Yertward Mazamanian alias Eddie, a hippie who discovered Goa's Anjuna beach, died in the coastal state last week, his friends said. The 85-year-old, known as Eight Finger Eddie, was an American expat of Armenian ancestry, who discovered Anjuna beach for rest of the world in 1965 and stayed here till he breathed last on October 18.
Tony Almeida, whose father Joe was the first person to meet Eddie at Anjuna, said that he had actually come to Colva beach in South Goa. "He moved northwards after hearing from the locals about this stretch of shore," Almeida said.
In the 1960s, few beatniks and hippies travelled from Western Europe towards South Asia. Eddie was the first among them. "Eddie and his companion came to Anjuna after walking through dense forest in 1965. It was a place at the foothill overlooking Arabian Sea," Tony told PTI. Eddie also coined the idea of Anjuna's flea market in 1975 which initially began as a place to barter goods. The flea market still exists at Anjuna although it has been turned into a cluster of shops.
The page devoted to him on Facebook has been receiving comments from all across the globe. Eddie's fans also had live streaming of his funeral on website Blogtv.com on October 18.