It’s been 90 years since Manos Hadjidakis (also spelt Manos Hatzidakis) was born (23 October 1925-15 June 1994) and this month’s illustration couldn’t be dedicated to anyone else but the great Greek composer and songwriter.
Manos Hadjidakis was described as unconventional, with subversive ideas and a surprising character. He always raised controversy when it came to his personality but everybody agreed on the greatness of his talent. He seemed to love deluding the public about who he really was and a good example of this was his unclear political identity. The Left considered him a rightist and the Right believed he was a leftist. He once said: “the Left should include all concerned human beings. Any man who doesn’t compromise is a leftist”. In reality he opposed any form of power and defined himself as a citizen not a politician.
Manos Hadjidakis is perhaps modern Greece’s greatest composer and songwriter, rivaled only by Mikis Theodorakis for the title. He was honored with an Academy Award for his song Never on Sunday from Jules Dassin’s film with the same title but refused to receive it. He renounced every single song he wrote for the movies because as he said “they all carry an unwished popularity”.
“My demeanour is that of an upper-class individual. My culture is that of a poet. Idiosyncratically I am a commoner.”