Monday, 26 January 2015

RIP Demis Roussos

"Laurence, Angela likes Demis Roussos. Tony likes Demis Roussos. I like Demis Roussos, and Sue would like to hear Demis Roussos: So please, do you think we could have Demis Roussos on?"

- Alison Steadman as Beverley in Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party.

Sadly as Greece celebrates the excellent victory for anti-austerity party Syriza at the election, the famous Greek performer who provided such a sore point in Leigh's brilliant play and whose hit 1976 song Forever and Ever graced its soundtrack, has died today at a hospital in Athens aged 68. 

Born in Egypt to a Greek father and an Italian mother, Roussos arrived in Greece in the early 60s after his family lost their possessions during the Suez crisis. At the age of 17, he formed a band called The Idols alongside Vangelis and the pair would subsequently go on to form the brilliant prog rock outfit Aphrodite's Child.

Going solo in the 70s, Roussos gave the UK one of the biggest hits of the long hot summer of 1976 in Forever and Ever, whilst his fondness for kaftans hiding his massive girth earned him the nickname 'The Kaftan King'. Subsequent hits included My Friend The Wind and My Reason.

In 1985 Roussos spent his 39th birthday held hostage by the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah after the TWA Flight 847 he had boarded was hijacked at gunpoint.


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