Despite the ubiquity of his loin-stirring New Age compositions, there are many things you might not know about one Yanni Chryssomalis Kalamata, known the world over simply as "Yanni."
For instance, few of his fans realize that even with his stunning good looks, Yanni is painfully shy about his appearance and refuses to disrobe in front of others, under any circumstances. This, in fact, led to the failure of his relationship with withered Dynasty diva Linda Evans.
It's also not commonly known that Yanni rejected his Grammy nominations in protest of the poor treatment Greek-American musicians receive in the business. "Even Apollo, lute god though he was, was exploited by the industry and ended up in the Athenian skid row at the end of his career," Yanni somewhat improbably explains.
Heard most recently by those who bothered to tune in this year's Olympics, broadcast from his homeland, Yanni has an impact on any given person that is subtle but powerful. On most occasions when Yanni's compositions drift through your ear canal, you probably don't even realize it's him, chalking up the alternately lilting and sonorous tones to John Tesh, or Vangelis or Tortoise.
But it's when you find yourself treating your fellow man more humanely, or giving your wife that extra dose of loving or stooping over to pet a small dog that Yanni's influence is felt. "While I never would exploit my power over people's minds for personal gain or malfeasance of any kind, I use it subtly, to bring joy and love and everlasting sexy goodness. You won't even know that you're being controlled by me, Yanni," he declares. And implausible though that may seem, Yanni does hold a degree in psychology from the University of Minnesota, earned before he became the international phenomenon of ersatz music that he is today. "These are not the 'droids you're looking for," he jokes, confusing this writer.
After toiling away for a few years on the New Age circuit (like the Borscht Belt, but with crystals), Yanni broke through to mainstream audiences with Yanni: Live at the Acropolis, a concert recording of his triumphant return to the land of his birth. Another little known fact: The damage to the Acropolis caused by Yanni's performance and the rowdy audience was substantial; he had to reimburse the "Grecian" government to the tune of 200,000 drachma. "I always make joke: Yanni owns the Acropolis, because you break it, you bought it," he says, mirthfully. Attempts to explain that the actual value of the Acropolis is much higher were met with a dismissive wave of his hand. "You want interesting interview or not?"
After the success of the multiplatinum Live at the Acropolis, Yanni found himself to be a pussy magnet of Homerian proportions. There was Linda Evans, of course, and Barbra Streisand, but Mr. Acropolis was at various times linked to Courtney Love, Paris Hilton, Liza Minelli, Olympia Dukakis and RuPaul. About her, he says defensively: "I know RuPaul is not woman, but she has the magic. We make sweet love, then I make sweet music."
In recent years, Yanni's been on a jag of visits to other historic properties: the Taj Mahal (where the Indian government, fearful of another monument-trashing by the crazed, moshing fans of New Age music, obtained an injunction against Yanni, only to be overruled by Prime Minister Vajpayee, a huge fan) and China's Forbidden City. He released Ethnicity in 2003, his first album to feature vocals of any kind, which for some reason includes a cover of "God Save the Queen" done entirely with wind chimes.
Oh, and while Yanni found time to do all that stuff, and all you found time to do was sit in your dentist's chair, listening to him, he also made room in his life for someone to ghostwrite his autobiography (Mr. David Rensin), published on the Miramax Books imprint. The most stunning fact of that book can now be revealed.
"You have my permission," Yanni says. The moustache? Fake.
Please note: The preceding was a work of fiction. No similarity to any person or small dog, living or dead, is implied or intended.