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Athens, Greece

0.The Roadie Memoirs

Athens, Greece – The foundation for Western Culture. “When in Rome…” Destroy all the sculptural remains of the past…But leave the bosom please.


We left mid day on foot and headed up the hill towards the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. This was the first good view we had of the historic site, on the treacherous cliffs in the distance. You can see here where many of the homes and shops might have been hundreds of years ago. This was the Roman Capital, and an important cultural stewing pot. As usual you can see all of the construction work around the distant buildings. It’s my understanding that this saves them on taxes, I assume this is why it seems like every historic site around the world is always undergoing some sort of renovation.

This is one of the first structures we saw as we approached the path up the hill, this building was definitely in the best shape, compared to the surrounding areas. Even the green grass was different than the other areas. At closer inspection you could see bullet holes, spear holes, and other signs of warfare all around the buildings and surrounding gardens. It reminded me of  the structure in Nashville, which was built in 1897.

As we moved towards the museum I found a few pieces that were particularly intriguing. Especially this headless woman with her clothes falling off her missing hands, posed as she fetches water. I Imagine this statue was damaged during a time of war, yet her large bosom remains. As do many Greek statues of naked bodies, encapsulating a timeless pastime of nude human adoration.

This museums coin collection is what sparked my extensive coin collection. I’ve always collected currencies throughout the world on my travels across Europe, Asia, Africa, and North & South America. But on that day for some reason, I decided to buy handfuls of ancient Greek coins, and other countries too unknowingly. To this day I have an entire book of coins and paper currency. It’s not much, but it’s cool to look at. I eventually started collecting real gold coins, it’s my version of diversification. However, I think  stockpiles of food, bullets and alcohol will hold real value much longer than a few coins. Shoot, with all those gold coins I could go get at least two or three six-packs…

Here is the outdoor shed where concerts take place, on the backside of the hill. You can still see the orchestra pit, with its fresh scattering of chairs and speakers on display. If you look closely, you can even see all the hidden lighting fixtures in the crevices of the ancient remains. How cool would it be to have a performance on that stage? About as cool as Yanni!


Here I am at the Acropolis Vistas, the view from here was incredible. The Parthenon is the remains of a temple to the Greek goddess Athena, The Goddess of Wisdom. The Parthenon is the temple located on the Acropolis, a hill overlooking the city of Athens, Greece. Built in 438 BC, the Acropolis translated means “high city”. Here’s a view of what the city used to look like before years of ruin.

Before the sunset we found ourselves perusing through the shopping district at the bottom of the hill. We went to the legendary shop of Stavros Melissinos. People have been seeking this place out since the Beatles made his high quality ancient leather sandals famous. After an interesting leather experience, I met a guy on the street and bought handfuls of expired currency. Then we found some amazing food at a small restaurant. Of course I had the Gyro, but it didn’t taste at all like a referential stabilizing navigation device, it was more like lamb.

We eventually headed back to the hotel when it got dark, and pushed our way through the drug dealers, clowns and prostitutes again, just to get back into the hotel. It was much easier this time, when we didn’t have to carry twenty road cases from the airport van.

This was a classic European hotel, with tiny elevators that could barely hold two people, or even one person with two bags. Maybe one of the smallest and slowest elevators I’ve ever seen. Nothing like you’d see in America, with a twenty-person capacity. It felt so rickety and dangerous, but it was much better than carrying my bags up the long, spiral staircase.

Like many other cities in Europe, Athens had an unusual amount of stray dogs. These two dogs were just roaming around the parks, wondering aimlessly. At first you really want to pet these dogs when you see ‘em, but when you examine how filthy they are it’s a quick reminder to keep a safe distance. It’s kind of amazing, they have no one to care for them, and they just find food as they go. What a life!!

This arena took a while to walk to, but we could see it from the Parthenon earlier in the day. When we eventually got over here I captured this picture of the Olympian, about to throw a disc. The arena in the distance was used for the Olympics in the summer of 2004. 10,625 athletes from 201 countries competed in 28 different sports. It was always a dream of mine to compete in the Olympics. What an honor. I wanted to try out, but the coach at the YMCA said “I wasn’t special”, can you believe it? He really crushed that dream for me.


Check out this video overlooking the city of Athens with the gig in the side of a mountain. It was really windy, but what a beautiful view, except for the clouds of smog that is. You can hear on my radio the hilarious conversation between the stage manager and the promoter about whether or not the gaff tape would damage their staging equipment. Of course it definitely would damage the old sailboat of a stage, but we couldn’t tell them that.

The gig turned out great too, there was a hilarious moment when the support act used part of the staging that she was specifically told not to, so she got to finish her set with all the lights turned off. A great way to finish a day in the 110 degree sun. At one point, all the roadies, a bunch of old men mostly, were lubing each other up with sun tan lotion, but I think it’s better that you don’t see that picture…

All in all, Athens was an incredible experience but I don’t know if I need to go back. I pretty much did everything that I ever wanted to do there, and it only took 1 day. This was an amazing day off, about as good as it gets. I must have walked at least 10 miles and seen some of the most beautifully historic sites on the globe.

0.The Roadie Memoirs

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“When in Rome…” Destroy all the sculptural remains of the past…But leave the bosom please.

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