MARKOS VAMVAKARIS: THE MAN AND THE BOUZOUKI

My chum Noonie Minogue is the translator of this autobiography (sounds like my kinda guy), heretofore unavailable in English — click on the graphic for Amazon details and check out this Guardian article:

The bouzouki is what the hardened criminals laid hold of, killers with life sentences, the guys on death row… it’s a sacred thing. They didn’t want it to spread. But it did spread — Markos Vamvakaris

The confessions of a man on the fringes of society, who was to alter the music of a nation. A brilliant translation — Markos Dragoumis, Folk Music Archives, Athens

In Piraeus during the 1930s and 40s, dockworkers, tradesmen, thieves, and ex-cons sat together in shacks or mountain caves smoking the arghile and playing stringed instruments. They wrote songs in profusion, about their tough, anarchic lives, their loves, their sacred rituals, and the beloved haunts of a now vanished city. They sang and played Rebetiko. Markos Vamvakaris is the undisputed Patriarch of Rebetiko. Out of the lowlife of the port, the brothels and hashish dens, the man and the bouzouki trod an unlikely path from disgrace to glory. The autobiography was compiled in 1972 by Angeliki Vellou Keil from dictated material and recorded interviews with Markos in the last years of his life. The English translation is by Noonie Minogue. This timely and ground-breaking translation vividly conveys the speaking voice of a Rebetiko legend.

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