The Forminx (1963-1966)


At the Greek Fine Arts School in Athens, Vangelis gave his first public performance in the radio-special "H Messimvrini kai ta astra" in 1964. He played vibraphone, on this rendered version of "L' ecole est fini."


But Vangelis' musical breakthrough started a bit earlier, in late 1963: Tassos Papastamatis, Vangelis Papathanassiou, Sotiris Arnis, Vasilis Bakopoulos and Kostas Skokos formed The Forminx. They were all in school. It was a great time, with growing success. In 1964 The Forminx became very popular nationwide. The recordcompany Pan Vox tried to promote the band internationally, which was possible due to the fact that they recorded their lyrics in English. Outside Greece promos and singles were released in the USA, UK and Australia. And a film was made, a movie about the group itself, but this film was never finished. This film, called "Troubles", told the story about a group of young musicians and their uprising success. The music for "Troubles" has never been released on LP or CD.


In the years of existence The Forminx released nine singles and one EP with Christmas songs and they made several soundtracks for films. Because of their success, The Forminx were asked to perform on the movie "Theodore And The Double Barrel Shotgun" (in Greek "Ο Θοδωρος και το Δικανο".) This movie was directed by Dimos Dimpoulos and was released in 1962. When a lady goes to a bar, there is a band playing. The band is The Forminx. This is the very first time Vangelis, without beard, appears on the screen. In Greece this movie is released on DVD.


A third movie The Forminx made the soundtrack for is "My brother the traffic policeman" (Ο αδελφός μου ο αστυνομικός κυκλοφορίας) It is directed by Greek director Filipas Filaktos and was released in 1963.


The Forminx were very popular. Vangelis was seen as a big star. At this time, Vangelis was the first person in Greece who had a Hammond organ and he adjusted the settings to get strange sounds, just like he did with the piano in his youth. At the end of summer 1966 Vangelis met Demis Roussos. They got to know eachother when Lucas Sideras took Demis, aged 22, to his youthfriend Vangelis who lived with his parents in Athens. Lucas, Demis and Anarchyris Koulouris made music together since 1963, and they named themselves "The Minis" The four boys rehearsed some time and they decided that they should leave the country to try their success outside of Greece.


The Forminx' first hit, "Jeronimo Yanka", became a golden 7" in one week. The Forminx threw the seed for the explosion of popgroups in Greece. With this legend group began everything in the Greek pop scene and their enormous success laid the foundations for the creation of hundreds of popgroups in the country. To earn money they sometimes gave small concerts at the Hilton hotel. This is were Vangelis and Ricardo Credi met for the first time.


On April 21st 1967 general Papadopoulos took over power in Greece. It became nearly impossible to work as an artist. Many painters, musicians, sculpters and other artists left their country to build up a new life elsewhere. It's unknown if this was the main reason why The Forminx was disbanded, but at the top of their success the boys stopped their co-operation.The Forminx split up at the end of 1966.

The Forminx: Vangelos Papathanassiou / Tassos Papastamathis / Vassilis Bakopoulos/ Sotiris Arnis / Kostas Skokos

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