If there is one person who can be proud of living without rules, without joining any ideology and its branches, which usually lead to military discipline, and who has never been molded, it is Nikolas Asimos. Nikolas from Kozani arrived in Athens and his favorite Exarchia with a long stay in Thessaloniki, and became one of the three "saints" of the area, along with Katerina Gogou and Pavlos Sidiropoulos.
His lyrics perfectly reflect his theory of the world around him. A world that was at a distance, that he did not understand much and unfortunately, the world did not understand him in time. Up-to-date lyrics, simple music and often psychedelic. Asimos was trying to explain how wrong people are, that everyone was confused with their beliefs and lost the essence of life that passed untouched in front of them. He did not want to change the world. He did not hope for so much. But he had the impression that he could at least wake up the people, who hurt each other by shedding crocodile tears at the same time.
His frustration in the end was such that he could not bear it. But his life was full. Even if he lived only 39 years…
Growing up in Kozani
He was born in Thessaloniki but his parents were from Kozani. He spent his childhood there where he finished school. His father owned a shop in the city center while his mother did the housework. He was a mediocre student. Research once showed that the most intelligent people are mediocre at school. Because they do not read due to reaction but they only succeed with their mind. He liked poetry, Souris more. He wrote satirical verses and recited them to his classmates. He also sent the first ones to Nikos Mastorakis who had a column in "Eleftheri Ora", with the pseudonym "Asimos" (his real name was Nikolaos Asimopoulos).
At the age of 18, he graduated from the School of Philosophy of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he mainly dealt with theater. At the same time, he wanted to attend classes at the Drama School of Kyriazis Haratsaris. But he gave it all up.
He preferred to scratch his guitar until he learned it and later wrote his first songs. He sang for the first time in Thessaloniki, in a bar in the White Tower, where for the first time, he had a fight with his collaborators. And it would not be the last in any case.
But at some point he was arrested. Security kept him for a long time. His identity was lost. He did not make another. He waited 18 years to make it. Named Asimos this time. And a clarification: Without religion.
He stayed in Thessaloniki for six years. Although he read philosophy, he did not want to continue. Not even with acting. The city probably did not do it for him and decided to go down to Athens.
Athens and Exarchia
Arrived in May 1973. No degree, no acquaintances and no home. But he did it, always in his own way. He appeared in various bars in Plaka, from where he made a living. There he will collaborate with names such as Panos Tzavellas, Giannis Zouganelis and Sakis Boulas.
In 1975 he will make the step in the discography. But not in the way we know. It was a 45 rpm record, with a song on each side. However, he fell victim to censorship, after its broadcasting was banned from the public radio and television. He was not interested. He continued to sing as he felt. He started distributing his cassettes illegally. In the propylaea, in Monastiraki, in Exarchia. He then founded the legendary "Exarchia Square Band", which left a mark for some years in the area.
Although he was half-hearted (only in words), he found love with the anarcho-feminist Lillian Haritaki and in 1976 they had a daughter. An anarchist too, during the junta and later, he ate wood from both the security forces and the communists.
Imprisonment, release, book and record
In 1977, along with five other publishers and authors, he was imprisoned for "negatively affecting society as a whole." No one had yet understood how much society as a whole needed his lyrics. He spent two months in prison.
In 1981, his book "In Search of Crocodiles" was released, while a year later, his first major album was released, with the participation of Vassilis Papakonstantinou, Haris Alexiou and others, entitled "O Xanapes".
He staged improvised performances in Exarchia. Many people loved him but there were even more who despised him. He was trying, but he was getting tired. He spent more time in the shop he had bought on Kallidromiou Street. Where he ended his life.
The tragic end
However, his mental health was constantly deteriorating. He visited psychiatric hospitals many times. It was then that he became obsessed with the work of the American author - anthropologist Carlos Castanieda. According to testimonies, he began to perform immortality experiments with small animals, which he was trying to resurrect. In the manuscripts of his suicide later, he asked for the last forgiveness from the animals for the great mistake he had made.
In the winter of 1987 he was accused of raping a girl. He was taken to a psychotherapeutic clinic and later to Korydallos prison. The girl withdrew the lawsuit but the prosecutor had the opposite opinion and Asimos remained in prison until June. While in prison and while awaiting trial, Asimos appeared to have been released. He could not overcome his bitterness for a charge that was never proven. He could not stand the stigma of the rapist. His mind was flooded with negative thoughts. Hypersensitive as he was he could not stand them. After two suicide attempts, he was found hanged in his shop in Kallidromi on March 17, 1988. He had not yet turned 40.
Like many artists, Asimos was more appreciated after his death. More and more people listened to his songs and discovered the truths of his lyrics. But without him present…