Drazen Vrdoljak wore the most recognizable moustache on Yugoslav TV, he had the strangest accent on the entire radio scene, but those are all just small funky things about him that don’t really matter at this point in time… The news comes to me that he had passed away recently at the age of 57, leaving a great legacy of rock journalism and rock enthusiasm that is rarely seen anywhere. He started off in the late sixties/early seventies by publishing eloquent and analytic music press texts raising a bar in that branch on the local scene. He moved on to television, but his most important influence lied in his close and friendly ties with musicians. Here is the list of five greatest Drazen’s contributions that made the Yugoslav rock scene the better place:
1) His participation at Buldozer’s 1975 LP Pljuni istini u oci. This LP was by far the most unexpected, the most outrageous LP recorded in Yugoslavia before the new wave. The band was greatly influenced by US avant-garde groups such as The Fugs or Mothers of Invention. Conceptually, it was designed as a tabloid newspaper and each song was one bizarre “article” in it. The LP also caused quite a stir with a controversial cover-art. Drazen helped coming up with the ideas for it.
2) Drazen organized and announced new wave concerts at the height of the Yugoslav new wave. Two greatest live albums ever recorded in Yugoslavia, Film’s Uzivo u Kulusicu and Elektricni Orgazam’s Braco i sestre open with his unforgettable announcements.
3) Drazen made country music cool back home in several ways, he wore publicly western outfits and cowboy boots in the middle of Zagreb, Croatia, he played the coolest country acts in his shows and encouraged formation of local country bands in Zagreb.
4) He helped Haustor record one the greatest new wave singles ever recorded in Yugoslavia Moja prva ljubav and
5) He interviewed Frank Zappa on Yugoslav television back in the early seventies as if he was a regular pop star.
Every local scene needs people like Drazen!