Tassos Papastamatis (1938 - 2010)
One of the members of The Fominx was Tassos Papastamatis. He was born January 22nd 1938, in Thessaloniki. In 1966 he recorded his "Strangers in the Night" hit, which had "The Shadow of your Smile" on the B-side, for the famous Greek Pan Vox label. "Stranger in the Night" was used in the film "A Man Could Get Killed" and the ochestra in the background was conducted by Stan Hopkins. Tassos Papastamatis was the singer on some, thus not all, of the Forminx' records. Below you can find some, not all, examples of Forminx singles with Tassos singing. He was called the Frank Sinatra of Greece at that time, because of his warm and tender voice.
In the early sixties Tassos became a member of The Forminx and he lend his voice on some of their singles. The Forminx was a very popular group and their success was overwhelming. After The Forminx, Tassos tried to continue his musical success outside of Greece. He went to France, where he became a singer in bars and clubs. When he tried to set up his own musical carreer he released a single in France, "Rosetta / Days of Love" with Vangelis' help. In 1986 Vangelis and Tassos recorded the famous Bert Kaempfert tune "Strangers in the Night" together. This piece of music was released on a now not so easy to find lp called STO RUQMO TOU '60 No. 3
Unfortunately, his carreer didn't go the way Tassos had hoped for. His little success brought him back to Greece, his homeland. It’s been said that some other members of the Forminx, had been in touch with Papastamatis over the years to lend financial support, but he refused to receive any help. The last twenty years Tassos lived in complete isolation. The singer even cut off his telephone service to avoid the bother.
Nikos Mastorakis, The Forminx co-writer, said:
“It is a tragic that happened to him… For me he was was the master of the group “The Forminx” and had written most of the songs, Tassos was the most creative presences of the group. On his voice, with Vangelis Papathanasiou “we stepped” all the songs. He had always an enormous grin, the most creative person that I have known in my life. I had invited him to sing in a event of Radio Gold.”
And the guitarist of “The Forminx”, Vassilis Bakopoulos, described his tragic conditions of existence:
“Seldom he accepted donations. I and the other members of his group, we had proposes to support him financially but he politely denied it. He had lost contact with his relatives and his environment. ”
So, in a small apartment on the 6th floor of the Aristotle Street in downtown Athens where Papastamatis lived for 50 years, the singer slipped away unnoticed, and undiscovered for about 15 days. He passed away on July 20 2010, aged 72.
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