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Moschonas Nikos | Samos | Biographical data
• Place of birth

Mitilinioi, Samos
• Short biography

Nikos Moschonas was born in 1922. He was an amateur musician with some formal musical education. He played the accordion, the guitar, the drums and the mandolin. He ran a barbershop, until 1987, and was also an amateur photographer and painter: “I could also read notes. Of course I read notes. So when something new came out – before it was available here – we’d get it from Athens. Our relatives, our friends would send it. They knew. […] I was self-taught, in everything. Self-taught in music, too, self-taught in painting, self-taught in everything.”

Nikos Moschonas began playing music at a young age, and one of the first musical activities he took part in were serenades, which he performed with a group of friends: “We were the crooners of our time. Well, he had some guys with good voices. We played the mandolin, the guitar, and we performed serenades. That’s where we started [and] learnt the basics, let’s say, in music […]. Among friends. We’d meet at a café early, drink, and when the time passed, when it came to eleven, eleven thirty, twelve, we’d begin the serenades. Later it was forbidden. We got caught once. We didn’t get away in time and they took us to court the next day.”

Following that, he joined a band [‘Ta Prasina Poulia’ – The Green Birds], where he originally played the accordion. The band was made up of Christos Vourliotis, Kostas Perris and Dimitris Kyriazis: “I took up the drums later. And since then, I gave up the accordion and focused on the drums. […] I played the guitar, too. I played anything I got my hands on.” He also worked with other bands, and his repertoire was mostly European. On the musicians’ position in society, he said: “They called them paichnidiatores [players]. They played with their toys. ‘Let’s go to the toys,’ they used to say. By toys they meant the instruments, the violins and the songs. […] I did a series of paintings – down in the workshop – and called it ‘Dancers and players’ [the title of the painting] […]. ‘What toys will you have?’ [they used to say]”.

Nikos Moschonas’ musical career came to an end in 1964, when he migrated to Germany. While there, he only played music among friends, and for his personal pleasure. He returned to Greece with his wife in 1975, after ten years abroad.