Aris San & His Electric Guitar - Ta Matia Sou (Your Eyes)

10 Mar
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Aristides Saisanas (Greek: Αριστείδης Σεϊσανάς) was born in Kalamata, Greece. At the age of 17, he sailed from Athens to Israel, shortening his name to "Aris San" on board. San began playing at the Arianna nightclub in Jaffa, a bastion of Israelis from Thessaloniki. His unique approach to playing the electric guitar like a bouzouki and creative melding of different styles of music opened Israeli society to Greek and Mizrahi music.The club proved popular with for senior officers and members of Mapai (forerunner of Labor and then the ruling party ), including Moshe Dayan.Lucy Maloul, a singer known professionally as Aliza Azikri, visited the club with her manager and husband Nissim Azikri. A romantic relationship developed between Ari San and Azikri that became grist for the gossip columns. They had a daughter, Sani.San wrote songs for Azikri.In Israel, San gained prominence for songs like "Sigal" and "Boom Pam".His band played at the double wedding of the children of Moshe Dayan, which was attended by David Ben-Gurion. The speed with which he obtained his Israeli passport and his close relationship with army officers encouraged gossip columnists to accuse him of being a spy, a charge he denied out of hand.San left Israel a few months after the birth of his daughter on the eve of Yom Kippur. He settled in New York City and opened a successful nightclub, Sirocco. The club proved popular with luminaries such as Anthony Quinn, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. Eventually, however, as San developed a cocaine habit and Sirocco gained the interest of the underworld, the club was raided by the FBI, which discovered drugs on the premises.San did not cooperate with the investigation, was convicted and served a two-year sentence. Upon his release he opened a poultry business in Harlem and another nightclub, which was unsuccessful. He later moved to Budapest, where he died under mysterious circumstances in 1992. His remains were cremated.

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