Prominent Greek songwriter, musician and stand-up comedian Tzimis Panousis has died at the age of 64 from a heart attack.
Panousis, known in Greece as “Tzimakos” (little Jim) has had heart problems and last month was hospitalized with chest complaints.
He died on Saturday at an Athens hospital.
Panousis made his first appearance in the mid-1970s, performing in various pubs, with his band “Mousikes Taxiarhies”.
Panousis was the vocalist and main composer of the group.
Their first (unofficial) album was Disco Tsoutsouni (Disco Weenie) released in 1980. It was an illegally published tape, many songs of which were later rerecorded for the band’s official debut, their eponymous album in 1982.
The band went under the alias “Alamana’s Bridge” to make a guest appearance with two songs in the compilation album Made in Greece.
In 1986, Mousikes Taxiarhies was disbanded and Panousis went solo. His subsequent successful career showed that he could be a band on his own.
Since his debut, Panousis has introduced a controversial style of rock music with humorous and sarcastic lyrics.
His songs include caustic remarks on the political and social reality of Greece. His varied musical style includes mostly rock, but also reggae and rembetiko.
In his live performances, Panousis delivered sarcastic comments about current events and Greek musicians and personalities.
He often interacted with his audience, in a unique type of stand-up comedy, and was also notorious for his on-stage phone pranks.