Kako je Luković otkrio svog omiljenog književnog recenzenta
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Slovenačka Doris Day: Majda Sepe, Opatija 1962.

Photo: PGP arhiv

“Bolja prošlost” putuje svetom

Pre gotovo četiri godine, tamo marta 2013, još u vreme dok su postojale e-novine, stigne mi mail čiji je naslov melem za ego-trip: “Spomenuo sam Vas na svom blogu”. Sve uz “lijep pozdrav” i potpis S. Lampić. Otvorim blog i nađem ono što tražim – njegov tekst o mojoj knjizi “Bolja prošlost”, na engleskom jeziku!  Malo je bilo onih koji su o ovoj knjizi pisali na nekom od jugoslovenskih jezika, a kamoli na – engleskom!  

Siniša Lampić: "Bolja prošlost" by Petar Luković (1989)

Every time I return from my sailing adventures and happily start re-arranging, dusting and checking out my books collection, there is one particular book that means a world to me and I hold it in my hands like it’s made of gold. I actually went so far to have it re-furnished again with a help of book-binder who sewed pages that were falling out. It is long out of print and the only book I wish to have with me on deserted island.

I had discovered it at some point in my local library (Krvavi most, Zagreb) filed under several volumes about music. Back than there were not as many books about music as today, mostly some encyclopedias translated from foreign languages. And lo and behold, suddenly I discovered this wonderful, large book titled "Bolja prošlost" ("The Better Past?") by journalist Petar Luković that was exclusively focused on pop music of Ex-Yu and how it grew, changed, metamorphosed and slowly integrated into society hat was slowly recovering from WW2 and was suspicious towards anything that came from the "rotten west". Luković had this brilliant idea to present half a century of popular music trough some 40+ chapters with most visible artists from different backgrounds, starting from very early ones who started right after WW2 and ending the story in 1989. when the book was published.

It was such a staggeringly brilliant idea that I adored it back then and still do, this is kind of book I would write myself simply for the pleasure and joy of writing.

Than, something very ugly happened. It is mostly forgotten now, but at the beginning of our war, people became very sensitive towards anything that came from Serbia - I was working as DJ on the radio and was forbidden to play any serbian artists, for example - public libraries suddenly removed anything that was printed or published in Serbia from their shelves. My beloved "Bolja prošlost" was nowhere to be found. I asked for it, of course, searched and was rebuffed - all those mousy little ladies in libraries behaved like they would end in prison if they tell me what happened with serbian books. (I suspected they locked them in some basements and cursed myself for not simply stealing "Bolja prošlost" when I had a chance).

Na svom terenu: Ivo Robić, Opatija 1962. godine

Tons of books printed in Serbia disappeared from the shelves, including those I used for my studies (history, WW1 and such, nothing really dangerous or threatening) in fact, than current media hysteria was far more dangerous than collection of poetry by serbian poets, to be honest. O.K. so I couldn't fight the windmills and let it at that. In retrospective, it was maybe better that way since I moved and changed address so many times that all my collections were lost and left somewhere behind, including my treasured LP collection.

Fast forward to a next decade: I was living in Amsterdam and thanks to internet found out about than-new encyclopedia of Ex Yu Rock music written by Petar Janjatović and was intrigued enough to order it directly for him, instead paying some on-line shops. His book was very informative and covered a lot but its nature meant that he was focused exclusively on Rock music and I could not forget all the musicians who came before that, so I gently inquired are there any copies of "Bolja prošlost" in second-hand bookshops of Belgrade. As author of his own book, Janjatović could simply ignore my question but he recognized music fan and sent me copy of "Bolja prošlost" right to my Amsterdam's address. To this day I am so grateful to him that from time to time I think about sending him some gift as expression of my gratitude.

Niko kao ona: Gabi Novak, Opatija 1962. godineEvery time I open "Bolja prošlost" I am reading it like for the very first time. There are simply so many stories about first jazz musicians who played music strictly forbidden by communist regime, how they eagerly watched rare US movies and memorized music so they could play it later. Than interviews with very first stars of pop music in than new country - Ivo Robić who was hanging out with Sinatra and Nat "King" Cole but at home would be summoned in the middle of the night to sing for president Tito.

Orchestra leaders like Bojan Adamič who was one of the first who played Jazz and simultaneously brought thousands to his concerts and dangerous criticism from Communist Party who attacked him in media for playing "US propaganda trash". Predrag Cune Gojković who had the first best selling record in a country that didn't even had so many record players. Đorđe Marjanović and Vice Vukov, clash of pop music giants. Our very first female superstar Lola Novaković who had media on her trails all the time. People like Nikica Kalogjera and Stjepan Mihaljinec who helped to built our own glamourous pop festivals as platforms where new stars were catapulted. Young Gabi Novak who sang in a TV cartoon and was immediately invited to perform with country's biggest Jazz band.

Arsen Dedić writing lyrics for pop songs under pseudonym because he was embarrassed for dabbling into something so trivial. Father of Tereza Kesovija selling a pig to buy her a flute, instrument that would eventually lead her to singing in "Olympia". Beautiful Majda Sepe who saw herself as some kind of slovenian Doris Day.

Karlo Metikoš who was ignored at home and then welcomed as a hero once he became rock star in France....

All these singers share same enthusiasm and great memories for the time when pop music was still innocent and full of enthusiasm. Then money and politics started to creep in. Radmila Karaklajić basically got blacklisted, accused of buying votes on traveling pop festival. Miki Jevremović accused of plagiarism. Olivera Katarina going from being the biggest star in a country to forgotten and ignored by media. The rivalry between "new folk" stars Lepa Lukić and Silvana Armenulić.

Estradni razgovori: Đorđe Marjanović i Silvana ArmenulićEmergence of new rock stars, managers and big money. Occasional interesting story like Mišo Kovač refusing to sing for nationalistic emigrants in US or Lepa Brena giving away all the funds of her concerts to help building a new hospital. As the book progresses and reaches end of 1980s, managers and producers completely take over and materialism replaced previous love for music - even more dangerously, recording companies are pushing banal material that "people love" which means urban, schooled and educated composers and performers are pushed aside, while novelty acts of dubious quality rule radio waves and therefore create new standards.

The book ends in 1989. but I could easily imagine a sequel that would cover the next two decades and gradual decline of music culture as such - today it’s all a gimmick, short-lived TV exposure, choreography and scandals - nostalgic and ironic title "The better past?" points that even though it was hard to be musician way back, it still had a certain dignity completely lost today.

Festivalsko ćaskanje: Dragan Stojnić i Kemal Monteno

Lots of beautiful, rare photographs from private collections: elegant dresses on pop festivals of 1960s, our singers touring SSSR in 1970s, very first photograph of Karlo Metikoš and Josipa Lisac together, camaraderie behind the stages, Zdravko Čolić in army uniform (than again, hanging around with Đorđe Balašević who is also pictured while in a group with Bora Đorđević) .... it is the most exciting and complete work about popular music of some 40+ years in Ex Yu and I take my hat off to its author.


Sećam se da mi je Lampićev tekst značio 2013. mnogo više od desetak recenzija objavljenih u ono ludo, odvratno vreme tik uoči ratova devedesetih. Zahvalim mu se od srca – obećam da ćemo ostati u kontaktu, čuvajući njegov tekst za sebe, jer te 2013, usred mnogobrojnih sudskih procesa i manijakalnih napada na e-novine, nisam mogao ni da slutim da ću se jednog dana vratiti knjizi “Bolja prošlost” preko nekog novog portala.  Ipak se setim da ga, za svaki slučaj, pitam – imam li dozvolu da objavim njegov tekst, ne znajući ni kad, ni kojim povodom. Moj dragi prijatelj odmah mi odgovori:

Još jedno Lampićevo pismo

Dragi gospodine Lukoviću, beskrajno mi je drago da sam Vas napokon pronašao i da Vam mogu reći koliko mi Vaša knjiga znači već 20+ godina.

Vi ste me istovremeno inspirirali i posramili - inspirirali, jer ste napravili nešto što nitko drugi od svih tih miliona ljudi kod nas nije napravio, sastavili zanimljivu priču s bezbroj podataka, fotografija i anegdota koje bi bez Vas bile zaboravljene. Posramili, jer nakon što je "Bolja prošlost" objavljena, ja više nisam mogao ni sanjati da napravim nešto takvo (iz jednostavnog razloga jer ste već to VI napravili), dakle moj bi rad bio samo blijeda kopija Vašeg.

Jugoslovenska zvezda raskošnog glasa: Lola NovakovićNe znam ništa o Vama, čak ni kako izgledate ni što ste drugo radili - ali čitajući "Bolju prošlost" iz godine u godinu zaključujem da je u pitanju dugogodišnji rad, arhive i očita ljubav i entuzijazam prema tematici. Početkom 1990-ih studirao sam novinarstvo na Fakultetu Političkih Nauka u Zagrebu, no moji su članci u studentskim novinama brzo doveli do "pravih" angažmana po novinama & radiju tako da sam Fakultet bez puno razmišljanja ostavio drugima, jer me ponijelo uzbuđenje što živim od pisanja i dobro se sjećam vrtoglavice zadovoljstva što dobivam honorare (ma kako mali i i simbolični bili) za nešto što dolazi iz moje glave - možda nesvjesno inspiran "Boljom prošlošću" radio sam interviewe sa zagrebačkim glazbenicima do kojih sam mogao doći, ali naravno bio sam balavac i kad na te članke gledam danas znam da bih sve postavio skroz drugačije.

Osim toga, nisam tako dobro poznavao povijest te naše domaće glazbe kao što sam saznao kasnije i npr. sumnjičavo sam gledao Maria Kinela kad mi je pričao o tome kako je utjecao na razvoj posljeratne pop glazbe (mislio sam da je stari prdonja koji se hvali). Čak mi je pokazao EP ploču s autogramom Matt Collinsa koju je dobio objavljenu u Francuskoj.

Naravno, kad je čovjek mlad onda bi raširio krila i htio sve odjednom, tako sam i ja ostavio zemlju i novinarstvo iza sebe i već godinama živim & radim u inozemstvu, posjećujući Zagreb tek povremeno - možda i zbog toga, postao sam strastveni kolekcionar stare domaće glazbe (ali to nije ništa novo - zato sam i radio na radiju, da bih mogao kopati po arhivama). Svi prijatelji ovdje konstatiraju kako je "šteta" što nisam nastavio pisati, ali moji internacionalni prijatelji misle da sam pisac svejedno jer konstantno nesto pišem - dnevnike, pisma, eseje na blogu ili glazbene recenzije po internetu, to se nikada ne mijenja i to mi je strast. Možda je ironija da u životu zarađujem radeći milion drugih stvari, a privatno za sebe i za svoju dušu pišem jer to iz mene navire samo po sebi, bez ikakvih problema.

Na početku karijere: Arsen DedićNaravno, možete objaviti moj esej o "Boljoj prošlosti" - pišem na engleskom jer je namjenjeno mojim prijateljima vani, ovdje u Hrvatskoj znam samo par ljudi ionako. I samo da znate, dan danas kad pišem nešto a trebam informacije (npr. o nečijem festivalskom debiju, počecima ili diskografiji) zavirim u Vašu knjigu i voljeću je dok sam živ. Čak sam ju dao ponovno uvezati da mi stranice ne pobjegnu. Dobro se sjećam, u par navrata vidio sam tu knjigu u kućama pjevača s kojima sam razgovarao!

Lijep pozdrav, Siniša Lampić

PS. Kad budete imali vremena pogledajte ovaj link, tu su glazbene recenzije koje ja pišem kad imam vremena & inspiracije (to je internacionalna web stranica na kojoj ja vrijedno pisem o našoj domaćoj glazbi) i čak sam se potrudio napraviti nekakav "Introduction" o njoj, što je čini se jako zapaženo. U nekoliko navrata moje su recenzije izabrane za naslovnu stranicu što me veselilo kao malo dijete. Ima me posvuda po amazonu i ostalim stranicama, ponekad me citiraju pa kažu "anonimna recenzija" ali nema veze, ja prepoznajem svoje pisanje i drago mi je svejedno.


Kad je počelo da izgleda da će XXZ magazin da zaživi, a da ću feljtonizovati knjigu, setim se mog prijatelja kojeg nikad nisam video, pošaljem mu još jedan mail, tek da ga podsetim da pamtim šta je o meni i knjizi napisao. Jeste, prošle su godine, ali da ga još jednom pitam za tekst – sad kad znam da feljton “Bolja prošlost” izvesno kreće.

Lampić mi ovih dana piše – iz Danske

Dragi gospodine Lukoviću,  ugodno sam iznenađen vašim mailom; naravno da možete objaviti moj tekst, ako treba možemo ga prevesti - razlog zašto se nisam ranije javio je što radim na kruzerima i kroz 6 mjeseci plovidbe provjeravam e-mail samo povremeno, tako da nisam imao pojma da ste mi pisali.

Počašćen sam da ste me se sjetili, naravno vaša knjiga mi je uvijek bila veliko zadovoljstvo i inspiracija, dapače svaki puta kada se vratim na kopno, "Bolja prošlost" je ono čemu se uvijek vraćam, ne samo zbog glazbe nego i zbog fascinantnog osvrta na čitavo društvo tog doba i specifičan način razmišljanja.

Lijep pozdrav iz Danske, Siniša


Petar Luković: Ovu prepisku objavljujem iz duboke zahvalnosti, smem li da kažem - velikom i dragom prijatelju Siniši Lampiću kojeg nikad nisam video, niti mu glas čuo, ali se prijateljstvo ne meri susretima. Napisao je o knjizi ono što mi je bio povod da knjigu uopšte napišem; da sačuvam sećanje na tu “Bolju prošlost” koja izgleda sve fascinantnija što smo dalje od nje. Bon voyage, Siniša!

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