Okay, so the show has happened yet. That's tomorrow but this article appeared in our Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel this past Sunday. Critics here have been notoriously harsh on Yanni since I began seeing him live here in 1989 so this impressed me. Let's just see what they have to say after Thursday. I'll be VERY curious now especially if this is the guy that reviews the concert! Anyway, thought all of you might enjoy this too.
Real Yanni a study in contrasts By DAVE TIANEN dtianen@j... Last Updated: May 25, 2003
He's a romantic figure who destroyed the most precious romance of his life.
Yanni has recently published his autobiography "Yanni in Words."
Yanni looks and sounds romantic. The long, flowing black hair. The white suits. The dark, chiseled features. The lush, sweeping music performed at exotic locales like the Acropolis and the Forbidden City.
Yet in his recently published autobiography "Yanni in Words," the 49- year-old keyboardist and composer blames himself for undermining the most important love in his life: his romance with actress Linda Evans.
"My career became an addiction," he acknowledged in a recent phone interview.
"It became an addiction slowly. It wasn't like I woke up one day and there was nothing else in the world for me but my career. It took time to get that level.
"It got really bad in the last three or four years, and that's when the break happened.
"I got hurt a lot because I lost someone I loved, someone who was a close confidant and an adviser. I was very connected with Linda. At the same time, I lost my career because I walked away from it. It was very painful. I was in the middle of nowhere with no one around me. I was alone and completely lost."
So lost, in fact, that he was unable to work, both his personal life and his professional life in shambles.
"I did what every brave man does when he gets into trouble," Yanni confesses. "I ran home to Mama. . . . It became so painful that I went home to Greece, and I stayed with my mother and father. OK. No more career. Can I live without being Yanni? Can I live without my career? I knew I would have lost the game if I couldn't live without my career."
Not as mellow as his music Although his public image conveys the sense of a man who's the epitome of California mellow, Yanni admits the real man is not always so laid-back.
"I can be very intense," he concedes. "Temperamental? Some. I've been at rehearsals now for about a month with 25 musicians. If I said I'm not temperamental, you might hear a lot of laughter. . . .
"You know, I've been trying to find balance in my life after realizing how unbalanced I am when it comes to creating music. I can't do music a little bit. If I do it, it's 100 percent or nothing. I tried to find another way to do it so that I wouldn't get hurt, so I'd do it just for fun. It does not work . . . for me, at least."
Today, Evans and Yanni remain friends although they are no longer lovers. She, in fact, contributed to the book and gives her side of the ups and downs of their relationship.
Yanni hardly comes off wart-free in his book. He acknowledges that he briefly got hooked on free-basing cocaine. He also admits to shopping freely in the groupie candy store, especially during the rock band days of his youth. And there is some sense of a man who learned to use women at an early age.
"In each town I had a girlfriend or two," he writes. "Not real girlfriends, just girls I knew. Or someone I'd just met. I didn't mind having sex with a woman I'd know less than an hour. I was young, they looked good. Nothing else to do. Let's have some fun. There was no judgment, and I never felt guilty."
Selective memory He also admits that he's a man who tends to repress the negative events of the past.
"I tend to drop the bad things," he says. "I prefer to remember resolutions, rather than staying in the pain of how angry I was.
"When I was sitting in a room with five or six other guys that had been with me through some of these events, they'd go, 'Don't you remember when you came in and you fired everybody?' 'Well, no. But now that you mention it, I did, didn't I?' Selective memory was a revelation for me."
As a teenager, Yanni was a top swimmer in his native Greece and set the national record in the 50 meter freestyle, but he chafed under the strict discipline of the Greek school system. The decision to attend college in America was obviously a turning point in his life.
"Changing cultures is a great teacher," he says. "It's a very powerful education. It teaches you to have more of an open mind. I think I enjoyed the American university, in particular the University of Minnesota. I enjoyed the attitude of the teacher and how we were being taught. It was a breath of fresh air, especially compared to in Greece where it was like a military school."
Although he'll probably always be something of a workaholic, Yanni seems to be trying to reflect and appreciate the things he has accomplished.
"The way I find balance now, I go into work intensely, but every so often I make sure I take a break. I go and take a few days off and do something unrelated to my career.
"My professional objective right now is to love life and enjoy it.
"I've exceeded my dreams. I have 2 million people around the world who enjoy what I do. What else could an artist want?"
[This message has been edited by arcana (edited 28 May 2003).]
Awwww yeaaahh, baby! I hope I see you tomorrow!!!! Where are you sitting? I know I'm on the isle (seat 1) in section 3. Row QQQ I'm almost certain it is... I don't have a YMB button but I'd love to say hello tomorrow!! Do you have a YMB button? Otherwise, I know I'll meet you on Saturday in Madison! *grins*
Wow, Judi! Dave Tianen has reviewed Yanni in the past in Milwaukee?.... Unfavorably??? I gotta dig through my stuff since I don't remember the name of the *@!?!*!*? "critic" who reviewed him on the Tribute tour. For that show, it seems to me I remember him/her spending more time talking about Yanni's hair care products than about his music (I believe it was April of '98) though I'm not positive. I've got reviews since 1989 from MKE so if it was Mr. Tianen, maybe he's "mellowed" OR maybe discovered what REAL music is? OR... maybe even still, he's always had more taste than he's admitted in the past. I don't remember the name of the "critic" who did the "hack job" in '98. I've got to make time to dig through my packed boxes since my move a year ago to dig that up.
Yep! Dave Tianen did a seven paragraph, one column review on Yanni in 1994. His concentration was more or less on looks and hair products.
The fans responded and on July 9, 1994, in the Morning Mail section, a half-page response from fans titled "Readers review a review by Dave Tianen" hit the paper. One of the respondees asked to see a photo of Dave Tianen and the Milwaukee Journal printed one.
Some of the questions and comments from fans were as follows:
"Was review based on jealousy?"
"Don't judge according to looks."
"Does he know what music is?"
"What's wrong with having talent and good looks?"
Anyway, Dave wasn't very popular with many of the readers. But, everybody grows.
And of course I'll be wearing my YMB Button!
I believe you are in the fourth row on the floor in the center section. Great Seats if I have it right. I'll be six rows behind you!
Well, I guess we'll all be fairly near eachother. I'm in section 3, Row QQQ seats 1 & 2 so I'll be sitting right on the isle. I have long, black hair and I'm thinking I'll be wearing a dark teal suit and black blouse so if you see me, say hello!
Oh yeah Judi, I remember that whole thing back in '94. I'd just forgotten that it was Dave Tianen. I'd also forgotten they'd published his picture after that whole fan uprising until you mentioned it. That was quite funny!
Well all you fellow MKE concert-goers, have a WONDERFUL time tonite! I'm gonna go back to bed and continue trying to get rid of this stinkin' headache I've got... of ALL days to get socked with a migraine!
It's a well done piece that is truthful, coming from Yanni himself. I used to be in broadcasting and journalism. I under his situation with music because it is my passion, too. It's not always easy to strike a balance if you make it your career. I put in alot of practice into my music, too. It's the one area where I am a perfectionist. I think Yanni has grown alot as a person. My friend used to know him and one of his ex-girlfriends. She says what I told her about the book is pretty true and she says he's changed alot since that time. He's not the same person he was in his 20's because he's learned alot. I'm glad he could tell his life story because there are alot of good lessons one can learn from the book. I am one year younger than he is and there was alot of drug use in those times.