Gigs on Mašinac, Bum Festival, Studio M where Bijelo Dugme held its first concert outside Sarajevo and where many great names of the Yugoslav rock scene recorded albums and performed, concerts on the handball court next to the Danube Park, on the site of the former skating rink near the Park Hotel, performances of great names at the Fair, Spens, Vojvodina Stadium, etc.
Novi Sad knew how to ‘rock’ and therefore climb to the pedestal as the founder of punk in the former country, New Wave and rock music in general, with significant names such as the legendary Pekinška Patka, Luna, La Strada, Obojeni Program, Boye, Atheist Rap, Ritam Nereda, and many others who still maintain the spirit of Novi Sad awakened in the seventies and eighties of the last century. But this is already well known. However, what is perhaps less known or completely unknown to some, is that you can still meet great names in the city, in fact in their streets, passages, on the plateaus, etc.
Pekinška Patka Passage
When we talk about the punk scene in Yugoslavia, we can hardly start without Pekinška Patka, led by Nebojša Čonkić Čonta, professor at the Electrical Engineering School. They were the first in many things in this area, including the concert that took place in 1979. One of their first concerts took place right next to the Nork Department Store at the intersection of Poštanska and Jevrejska Streets, and was definitely the first group whose stage was actually a shop window of the mentioned department store. Shortly after that concert, the first graffiti saying ‘Long Live Punk! Long Live Čonta’ appeared in the city, and then 37 years after the concert, i.e., in 2016, the Pekinška Patka Passage board appeared. Thus, the passage at the former Jadran cinema, which remembers the unusual concert, took the name of one of the most influential bands not only of the punk scene, but also of the beginning of the New Wave.
Milan Mladenović Passage
Riding on this musical wave, we also reach 22 Zmaj Jovina Street, where Milan Mladenović Passage is located. The board was set up in 2015, five years after the initiative to name the passage after the great musician and 21 years since his death. We would need a lot of words and space to talk about Milan’s legacy – from the Lemon Tree, Šarlo Akrobata, with a special emphasis on the Paket Aranžman which may have marked the beginning of the New Wave in the former Yugoslavia, through Katarina II to Ekatarina Velika and his solo work with the great Suba on the ‘Angel’s Breath’ album – when, in fact, his timeless music speaks best of everything. To the frequent guest of Novi Sad, where EKV held one of the last concerts in 1993, as well as Studio M, where their ‘Dum Dum’ album was recorded, it seems that the ‘Nobody, nobody, like me…’ line still suits him the best.
Vlada Divljan Passage
In Milan’s company, also in Zmaj Jovina Street, on the corner with Dunavska Street, only a few months later, in February 2016, another great name appeared – Vlada Divljan. We can say that it would be difficult for the Yugoslav music scene to be what it was if it were not for Divljan, his band ‘Idoli’, whose album ‘Odbrana i Poslednji Dani’ was rated by many music critics as the best album of Yugoslav rock, but also his solo career, music for film and rock and roll for children. However, the Novi Sad audience could hear him even before Idoli, at the Bum Festival, where he performed with his first serious band called ‘Zvuk Ulice’ in the 1970s. In Studio M in 1996, he held two concerts with the Old Stars band, which was recorded on the ‘Odbrana i Zaštita’ album. One of the last meetings with the Novi Sad audience was at the Exit Festival in 2014, when he played with Ljetni Kino Big Band. Still, in Novi Sad, Divljan remained forever in the heart of the city.
Suba’s Music Plateau
The undisputed King of Illusion. One of the greatest music producers. A pioneer of electronic music in the former Yugoslavia. He composed music for films, theatre plays, ballet, television shows, commercials, and jingles for Radio Novi Sad. Winner of the UNESCO Fund for the Promotion of Culture. We could go on and on with the list of what a world-class citizen of Novi Sad from Liman did all the way to Brazil. Mitar Subotić Suba. He collaborated with many important names, such as Milan Mladenović, and perhaps the greatest result of their work is the ‘Angel’s Breath’ album, then with Marina Perazić, Massimo Savić, Haustor, La Strada, and others. From where he started, his name remains forever. In 2012, Limanski Park got the Suba Music Plateau, while one of the stages at the Exit Festival bore his name.
Branko Črnac Tusta Street
The hero of many generations born and raised in socialism, the ambassador of progressive ideas and anti-fascism, Branko Črnac Tusta, left an indelible mark. The same year, when he passed away, in 2012, he unofficially got his passage at the SKCNS Fabrika in the area of the former Great Liman, which is currently in the process of transformation into a centre of contemporary creativity. It could be symbolism that exactly there, in a hundred-year-old industrial heritage, where numerous former factories used to be, is the name of a worker in the Factory of Electrical Machines and Devices –‘Uljanik’, who carried punk in his heart and spread his energy through music and attitudes. It was in Novi Sad that KUD Idijoti recorded the first album, and the city was one of the locations for the shooting of the documentary film Tusta, which premiered in the Svilara Cultural Station in 2019. That same year, there was a promotion of the ‘Life With Idiots’ book by Nenad Marijanović, bassist of the band, better known as Dr Fritz.
Next time, as you walk around the city, take a look at these boards and feel free to whistle to the rhythm of the names on them.
Author: Milana Milovanov
Photo: Uroš Dožić