Panagiotis explains that this record is part of a collection of approximately 300 records that he has gathered over the course of many years, which, as he tells us, would cost over 6000 euros if he sold them. “A small fortune”. This particular copy of the record is not the first that he got his hands on. He bought the first one in 1974, when it was first released – he was 14 years old. He bought the second one around 2019 and the third and final one towards the end of 2022, from a friend’s record shop in his neighbourhood, Exarcheia.
I was trying, all these years, to make a collection which would now be enormous if I still had it, but unfortunately – and when I say unfortunately I mean it – ever since I was a teenager, not to mention a child, I had a problem with alcohol and later with other substances and as a result I couldn’t handle what I wanted to do, which was build a collection and play music, drums […] The addiction I had allowed me to do almost nothing. I would start something and then I would stop.
Panagiotis explains that in 2013 he entered a rehabilitation programme and, while he was there, his personal therapist recommended Shedia to him, so that he would have an occupation until he could start working again. He tells us he used to work as a bosun and that, despite his age, they still wait for him to go back.
My big love is music, but also the sea.
Continuing about the record, he explains that the style is progressive rock and that the title – The Mirror – is also the name of the penultimate song on the b-side. He chose this record because of the genre, but also because of the cover. “Mirror” means reflection, he tells us, and the band, Spooky Tooth, released this album in 1974, in a decade when music was changing. The sound started being less ‘pop’ and more ‘rock’, and musicians started using electric guitars and synthesisers more and more often. He talks about Greece during that time and about Aphrodite’s Child, one of the greatest Greek rock bands of that era – he calls them ‘innovators’ and ‘timeless’. He mentions that he has their album, ‘666’, at his house, ‘ and that Vaggelis Papathanasiou is a huge personality.
He ranks The Mirror amongst the 10 best albums of all time, in the “anthology of rock music”, along with The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway by Genesis, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, Thick as a Brick by Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin II and Physical Graffiti by Led Zeppelin, Sticky Fingers by The Rolling Stones, Fragile by Yes, and some albums by David Bowie.
He explains that The Rolling Stones in particular marked the era of the turn from pop and The Beatles, to rock. This is a band, he tells us, that has never been stagnant, but rather has always changed their sound and techniques. He refers to Sticky Fingers and tracks such as Brown Sugar, Honky Tonk Woman, and Black and Blue, where they play mostly soul and disco. Among the bands that constantly evolve, he also mentions Black Sabbath, who started in ’66-’67, also marking the change of sound, as well as Deep Purple who started in ’68. He also refers to synthesisers in progressive rock, giving Yes and Genesis, with Tony Banks playing synthesisers, as examples.
This album by Spooky Tooth – because they have other older ones, but their older ones are more pop – this album… if you hear the first track you will understand how explosive it is.
Panagiotis mentions that among his collection he also has a lot of jazz and jazz rock music. He explains that jazz expresses a lot not only about him but also the time when he was younger.
Regarding his relationship with music, Panagiotis explains that when he was 14 years old he bought his first drum kit, second-hand, from a shop in Plaka. Later, his grandfather bought him some other drums.
When I was still in elementary school, at 9 years old, I would take wooden sticks from my father’s shop and I would sit and play. After some time I got the second-hand drum kit that cost two thousand drachma – at that time an average salary was about 12 thousand drachma – and I had given two thousand for the drums: Hollywood.
When he was in the army, he kept playing drums in the afternoons, when they would finish the training.
I would go play in a small room in the cafeteria and one time I got really into it and the commander passed by and watched me through the window. A lot of time passed and when I turned around I saw him looking at me with a look between irony and congratulations […] I mean to say that wherever I was, I would play drums, including in the army. In Avlona, I would play in the music group we had. Sometimes in the Christmas holidays, or at Easter… when we were younger, about 17 years old, we would give concerts in cinemas. There are photos where we have long hair. I have photos but I haven’t seen them in many years because they bring me melancholy, they remind me that we had a lot of skill in music and all that.
He says about his brother, Dimitris, that he is now abroad but that he used to go to school to learn the bass guitar. Their grandfather enrolled him in the school. Panagiotis tells us that he himself is self-taught.
In 2018, when I was in therapy, I was also in the music group and I would play drums, as well as while I was in rehabilitation where I was for one year. Every afternoon I would go, take the drumsticks, I had put pillows, a chair, and a blanket so that it would be soft and I would play with a timer that was given to me by a teacher at a music school in Ilioupoli, who was recommended to me by my personal therapist and I used to go there and he would teach me for 2-3 hours a week, with sheet music. What I was taught there, I would play it in the afternoon in the guest room, with the timer, to learn to play with the right times. Even there, without instruments, I would play drums. I would also go to a studio in Kypseli, but I haven’t been there in many years. It’s something that attracts me. I could easily buy a drum kit right now, not a very expensive one, 250 euros. But the thing is that I live in an apartment building […]
Panagiotis, in the context of the conversation about his love for music, narrates to us the story of him meeting a radio producer. He talks to us about a producer of ERT’s first ever programme, Giannis Petridis, who has presented the programme ever since the ’70s, every afternoon, between 4pm and 5pm. He recalls that when he was 10-12 years old, Petridis would present the show every day, including Saturdays, which was a working day back then. Every day, he tells us, there would be a different genre. For instance, on Monday he played soul, on Tuesdays he played progressive rock, on Wednesdays he played blues. On Friday, as he explains, there was always the “rock club”, which was Panagiotis’ and his brother’s favourite programme.
We would listen to Giannis Petridis and his news about rock music on the transistor radio.
He closes by telling us about an occasion when he went to ERT with the Shedia magazine and, indeed, a few minutes before 4pm, he met Giannis Petridis on his way to record his programme.
So I told him about AC/DC and Eagles and he didn’t expect it. He told me I must be referring to the ’70s and I told him I am. I gave him congratulations and I told him I admire him. He collects vinyls, cassettes, CDs and other stuff… records from all music genres […] After all these years that I’ve been saying I had to meet this person, the time came.