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Time to learn from mistakes of the past.

Byline: a scribe called Haji Mike

From the sublime to the ridiculous

THE LOSS of a close friend is always difficult to write about, particularly when their passing was unexpected and thousands of miles away. Akis Pattalis ran Trehantiri Music with his brother Lakis for decades. Akis was a walking encyclopedia on Greek music. You could hum a tune and he'd tell you the artist, label and year of release. I always wanted to make a documentary about the person once dubbed 'The Good Greek Music Guru'. He was also a humble and skilled electric guitar player who once made a band called Xlires Taxiarchies a" who, if memory serves me right, only ever did one live gig. When I was making my first demos I used to pass by Trehantiri to play them to Akis. He was such a difficult person to please and invariably the initial feedback was painful on the ego. But I kept persisting as, more than anyone, Akis taught me the simple lesson that the real judge of any kind of music is the audience. 'Some people,' he used to say philosophically 'like some songs, some people don't so the real proof of any pudding is in the eating!'

Trehantiri was and still remains a shrine; a place where you go to hang out, listen to music, drink coffee, share road warrior tales, seek vintage tunes and sometimes may be bump into a famous singer from Greece. Jimmy Panousis once walked in rather candidly seeking a copy of one of his old rare LPs. I did one of my first music interviews there in the late 1980s with Nikos Papazoglou, in the back room standing nervously with tape recorder in hand surrounded by instruments and stacks of records. The shop and its owners are the unsung heroes of Greek music in the UK a" dating back to the 1970s. They provided space for everyone's music, supported local artists and helped Greek music in general to cross into the most unexpected places. Akis once told me how the legendary John Peel loved the music of the equally legendary Cretan Nikos Xylouris. Andy Kershaw, Charlie Gillet, and many more world music DJs all explored the vaults of Trehantiri for old and new musical treasures.

Akis Pattalis died way too young, and in totally unexpected circumstances a" peacefully in his sleep following complications from hip replacement surgery. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends the world over. Rest in peace my dear friend... and while you're up there; please get Jimi Hendrix to show you that solo on Voodoo Chile!

What to make of the confession by a famous Turkish actor that he was ordered to execute 10 Greek Cypriots in 1974, one of whom was a prisoner of war? Actor Attila Olgac told all this on a private Turkish TV channel, then, a couple of days later, rather insensitively rebuked everything and said it was from a script he was writing on the brutalities of war. In 1990 however the same Attila Olgac made the same confession to Vasilis Yiannopoulos, mayor of Nevrokopiou, who was on a visit to Turkey as part of a committee investigating the issue of the missing from Cyprus. Following Olgac's public confession Istanbul prosecutor, Ali Cakir, told Reuters that he launched an investigation under the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war, to which Turkey is party. The Olgac confession represents the need for a real Truth and Reconciliation Commission with regard to Cyprus. In the same week, Sevgul Uludag wrote an article in Politis on the political executions that occurred in the village of Lefkoniko in the 1950s and 60s. With all these cases the real point is to uncover the truth through the application of universal principles. That's the only way we can all move on, by learning from the mistakes of the past and healing.

Crisis, depression, deep-recession, call it what you want. Blame it all on greed. The cause is simply an unfettered desire to keep piling on money out of other people's money. Even in these times, even in Cyprus people are cold-calling, trying to sell investment packages based on risking life long pension schemes and personal savings. When will they learn? Surely there should be some regulation and laws to protect us from these vampires.

Copyright [c] Cyprus Mail 2009

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Date:Jan 31, 2009
Words:737
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