Yanni in Words: A Memoir Hardcover – 8 Jan 2003
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Yanni In Words is a very moving and extremely candid autobiography. His honesty about who he is and where he has come from is commendable considering how he has been pigeon-holed as such a gentle soul based on the sound of his music. Has anyone who�s seen Yanni perform or heard his uplifting compositions ever pictured him as someone who spent several years in a rock band doing not only original tunes but also ZZ Top cover tunes? Could anyone ever conceive of his having used drugs or of him having been rather promiscuous? Can anyone picture him "bombed", or as a long-time smoker? I�ve met several people who�ve put Yanni on a pedestal to the point of making him a god, less than human. Well, if you read this autobiography, there will be no question in your mind. He�s just another Joe Schmo like the rest of us! His unending drive and determination just happened to thrust him into the spotlight.
Yanni in Words is a fascinating narrative of one man�s determination to get his hard-to-classify music heard. He begins with the events of his days in his birthplace, Kalamata, Greece, where he broke the Greek National Freestyle swimming record at the age of 14, without the benefit of professional training. He continues to his immigration to America at the age of 18 to his tinkering with original melodies on a dilapidated piano in a University of Minnesota college dorm where he studied psychology. He elaborates on his struggles with his first record label, Private Music (now owned by BMG), and moves into his coaching from, romantic involvement and eventual break-up with Linda Evans. He goes into detail on the monumental undertakings which were the �Live at the Acropolis� and �Tribute� projects. Both of these stories will inspire the most jaded to continue in perseverance of their own dreams no matter the capacity!
This autobiography is a poignant and completely moving account of how success can be achieved against all odds. As I read it, I laughed aloud as Yanni recounts events such as a dinner he attended one night in China in conjunction with his performance at the Forbidden City. There he drank �their grappa � that tastes like socks fermented in gasoline.� He talks about �suspicious� dishes revolving past him on a lazy susan which he was urged to try because they were Chinese delicacies � �parts of animal bodies that I chose not to examine too closely.� About the �grappa� he says, � Drink one shot of that and you can eat anything. I remember getting pretty bombed that night and thinking perhaps I should have drunk some before the meal.�
I felt the intensity of his depressed and burned out state as he spoke of staring at his hands upon waking up the day after the Tribute tour ended. �I realized without a shred of emotion that I didn�t care if I ever touched a piano again.� And he didn�t � for an entire year! For a man who lives, eats, breathes and sleeps music, that�s pretty amazing - but as he states, he knew he had limits but had never found them. When he did, he crashed and burned!
Some Yanni nay-sayers may call what he has done in writing this autobiography �calculated�. In other words, he�s told his story which has been a relative enigma all these years to capitalize on his success. If that�s how some feel, tell me how it�s a bad idea to keep the public interested. Quite the contrary! If you want to stay in the public consciousness, you reinvent yourself and plaster your face along with your music everywhere you can! The average person has a very short attention span and they need to see as well as hear something more than once to remember it, particularly in the world we live in where we�re constantly bombarded by advertising. While Yanni will certainly receive monetary gain from book sales, I think he had a story to tell; a story he needed to tell. In a recent interview, he said, �A lot of the fans feel they know me through the music, and they do. They can feel the emotions that I deal with in the music, and they connect with it. I did it (wrote the book) to show that if a little boy from Kalamata, Greece, can do what I've done, then anyone can do it.�
Yanni�s honesty in past indiscretions reveals a human being that has learned the lessons of life. His powerful views on creativity and his belief that anyone can not only exercise it, but become successful in it, are proven by his forceful will, unyielding drive and the immense level of success that resulted.
Even if you are not a Yanni fan, I recommend this book. The reason is simple. If you are interested in studying what leads to the achievement of a dream, then here in plain English, is the story of an average flesh and blood man, flaws and all, talking about how he achieved the impossible. It wasn�t easy. In fact, some of what he ran up against would seem insurmountable to most people. Is Yanni unique in achieving success against all odds? Certainly not. But his story is inspiring and he is yet another person to study if you have a dream that seems impossible. We all have them and we all need inspiration.
The chapter on creativity is so powerful and revealing. He shows you how he creates music by 'going into the black and surrendering to the unknown' and how you can do the same too. He says you can use the same process to create the life you want. The chapter itself reads like a poem. The author has done a great job understanding Yanni's life and philosophy and putting that into words.
I've read many biographies, but this one is by far the best. This isn't one of those "I wish this was shorter" or "*Yawn*" type books. In this book, Yanni is very articulate about his emotions, but even more, it's exciting. It covers everything from his childhood in a picturesque seaside village to his historic concerts at the Taj Mahal to his insights on creativity. Words aren't quite my medium either, i'm an introvert, but I feel that people need to know about this book. Even if you're not a Yanni fan, this book teaches many valuable lessons, which has begun to make my life better believe it or not. And more than often, I've laughed my head off at some wonderfully hilarious moments.
This truly is the man behind the music, or even more the spirit behind mankind.
I really wanted to know about the man behind the fabulous music we are all lucky to have now in our lifetime.
I was very interested to read about his childhood in Greece, his teen years and his success in music. I feel, his biggest daring challenge as a teenager was to leave his parents and hometown that he loved so much, to come to a great new country, America!
He went through hard, lonely, sad and happy times, all which were expiriences that helped make him the man he is today. This book is very inspiring for all ages who have a goal and want to succeed.He brings out how difficult it is and how it IS possible! A challenge and a dream for anyone! Now he is also great writer with a wonderful personality!