Bob Shell: The Passing of a True Genius

Young man playing a Tuba in his underwear
Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2022

Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2022


The Passing of a True Genius


I’ve just learned of the death at age 79 of Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou, known as Vangelis. As Vangelis, he was my favorite modern composer. 

Most of us first heard Vangelis when Carl.Sagan used some of his powerful music in ‘Cosmos,’ that wonderful tour of the universe (the Tyson remake is but a pale shadow of the brilliant original) or in an Ernest and Julio Gallo Christmas wine commercial. .

Before going solo, Vangelis was the driving force behind the progressive rock band Aphrodite’s Child, which he cofounded after leaving his native Greece to live in Paris after Greece’s 1967 military coup overthrew the elected government. Prior to that his Greek rock group Formynx had several hit records in Greece. 

He tired of the stresses of performing and moved to London to pursue his solo recording career. There, after a series of solo records, he was hired to score films, eventually scoring for more than a dozen. 

I became a fan after buying the soundtrack album for ‘Cosmos.’ His wonderful, unique music on there sent me scurrying to record stores (yes, we had them back then!) to buy all of his solo albums. 

But it was in 1982 that he secured a place in my heart and mind with his edgy and powerfully influential score for Ridley Scott’s masterpiece, ‘Blade Runner,’ my all time favorite movie. I have that score on my tablet today and listen to it often, along with the score for ‘Chariots of Fire,’ probably his best-known work. 

Vangelis, though I only knew you through your music, I will miss you.


About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author, former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine and veteran contributor to this blog. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models.  He is serving the 13th year of his sentence at Pocahontas State Correctional Facility, Virginia. To read additional articles by Bob Shell related to UFO’s, click here:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *