Obviously this is not a very happy weekend. I was just informed that the artist mr. Manolis Rassoulis is no longer among us.
For my greek friends - I take it that you know who this amazing person was.
For my foreigner friends - Please keep reading to find out who he was....
|Photo from in.gr|
This sweet man was one of the most talented song-writers in Greece. But he was much more than that...
He was born in September of 1945, in Crete island and he was the son of a goldsmith. He left the island and studied cinematography in Athens while singing in Plaka and working for a left-wing newspaper at the time.
He left Greece during dictatorship(1967-1974)- after getting arrested - and lived in London for 6 years. There, he got involved with the Trotskyist movement where he met Vanessa Redgrave and they collaborated in a couple of political theatrical plays. He became co-publisher of the greek trotskyist newspaper in London.
He participated in "May of 68" rising in Paris where he got severely injured.
After the fall of greek dictatorship he returned to Greece and got a job as a ship-yard worker. While working he managed to officiate in the Labour Union of one of the biggest ship-yards in the country and win important benefits for his colleagues.
After that he turned towards Buddhist philosophy and became a student and follower of the famous Indian guru Osho.
When Melina Mercouri as Minister for Culture invited him to participate in the event of "Athens as European Cultural Capital" (1985) he refused to do so because "Athens wasn't worth of being a Cultural Capital"!! After that statement he is considered a "black sheep" for the government.
He also disagreed with many record companies and the greek music industry in general. He was reputed to be eccentric and heretical.
He is considered as the best lyric writer of the last 30 years in Greece. His inspiration was drawn from 50's greek popular songs. His lyrics where unique, direct, inspiring and poetic! His songs became popular in Turkey, Israel, Serbia and even Japan!
Always active he was a seeker of truth.... He even started his own blog and was posting for 4 years. He stopped posting a year ago... He was found by some friends in his apartment in Thessaloniki, after being dead for four days...
This is a terrible loss for our country. One of the most famous songs he wrote speaks about Greece and what being greek feels like.
It is more essential now then ever before for my greek readers to pay attention to those lyrics. We're going through hard times. Let mr. Rassoulis speak into your heart:
I quote him from the song refrain:
"Ahh Greece I love you
and I deeply thank you,
because you taught me
and now I know
to breath wherever I am
to die wherever I stand
and not to tolerate you....
Ahh Greece I'm gonna say it to you...
before the rooster crows
you deny me thirteen times,
you're blackmailing me,
you're bullying me,
you're bullying me,
you're throwing me away like a love-child,
yet you're always hitched on me"!
And here's another great song/ballad called "Νιώσε με" meaning "Feel me":
In both videos it's Rassoulis himself who sings in a tv program. You can learn more about him and his discography in his official site here.
Goodbye Mr. Manolis....
You're loved and remembered.