Pavlos Sidiropoulos (Greek: Παύλος Σιδηρόπουλος; July 27, 1948 – December 6, 1990) was a Greek musician, noted for supporting the use of Greek lyrics in rock music, at a time when most Greek rock groups were using English lyrics.
July 27, 1948|
December 6, 1990 (aged 42)|
Neos Kosmos, Athens, Greece
|Occupation(s)||Singer, guitarist, songwriter|
|Associated acts||Spiridoula, Damon and Phintias, Aprosarmostoi|
Pavlos Sidiropoulos was born on 27 July 1948 in Athens in a wealthy family. His father Kostas has been raised in a known family of merchants from Pontos and he owned the paper production company ELFOT, however politically was a supporter of the left. His mother Jenny was granddaughter of George Zorbas (the real person behind the novel Alexis Zorbas of Nikos Kazantzakis). He was also nephew of writer Elli Alexiou and poet Galatea Kazantzaki who was the first wife of Nikos Kazantzakis. He lived in Thessaloniki until the age of six in the house of his grandfather but after the birth of his sister Melina the family moved permanently to Athens, in the beginning at the neighborhood of Patisia and then in Kypseli.
During his school years he was a good student although he was not studying a lot. He got interested in rock music during mid 60's through the music of the Animals and soon found himself attending concerts of Greek rock groups like the Charms. He finished school in 1967 and started his studies in the Department of Mathematics of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. There he met with fellow student and soon after songwriter Vangelis Germanos and they became roommates. During this period Pavlos Sidiropoulos was playing percussion and he was playing music together with his roommate. He was following the rock music scene of the city without having plans to follow a music career path. This was a period of intense political activity among students because of the military dictatorship governing Greece, but Sidiropoulos was not satisfied with the political student movement of his era and soon after he dropped out from his studies.
Sidiropoulos began his career in 1970 in Thessaloniki, where he was studying math. Together with Pantelis Delleyannidis he founded the rock group “Damon and Phintias”. A song of that era (“Clown”) later came out in the album “Zorba the Freak”. He never finished his studies, and he returned to Athens, disappointed by the revolutionary youth of Thessaloniki at the time, where he worked to his father's factory. They soon met, at "Kittaro" the 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. It was through this group that Sidiropoulos first experimented with combining Greek and rock music.
Afterward 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". It is considered to be the greatest rock album in the Greek rock scene ever, as "Flou" inspired many musicians and opened a completely different path to Greek audience.
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, including 'Na m' Agapas'. 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. They released several albums and made numerous live performances. In 1982 the album “En Leyko” was published, of which many of the songs were censored. In 1985, the 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 and after his mother's death, his left 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 (released 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 the Greek musical style rebetiko. In 1994, the album “En Archi In o Logos” came out; it contained recordings between the years 1978 and 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.