Meeting VANGELIS as told by Costas Ferris
I first met Vangelis and the Formynx, in 1966, while preparing the shooting of the film "Formynx story", directed (at the beginning) by Theo Angelopoulos. We were then a bunch of friends aspiring or already being professional film directors, and helping (yet) one another for the creation of what was later called "The New Greek Cinema".
("Formincs" sounds like a rock group title, but the word "formynx", comes from the name of an ancient Greek musical instrument, was given to the group by Mrs Eleni Vlahou, the famous newspaper publisher and important political factor.)
Theo didn’t make it (he was shooting for five days the legs of the group, walking down the streets of Thessaloniki) and was replaced by Costas Lychnaras.
Then came the military putch on April 67 and most of us escaped the Junta, going mainly in Paris. There I met Vangelis and the other members of the group at the Café "Le Saint Claude", in Saint Germain des Pres, which was the meeting place of the Greek refugees. (Vassilis Vassilikos, the author of "Z", has written a book about it, called "Café Emigrec").
The story about how the group didn’t make it for London, and was blocked in Paris by the May 68 Revolution is well known. But the important thing is, that being an old Anarchist and a new-converted Situationist I have been involved in the 60s hippy-yippie-revolutionaly movement, together with my old good friend, French director Jean-Daniel Pollet.
Jean-Daniel, Serge Ouaknine (now established in Canada) and me, completed in 1969, a script by the title "Aquarius", and the director wanted to have "Pink Floyd" for the soundtrack. (It is interesting to know that "Pink Floyd" composed the soundtrack for "More", which was the first film of Barbet Schroeder, another friend, who was also the producer of previous Pollet’s films).
"Pink Floyd" refused to compose the soundtrack for "Aquarious", and I proposed Vangelis. We met him, and gave him the script. He refused as well.
But two days later he called me to tell me that he loved the script and he wanted from me a good idea for a concept album by the Aphrodite’s Child. He knew already that the group was about to split and the one and only "star" who could make a solo career was Demis. So he wanted to make a final record which could put in value his composing talent.
I came back two more days later, with two concepts:
*(Funny! "666" was released the same day as "Jesus Christ Superstar"! It was a big shock for Vangelis and me, to see the two records side by side, in a Paris record shop).
The same day, we started working on the Apocalypse, which was later entitled "666" (at this link you can find the concept book synopsis)
About "Aquarious": it was shot two years later by Jean-Daniel Polet, by the title "Le Sang". The film has only live "tribal" music of the 60s hippies.
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Special thanks to: Costas Ferris and Dennis Lodewijks.
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