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From the Beatles and Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen and David Bowie internationally praised and famous rock stars have fallen in love with Greece.
The Beatles arrived incognito on their holiday to Arachova, Athens, back in July 1967 and were photographed by photojournalist Aristotle Sarrigiannis with traditional musicians from the region.
Ringo Starr later on spent some summers cruising the Greek islands, while John Lennon climbed the Acropolis rock in Athens.
The Rolling Stones first visited Athens in 1967, just before the coup, for a gig that was cancelled by the police for security reasons. Ever since, the band has visited the country once more for a concert, but each member has separately visited some of the Greek islands.
Joni Mitchell found herself a nomadic home inside manmade Neolithic caves carved into the sandstone cliff at Matala of Crete. It was the 1960s and a community of backpacking hippies had settled in Matala, a remote corner of the Mediterranean island where most locals had never seen a tourist before their arrival.
It was here that Joni immortalized the ideal hippie scene in her 1971 song “Carey,” overlooking the unspoiled beach and azure blue waters.
Not many people know that some of the tracks on the album The Wall were written on a yacht in the Passalimani port. Pink Floyd had come for holidays in 1979, but spent most of their time composing and drinking beers at the marina. That’s when Richard Wright met his second wife, the Greek Franca, whom he married in 1984 and lived with for ten years, most of them spent on the island of Kefalonia. Lead guitarist David Gilmour performed a song called Castellorizon for his third solo album.
Leonard Cohen went to the island of Hydra for the first time in 1960 and was so amazed by it that he spent all his savings to buy a house there, where he spent long periods of his life until his death. He used to draw and write poetry before writing songs with the help of his guitar.
David Bowie’s relationship with Greece was karmic. It wasn’t only his famous love for Cyprus, where his first wife Angie Bowie, mother of his son Duncan Jones, was from. Bowie nurtured a well hidden weakness for the island of the Revelation, Patmos, and spent many of his summers there.
Australian musician and composer Nick Cave has come to Greece many times to date proving that his style is deeply inspired by Greek cultural heritage, as he had himself admitted in the past.
Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant has a house on the island of Rhodes, which he frequently visits in the summers, while David Bowie visited the island of Patmos several times during the 80’s.