New Musical Express, August 16, 1975
I'm walking up Queensgate from South Kensington, London's Arab quarter, towards Hyde Park and hints of a hallucinating Hugo Montenegro can be heard cutting through the carbon monoxide breezes.
Percussion and Mixed Keyboards drift like musical tumbleweed down London's approximation of a French boulevard.
Vangelis "The Greek" Papathanassiou is holding a small Chez Moi. At home to the press.
"Ees music for feelm. Mexican feelm." Vangelis (with a hard G) tells me, pointing to the quad tape machine.
We shake hands. As our hands meet the tape machine breaks down. One is momentarily concerned that Perhaps This Is Not Destined To Be.
It is a very small and cosy At Home; several ladies and gentlemen who converse primarily in Greek or French, a bucket or two of wide-eyed prawns along with a few dozen bottles of iced champagne, and a light spattering of Media People. Seated by the balcony of the £100 a week flat is Vangelis' father. He seems confused or bored. Or both.
Also present are several gentlemen from the RCA record company. Vangelis Papathanassiou. scourge of the European keyboard circuit, has just signed A Very Big Deal with RCA records.
The Very Big Deal and the At Home are not necessarily unconnected.
Vangelis wears a royal blue crushed velvet kaftan, white loon pants and snakeskin boots. Plus a hair-woven chest dotted with pimples. Work was completed three weeks ago, he says, on his personal 16-track studio at Marble Arch. He has left his former base of Paris, France, and for the past year has been a British resident "Musically," Vangelis claims, "I outgrew France."
And he's well set for a diatribe against French poseurs when the musical chair (i.e. an advanced form of plastic peacock chair with speakers fitted into the neck) needs wiring up. Shortly Vangelis will go into his studio to record his first RCA album. In the meantime - just to keep his hand in, you understand - he will continue to knock out the soundtracks for some twenty spaghetti. sauerkraut and tortilla Westerns every year.
There will also be a British tour. Vangelis Papathanassiou is forming a band for the tour right now. It will not have a drummer. It will have some thirty percussionists.
Vangelis "The Greek" Papathanssiou sits down on the stool of his Bluthner grand. "Le's all seeng," he bellows and plays the opening bars to "Colonel Bogey". No-one sings. The gentleman from the record company look rather embarrassed.
Vangelis shrugs and shifts into "The Sugar Plum Fairy".
Such versatility. Truly this man must be among The Greatest Keyboards' Players In The World.
Interview by SALEWICZ