Interviews with Paul Voudouris

So Who, Finally, Is This Paul Voudouris?
by Giorgos Melissinos for Eleftherotipia Newspaper Story (Athens, Greece)

The past week I believe he appeared on television more times than Miltiadis Evert. It’s strange, but understandable, if one realizes that the two have an important point in common; they both live on farms with animals. But that’s where the similarities stop. Paul, unlike our well-fed leader, is tall, muscular, with very short hair, and (always) smiling blue eyes, as everyone must have noticed on the avalanche of his television appearances. He gave interviews, told jokes, and sang. The average viewer could come away with the following 30 word synopsis (in keeping with standard Hollywood practices): Greek-American, son of United States Air Force officer, lives part of his youth in Greece, returns to the USA, studies, teaches Literature in Los Angeles, makes music and succeeds. And all of this is true but there are other unknown and much more interesting moments in the psychology of this singular individual. For example, why did he move from Los Angeles to Sedona, Arizona?

“First off, life in Los Angeles can prove intense. It has no relation to what one sees on television. Imagine living in a city where all the waiters, hair stylists, valets, and salespeople are forever explaining to you that they are only doing what they are doing temporarily, because soon they will become stars. And, believe me, interacting with would-be stars on a daily basis can prove difficult.” I explain to him that the same thing goes on in Kolonaki. We laugh.

“The thing is, the cost of living there was too dear for me. I wanted to live somewhere that was natural and real, and not surrounded by individuals inundated with the fantasies and postures of the star system. I didn’t know where to go. Then, my friend Chris (Spheeris) called, who was living in Milwaukee at the time, telling me that he wanted me to meet some people who were coming to Los Angeles. I said, ‘What type of people?’ And he said, ‘people that claim to be extraterrestrial walk-ins.’ Well, I’m an open-minded person so I agreed to meet them. Some days later this woman calls me and says, ‘Hi, I’m Aviansha, a friend of your friend Chris.’ Oh, you’re the extraterrestrial, right? She says, ‘Yes’. I ask her if extraterrestrials like pasta and would she like to come over for a plate. ‘Perfect, I’ll be right over.’ In two hours the doorbell rings and I open the door to see a plump woman dressed entirely in white with an enormous crystal hanging around her neck.”

That was Paul’s first encounter with the E.T.’s, as they liked to call themselves. Later he found out that they had come to Earth from the Pleiades, descending from their invisible spaceship which hovered around our planet, and that they all had names beginning with the letter “A”. Their mission was to save mankind by bringing about peace on Earth. They held “workshops” in chic settings in Los Angeles, used new-age terminology to describe the universe, and entered trances to channel with Indian English accents.

“I never understood why they spoke American English in everyday speech but adopted the other accent when channeling. As I didn’t understand why they were all fat, dressed in white, and laden with crystals. As a matter of fact, I asked Aviansha why an extraterrestrial that had gone to the trouble of choosing a human host would not have chosen a more appealing receptacle. She said they needed large bodies to house their intense energies. I also wondered, but never asked, why extraterrestrials needed coffee enemas to cleanse their temporary bodies of deleterious influences. Other than that, the E.T.’s were very likable and when they ate at expensive restaurants they paid with their platinum Extraterrestrial Earth Mission American Express Card. Interestingly, numerous real stars came to their events and donated thousands of dollars...but maybe that’s standard Hollywood practice. But the most positive aspect of this story is that one day they invited various people, including Chris and myself, to their home base located in the high desert town of Sedona, Arizona. This was so that we could participate in the Harmonic Convergence and help to enlighten mankind. And going to Sedona was a revelation. It was one of the most magical places I’d ever seen. In the middle of the desert with lots of trees, rivers, and lakes, it was something of a Paradise after Los Angeles. Though my interactions with the E.T.’s lessened significantly on that very trip, I decided to move to Sedona. Chris and I rented a house together (something we had done in Milwaukee many years earlier) and began work on a new album which would later be titled ‘Enchantment’."

With this C.D., the duo Spheeris & Voudouris found worldwide success with a musical style difficult to categorize. Later on, Paul, who admits to liking well constructed songs, recorded another solo album titled “It Takes Two”. It is an album entirely different to “Enchantment”, with eleven songs in the pop-rock vein, and a little bit of Latin thrown in. Paul has a strong, metallic voice that lies somewhere between Mick Hucknall and Cat Stevens. Though his records sell well, Paul continues to live in Sedona, working on future projects. He sees the E.T.’s here and there about town and they sometimes sit for a coffee and conversation. “You know,” he says, “they disbanded due to personal differences, but the few that still remained together changed their names so that now they all begin with the letter ‘Z’.

He’s presently working on a new album with Chris Spheeris and another solo album (“Nothing But The Truth”). I got a taste of the demos from a cassette he brought with him and I think the new album will be even better than “It Takes Two”.

In Greece, Paul lives an existence diametrically opposed to that of Sedona: out at night, girls, and chaos, foregoing organization for the craziness that Athens can provide. But in two weeks he’s more than ready to return to his Arizona desert to work and tranquility. As he said good-bye to me with a smile, and disappeared down the road, I remembered the young Paul, “The American”, who was something of a Dennis the Menace of our neighborhood. A terror with his bicycle, he’d ride up and down the streets of Plateia Ymittou. And when he wasn’t immersed in Karate, he’d go crazy on the piano hoping to one day be like Elton John. He didn’t become Elton but, in my opinion, something better for him: he became Paul Voudouris.