Sunday, May 2, 2010

Erkin Koray: Turkey's Jimi Hendrix

In the late 1950s, Erkin Koray was renowned as the first Turkish musician to introduce rock music in the nation, embracing electric guitar in an era where traditional Middle Eastern instrumentation still mandated popular music. A decade later, he commandeered psychedelic prog rock—in addition to becoming controversial just because he had long hippie hair. Coolio!
In 1971, in Cannes, he chummed around with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, later being compared in Turkey for as being as much an influential innovator in rock music, also compared to Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page.

Last week, 69-year-old Koray was in the States, in search of signing with an indie American label to propel his legacy West, and held meetings at the Jersey City home of Ayhan's longtime friends Serap and Kamu. Also in attendance: our talented buddy Emre Yilmaz and pianist Can.Above, Can, Ayhan, Koray, Emre. Below, some more starfuckers.Below, Emre, Ayhan, Leonard, meese.Ayhan with our hosts Serap and Kamu, and meese.With Emre.