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All My Friends from Greece

Kea, GreeceHi everybody who reads this. Does anybody read this? I guess it doesn't really matter. Its like being a musician and practicing your 'chops' as they say. I write just so I don't forget how to write. But here I am in February and I am in North Carolina and what could I possibly write about Greece? Oh yeah. Now I remember. If you live in New York City or anywhere nearby from Feb 29th to March 2nd is the New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob Javitz Center. I will be there mostly to hang out and meet people since I don't really have anything to sell except my website and that's free. So if you want to come and talk to me about Greece the show is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. Friday it is open to trade professionals which by definition I am not, but my friend Stella at Asimina Tours is letting me sit at her table. When you go to these travel shows you are supposed to have something to give away like brochures or a CD or something informative about your company. All I really has were some business cards which are nice as far as cards go but not something you would trudge through the rain and snow to the show to get one. I have some 'Invite A friend To Greece' postcards like the photo on the right that I am about to run out of but I think I can get some more printed up before I go. People were supposed to send them to their friends but I keep seeing them on refrigerators with nothing written on the back so I guess they look so good nobody wants to part with them. It kind of defeats the purpose of using them for advertising purposes but having given away at least ten thousand of them it is nice to know that my photo is on bulletin boards and refrigerators all over America.

The Parthenon, AthensThen I had another idea. My friend Andy Emery put together a nice little video montage to one of my songs and put it on Youtube. Its called "All My Friends from Greece" and you can check it out by clicking on the song title. (Sometimes it plays perfectly and sometimes it stops and goes, you know how it is with video on the web. If it does not work the first time save it and come back to it.) But I thought why not make up fifty copies or so in a full screen DVD format and give them away at the travel show? Then people can watch it on their computers and TVs and instead of it being a blurry little box on Youtube it will be big and clear and in high-fidelity. Well, I didn't tell Andy I would be giving them away to people who use my website who come to the show. The idea is that I would give them to travel agents, tourism organizations and industry people to get them to visit my website and maybe hire Andy's company to pay his way to Greece to make more videos. But I think I can probably give away ten or so which is probably about the number of people who will read this.

So if you come to the show and if you are one of the first 10 people to ask me about the "All My Friends from Greece" music video then I will give you one. In the meantime you should check it out on Youtube and if you like it tell your friends because I think it is great. Not just because it is my music but because I think it captures the beauty and the insanity of Greece.

Paraga beach MykonosYou know how when you see a TV ad for Jamaica or some Caribbean or South or Central American country its always a beach and an attractive couple in their bathing suits eating lobster and drinking giant colorful fruity looking drinks. Greece does this too. The Greek thing is a swimming pool that looks like the water goes to infinity connecting with the blue sea and sky and a woman with a great body in an elegant white bathing suit gazing off at the caldera of Santorini or lost in reflection with the words 'Experience Greece' or something some advertising genius thought sounded really profound written across the bottom. You know what I mean right? (I wish I had one but the closest thing is this picture of Andrea in Mykonos.) But those ads are so one dimensional. You look at Jamaica and you see the beach and bathing suits and lobster and you think where are the Rastafarians? Where are the beat up old cars and people getting food in restaurants that are just huts and people trying to sell you stuff everywhere? The same with Greece. You can't sell it with a picture of a swimming pool. Its too multi-dimensional. The image of the pool and the elegant woman appeals to a limited number of people. The woman who comes to Greece to be like the woman at the pool, or the guy who comes to Greece to meet someone like the woman at the pool are pretty much in the minority and if you focus your advertising on them you are going to lose. Let's face it. Most people don't come to Greece to sit by an infinity pool. They come to have fun and really those hours at the pool are just for killing time and nursing hangovers until night falls and it is time to go out and eat and drink and dance and meet people and forget the problems they left at home. Of course there are ancient ruins and volcanoes and amazing rocks and mountains and cliffs and sea and museums and villages and everything you need to fill up the day and get you to the night. That's the attraction Greece has. What do you do in the Caribbean? You sit around all day waiting for the night. Lay on the beach. Get hot. Get wet. Get a beer. Read a book. Take a nap. Go out (Yay!)

Kastro, SifnosIn Greece you don't have to sit around. You can explore. You can educate yourself. You can see things you have never seen before and unlike someplace that is just a resort and everything is scripted for the entertainment of the tourists you are in a real town or village or city where people are doing their own thing and living their lives and you see them and cross paths with them and the eccentricities of the country is part of the whole package.

So what am I getting at? My friend Stella said it best. "All My Friends from Greece captures Greece perfectly." But why? I didn't give Andy $10,000 to go to Greece and capture the 'real Greece' for my video. He took the song and whatever footage he had leftover from his last trip there and put it together and the general consensus is that it sells Greece better than anything anyone has seen. And what is the difference between this video which cost nothing to make and a million dollar high production travel video? People. Real People. Not actors pretending to have fun but people actually having fun. It seems almost spiritual. I watch it over and over and OK, its my song and musicians are narcissistic by nature and often do listen to their music endlessly until they decide they don't like it anymore and never listen to it again, which where I was with this song. But everytime I watch and listen I see something new and it makes me want to go to Greece and it makes me happy. In fact after I finish this I am going to watch it again. Check it out and e-mail me what you think. If you like it and get to the show early you can have a copy. I will be in the Greek National Tourist Organization area at the Asimina Tours table. You should be able to find it. If I am not there just ask Stella and she will know where I am in case I am wandering around meeting people. See you there.

Play All My Friends from Greece

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