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In November 1993, when I write these lines, Igra Staklenih Perli (The Glass Beads Game) has already become a legend and that everywhere, where the group never had the possibility to play: outside of the Yugoslavia of the Seventies, a country which steered its course between East and West seemingly safely and whose capital was a center of the non-aligned movement. And this Belgrade was also the place where in 1976 for Igra Staklenih Perli everything started:
Zoran Lakić (keyboards), Predrag “Pedja” Vuković (percussions) and Vojislav “Joshua N´Goma” Rakić (guitar) played first psychedelic improvisations and prepared themselves for stage appearances with the bass-player and singer Draško “Drakula” Nikodijević half a year later. So they played their first public concert as a quartet in the Belgrade Dadovo theatre in 1977: spherical psychedelic Rock music, visually supported by costumes, masks and a lightshow with laser and slide projectors. Since autumn 1977 Dragan “Šole” Šoć played additional drums to strengthen the rhythm section.
When the TV-director Stanko Crnobrnja, who recently returned from America, sees the group for the first time, he invites them to appear in the TV-magazine “Nedeljom popodne” (Sunday afternoon). Directly after a report about Erich von Däniken they play their “Majestetski kraj” (Majestic end). While Stanko´s telephone line runs hot, the music editor Mića Marković asks the group if they would like to record an LP in the 24-channel studio of RTB (Radio Televizija Beograd) …
Badly produced and only 28 minutes long, the album “Igra Staklenih Perli” was a disappointment for the band, but it sold quite good for Yugoslav circumstances: More than 10.000 copies were pressed and inspite of all lacks it was Yugoslavia´s most interesting new release in 1979.
Already in 1978 Goran Cvetić, a friend of the group, recorded a concert at the Belgrade College for Dentistry with equalizer on a simple cassette. During this concert (“Soft explosion live”) Igra Staklenih Perli played their complete first album and three more songs. The climax on stage was a totally crazy appearance in the Belgrade Dom Omladina (House of the Youth) in spring 1979. This concert was a main subject in the Belgrade underground, because the band succeeded in setting the whole audience in trance. From 1976 to 1980 they gave about 25 concerts, most of them in SKC (Student´s Cultural Center) in Belgrade and they never asked entrance-fee from their listeners.
In spring 1979 mainly Zoran Lakić, who was also some kind of manager of the group, pushed the band into the studio again to record a second album to consolidate and to extend the position in the YU Rock scene, the band had gained after relasing their first album. This attempt failed, because the material was still not matured enough and RTB did not give them enough studio time. Draško left the group enervated and their whole concept could not survive this crisis. The release of “Vrt svetlosti” in 1980 caused the final blow up of the band´s line-up which had made Igra Staklenih Perli so unique. The group played a few more years with changing members some kind of Wave without releasing anything on record.
Written 1993 by Thomas Werner.
Published 1993 as insert of the second pressing of the Kalemegdan Disk LP KD 001 Igra Staklenih Perli: Soft Explosion Live / Tiha eksplozija u živo.