In Piraeus during the 1930s and 40s, dockworkers, tradesmen, thieves, and ex-cons sat together in shacks or mountain caves smoking the arghile and playing stringed instruments. They sang and played Rebetiko. Markos Vamvakaris is the undisputed Patriarch of Rebetiko. Out of the lowlife of the port, the brothels and hashish dens, the man and the bouzouki trod an unlikely path from disgrace to glory.
The autobiography was compiled in 1972 by Angeliki Vellou Keil from dictated material and recorded interviews with Markos in the last years of his life. The English translation is by Noonie Minogue. This timely and ground-breaking translation vividly conveys the speaking voice of a Rebetiko legend.
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