos-EMI in 2001.

So, there we are. In 1978. The band name is Spiridoula and the so called "most important" album is Flou. Flou (pronounced like the english "flu") is a slang adjective in Greek, possibly dragged from the English verb flow (well, that's how I get it). It means blurry/ uncertain/ not set/ unorganised/ liquid. Babis is such a guy. With some sort of freedom that we envy. The song portraits that man. Masterpiece.

Babis the Flou [Μπάμπης ο Φλου]

Pavlos Sidiropoulos [Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος]

I am gonna tell you a story
For a guy named Babis, Babis the flou
When you were asking him “what’s going on?”
He would just say “flou my friend, everything is flou”

Always drunk and jobless
nice guy, Babis the flou
mumbling always alone
just saying “flou my friend, everything is flou”

Babis was teasing anyone
Without a second thought
And if he‘d feel a little bored
He would just find a sunny place to lay

Babis was teasing always brunnets
Nice guy, Babis the flou
Pecking also a bit of blondes
What a nice guy, Babis the flou

And when he was dragged to the police
He was playing dead, Babis the flou
And if they were asking too much
He was just saying “Flou my friends, everything is flou”

Babis was teasing anyone
Without a second thought
And if he‘d feel a little bored
He would just find a sunny place to lay.*

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