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The Hooks

The Hooks were founded in Piraeus the winter of 1965. Their presence in the modern music scene of Greece, regarding the quantity of their recordings, did not leave a strong mark having recorded just one single. Yet, due to its uniqueness and the impeccable quality it can be classified among the best of the Greek modern songs in the 60s. 

More specifically the founding members of The Hooks includes Giannis Fountis on guitar and vocals, Nikos Kesaras on drums, Elias Kalis on guitar, Kostas Drakakis on bass and Grigoris Moissiadis on keyboards. With this synthesis they will give sporadic concerts in cinemas and morning performances (a quite common happening of the times) while they will manage to perform for the winter season of 1965 in the small night club (of the kind called “Boîte” at the time) of Kaiti Episkopou on Falirou Street in Kastella.

The following year 1966 will be a period of reshaping and rearrangement, since Grigoris Moissiadis will leave to study Metallurgical Engineering in Thessaloniki where he will take part in other contemporary bands, such as The Drops and The Boomerangs, becoming one of the most sought after organist in Greece. Anargiros Drakakis, father of Kostas Drakakis and a trained musician himself, with an academic background in guitar teaching, had taken on the role of the band’s unofficial manager - mainly to protect the inexperienced musicians from possible mishaps. 

The band ingeniously solves the issue on the keyboards internally, as the talented multi-instrumentalist Kostas Drakakis is appointed to the farfisa. Kostas Drakakis will be replaced on the bass by Takis Valiotis from Ilioupolis, who will introduce them to his childhood friend, saxophonist George Albazis from the band “Olympioi” of Vangelis Dikos. Coming from the band Batman, Nikos Alexandratos will fill the gap left by Nikos Kesaras, who had chosen to travel, as he was a Merchant Marine engineer. The band will take its final form with the departure of Elias Kalis and the taking over of the guitar by John Fountis.

The present synthesis proved to be the most long-lasting of all, continuing the carefully selective live performances arranged by Anargiros Drakakis. Moreover, it was with his financial support a farfisa and two amplifiers were bought, giving the band another dynamic, which gradually built up a name and moved to Ilioupolis, where it featured in the program of the Night Club "Les Ami" at the weekends as well as on Sunday mornings. In addition, through their acquaintance with the famous presenter Omiros Athineos, they booked a two-day appearance on the YENED television channel. The uncle of George Albazis, excited and proud of his nephew's presence on the screen, bought a television with installments and having no other option of recording the Hooks, decided to take photographs of the group from the television, saving with this paradoxical way 8 black and white photos from their television appearance. 

The owner of the folk record label BOEM wishing to diversify into modern music, meets the Hooks in a crowded ‘Les Ami’club and offers them a contract. According to the contract, the Hooks were to record initially 2 songs and then, if deemed successful, they would go on recording an LP record. At the beginning of 1967 they recorded their first 6 songs in the studio Echo of the renowned sound engineer Giorgos Fren, who also took over the huge Concert of 1996 with Greek Modern Music at the Panathenaic Stadium. 

The Hooks will avoid the usual trend of covering and performing some well-known foreign hits in Greek, taking a risk with the presentation of their own songs. Statistically, there are very few band recordings of the period that did not include the easy way of a cover, and one of them was the Hooks, who delivered two solid samples of a perfect beat sound. Another unique feature was that both sides included songs based on shake rhythms, while the standard was to record a shake song on one side and a slow ballad song on the flip-side. Despite of these daring moves, the songs of The Hooks stand out from the average thanks to the well-developed playing of their members, with the farfisa often involved in groovy outbursts or interacting with the saxophone in a way reminiscent of soul music . 

Special mention must be made of the song "Listen (losing your mother)" written by the very young Yiannis Fountis, since it is a purely experiential song, which he wrote and dedicated to the memory of his mother, who had passed away that year. Coming home early in the morning from the club "Les Ami " and finding her dead, he captured the anguish and grief for the premature loss of his mother in these sensational lyrics. After writing a matching music they unanimously agreed to include it as the flip side of the record.

The single did very good commercially leading the Hooks back to the studio in September of 1967, where they recorded their other 5 songs, where the progress they had made in their musical style was apparent. They could now support live a soul and blues music repertoire, while thanks to the continuous assistance of Anargyros Drakakis, who had knowledge of choir music, they would perfect their technique in four-voice vocals, presenting a unique for the Greek standards sound. Silia Moschou-Drakakis and Louisa Kozomboli played an important role in the composition of the four-voice chorus vocals. The band's synthesis had undergone the same period a change with the departure of the drummer Nikos Alexandratos and his replacement by Totis Batis, coming from the Piraeus’s band Meteors.

At the end of the recording session, they met the owner of BOEM in order to release their LP, but it wasn’t meant to be. The reason was that the owner of the record company was putting pressure on the band to give two of their songs to a well-known popular singer of the period in order to release their album. The band refused to comply and since the economic factor was never a motivation for their creativity, they broke up with the record company returned to live performances. The Hooks will then move on with this synthesis until June of 1968, when the band will finally break up with Drakakis and Valiotis joining the army.


Credits : 

Ηχογράφηση : Studio Echo   Ηχολήπτης : Γιώργος Φρεν

Transfer 4-κάναλης Πομπίνας : Studio Κυριαζής  Audio Master : Κώστας Δρακάκης

Εικαστικό Εξωφύλλου: Θανάσης Ξανθάκος Βιογραφία Hooks: Βασιλειάδης Δημήτρης

Μετάφραση : Aντώνης Ξαγάς & Φωτεινή Ζαρογκίκα


Recording Studio : Studio Echo   Sound Engineer : Giorgos Fren

Reel 4-channel transfer : Studio Kyriazis  Audio Master : Kostas Drakakis

Sleeve Design : Thanassis Xanthakos  Hooks Bio : Vasileiadis Dimitris

Translation : Foteini Zarghika & Antonis Xagas

B-otherSide records would like to thanks for making this record all the past and present Hooks members ( Kostas Drakakis, Giorgos Albazis, Valliotis Takis, Nikos Alexandratos, Grigoris Moissiadis), Mr. Yiannis Fountis family, Mr.Giorgos Fren family, Thanasis Xanthakos for the wonderful sleeve and Fofi Zarghika& Antonis Xagas for their priceless and quick translation.

The LP is dedicated to the loving memory of Yiannis Fountis & George Fren.

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