CULTURE

Stelios Kazantzidis resisted the changing tides

One of the greatest voices ever to sing Greece’s authentic popular songs was silenced yesterday. Stelios Kazantzidis, who was the star of taverns in Tzitzifies and recording studios during the 1960s, has succumbed after a long battle with cancer. At his side were his wife Vasso and his friends, the ordinary people with whom he identified. After several disputes over the authorship of many of his songs and a biography by Vassilis Vassilikos (Stelios Kazantzidis’s Confession), the great singer of hits like Life Has Two Doors – to lyrics by Eftychia Papayiannopoulou – chose to leave through the other door, that has now closed behind the epitome of Greek singers. Kazantzidis won countless gold and platinum records but he was indifferent to the trappings of fame. He preferred to go fishing near his home in Aghios Constantinos, to which he had retired in recent years, before becoming ill. It was Kazantzidis who discovered the singer Marinella. They married, only to later separate, both on the personal and professional level, after releasing together a number of songs which told of the trials and tribulations of Greeks during the waves of emigration to Germany and Belgium. In the age of globalization and a profit-oriented, consumer society, Kazantzidis would not have been able to sing, even had he retained his rare metallic voice until the end. For those for whom Kazantzidis sang the songs of their youth, only the records remain to remind them of how unique and genuine he was. The Athens benchmark index lost 5.38 percent to 2,248.39 points. For the week it gave up 15 percent or 399 points. Since Tuesday’s terrorist attack, it has lost 12 percent. It is an overreaction, but investors are fearing Monday’s US open and discounting it opening lower, said head analyst at Kappa Securities Nikos Galoussis. Banks and telecom stocks lost 4.92 percent and 4.22 percent respectively. The Athens bourse’s FTSE/ASE-20 index of blue chips fell 4.86 percent to 1,268.79 points. The FTSE/ASE-40 index of mid-caps lost 8.26 percent while small-caps dropped 8.81 percent.