Tzimis Panousis

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Tzimis Panousis
Τζίμης Πανούσης
Athens Pride 2009 - 55.jpg
Tzimis Panousis, 2009
Background information
Birth name Dimitrios Panousis
Born(1954-02-12)12 February 1954
Athens, Greece
Died 13 January 2018(2018-01-13) (aged 63)
Genres Comedy rock, rock
Occupation(s) radio presenter, standup comedian, book writer
Years active 1980–2018
Labels Opera, Music Box International, Warner Music Greece, EMI-Columbia, MINOS-EMI, Afilokerdos A.E.
Associated acts Musical Brigades
Tzimis Panousis photograph from his performance at Athens Pride 2009. 20090613 Tzimis Panousis Athens Pride 2009 Klathmonos 1.jpg
Tzimis Panousis photograph from his performance at Athens Pride 2009.
Tzimis Panousis photograph from his performance at Athens Pride 2009. 20090613 Tzimis Panousis Athens Pride 2009 Klathmonos 2.jpg
Tzimis Panousis photograph from his performance at Athens Pride 2009.

Tzimis Panousis (Greek : Δημήτρης "Τζίμης" Πανούσης; 12 February 1954 13 January 2018) was a Greek musician, stand-up comedian and occasional film and theater actor born in Athens, where he spent most of his life. His fans often refer to him as “Tzimakos” (little Jim). His first wife was Lili Achladioti with whom he had a son, Aris. He later married Athina Aidini and they had a daughter, Fotini.

Greek language language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, historically also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southern and Southeast Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Musician person who performs or composes music

A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented. Anyone who composes, conducts, or performs music is referred to as a musician. A musician who plays a musical instrument is also known as an instrumentalist.


Early biography

Dimitrios Panousis made his first appearance in the mid-1970s, performing in various pubs, with his band "Mousikes Taxiarhies" (Musical Brigades, Greek : Μουσικές Ταξιαρχίες). 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.

Pub drinking establishment

A pub, or public house, is an establishment licensed to sell alcoholic drinks, which traditionally include beer and cider. It is a relaxed, social drinking establishment and a prominent part of British, Irish, Breton, New Zealand, Canadian, South African and Australian cultures. In many places, especially in villages, a pub is the focal point of the community. In his 17th-century diary Samuel Pepys described the pub as "the heart of England".

Album collection of recorded music, words, sounds

An album is a collection of audio recordings issued as a collection on compact disc (CD), vinyl, audio tape, or another medium. Albums of recorded music were developed in the early 20th century as individual 78-rpm records collected in a bound book resembling a photograph album; this format evolved after 1948 into single vinyl LP records played at ​33 13 rpm. Vinyl LPs are still issued, though album sales in the 21st-century have mostly focused on CD and MP3 formats. The audio cassette was a format used alongside vinyl from the 1970s into the first decade of the 2000s.

Artistic style

Since his debut, Panousis had introduced a controversial style of rock music with humorous and sarcastic lyrics. His songs included caustic remarks on the political and social reality of Greece. His varied musical style included 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.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Reggae music genre from Jamaica

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s.The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae," effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as ‘Rudie Blues’, then ‘Ska’, later ‘Blue Beat’, and ‘Rock Steady’. It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.



Panousis had several run-ins with the Greek authorities. His second album, Musical Brigades (Μουσικές Ταξιαρχίες in Greek), was briefly withdrawn from circulation in 1982 because of the ostensibly blasphemous lyrics of a love ballad. In 1984, censors placed beeps over some of the lyrics in Mousikes Taxiarhies's third album, An I Giagia Mou Ihe Rouleman (If My Grandma Had Wheels).

In 1997, a court battle with well-known Greek singer George Dalaras began. Panousis had frequently been making fun of Dalaras in his live shows, showing money coming out of his mouth whenever he sang. The court ruled that Panousis would be charged with a one million Drachmas fine (approximately $3,000) every time he mentioned Dalaras by name on-stage. Panousis's response to that, was to call him "the unmentionable" in his shows from then on, and use his famous on-stage quip, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have 3 million drachmas to spare: Dalaras, Dalaras, Dalaras!"

George Dalaras Greek singer

Georgios "George" Dalaras, is a Greek singer of international fame. He has been selected as a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency. He was born in Nea Kokinia, Piraeus. His father was Loukas Daralas, a singer of rebetiko.

All this has contributed to the depiction of Panousis as a highly controversial artist. Some regarded him as a modern-day Aristophanes [1] while many considered that his pranks and commentaries were of bad taste. Panousis often used offensive language, while the advertising posters of his depicted provocative images. In one instance, he replaced the cross of the Greek flag with a communist hammer and sickle, for which he was charged with a four-month probation. In another instance, he appeared dressed as a priest with a medallion hanging around his neck which depicted the head of a chicken instead of Mary. This elicited the angry reaction of Archbishop Christodoulos, the late head of the Church of Greece. [2]

Aristophanes ancient Athenian comic playwright

Aristophanes, son of Philippus, of the deme Kydathenaion, was a comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his forty plays survive virtually complete. These provide the most valuable examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old Comedy and are used to define it, along with fragments from dozens of lost plays by Aristophanes and his contemporaries.

Hammer and sickle Communist symbol

The hammer and sickle is a symbol of proletarian solidarity that was first adopted – as Russian: серп и мо́лот, translit. serp i mólot: "sickle and hammer" – during the Russian Revolution. At the time of its creation, the hammer stood for the proletariat and the sickle for the peasantry—combined they stood for the worker-peasant alliance for socialism. The sickle symbol resembles a sickle used to harvest grain crops and the hammer is one that would be used to make a razor sharp edge on a sickle or scythe.

Accusations of antisemitism

Panousis had been accused by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece of expressing antisemitic views, [3] not seldom in connection with his standpoint in the Israel-Palestine conflict. During an episode of his satirical show Δούρειος Ήχος ("Trojan Sound") at the radio channel City 99,5 in 2009, he used expressions such as "Jews - Pigs - Murderers [...] may you die a horrible death" and "[...] the jews control all the banks in the American empire, they control all of the show biz [...]", while also referring to the conflict in Gaza. [4]

In 2013, Greek Jewish organisations were appalled by the use of a symbol consisting of the David star entwined with a swastika (the symbol itself is used by the Raelites) for the posters of his show "Troika Club". [5] In relation to this symbol, Panousis has been using the term "nazi Jews" ("εβραιοναζί" in Greek) when describing current Israeli politics. [6]

Other activities

Panousis had hosted various radio shows for more than 15 years. He was also the author of six books (a peculiar type of sarcastic essays). Moreover, he had appeared in four movies: the most notable is The Dracula of Exarcheia (1981, directed by Nicos Zervos), where Panousis was the protagonist. From September 2008 to June 2009, he hosted a 30-minute radio show, called Dourios Ihos (Trojan Sound) at the radio station "City 99,5". The show was hosted in "Radio Thema 98,9".


Panousis died on 13 January 2018 after suffering a heart attack at his home in Athens. [7] He had previously been hospitalized after collapsing on stage in December 2017.

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  1. Eleftherotypia, 29 October 2000, The Tzimis Panousis Affair (in Greek).
  2. Kathimerini English Edition, 30 October 2006, Comic no joke for archbishop.
  4. Δούρειος Ήχος, 5/1/2009, City 99,5 (in Greek).
  5. Kathimerini 21 February 2013, Αντισημιτισμός και Αριστερά (in Greek).
  6. Lifo, 27 February 2013, Η εβραϊκή κοινότητα ζητά την απόσυρση της αφίσας του Τζίμη Πανούση (in Greek).