Lenny, May 2011


August 1978

Arriving in Matala is one of those events that will forever be vividly imprinted in my memory. As I got off the bus, Pink Floyd’s ‘Any Colour You Like’ was playing in the nearby Taverna and I watched shyly as two beautiful blonde sirens wearing flowing cheese cloth walked past. I was indeed mesmerized. I felt I had arrived in heaven. I walked towards the music and sat down. I ordered an Amstel beer and adjusted to ‘Greek Time’ and all the stress of the journey and my life back in England simply ebbed away. The Cretan seduction had begun.


I quickly hooked up with a small group of hippies who were sleeping on the beach, as the caves had been closed off. They told stories of a big police raid that had taken place earlier in the year, but I don’t remember the details. I don’t remember any names of those I met either, other than an American named Denny (his name rhymed with my own), but they were mostly cool. I probably only spent about 2-3 weeks in Matala before moving on to pick grapes in Dafnes, but I’ll never forget my stay there. The silent walks to Red beach, picking ripe figs on the way; drinking plastic bottles of crude, strong red wine on the beach; being naked & stoned as the waves crashed on the shore & feeling like a character out of the Odyssey. The peaks were higher than I'd ever been, just as the lows that came later on in my journey were as low as I wanted to go. Still it was all a big part of my life experience & has shaped who I am today.


I was 21 and still unsure of my place in the world. I was drinking & drugging way too much to cope with my insecurities. Taking the Magic Bus from London to Athens, I hoped that I’d maybe, magically be healed. Of course, like a lot of hippies, I was chasing a dream not a reality. The healing began much later.