We only had Zagreb and the night. Then We made Gjuro 2

*ZAGREB.COM.HR*

We only had Zagreb and the night. We had to do something. We made Gjuro 2

Thirty years ago, Gjuro 2, a cellar club in Medveščak, was opened, home to the most creative creators of the subversive and alternative scene in Zagreb.



Of course, at first Dražen Kokanović thought it would be a genius club, because dreams have no limits, but he certainly did not dream of creating a place where slam poetry and glamorous fashion shows, fetish parties and serious book evenings would be exchanged on an equal footing. he will be joined on stage by David Byrne, Steve Earle and David Thomas, there some very important American ambassador Galbraith whom President I himself feared.


He did not think that the actors would stab him with needles and shed their blood on the stage, that they would make a nursery for the Zagreb, and in many ways Croatian cultural and alternative scenes, a cult place that will mark the lives of tens of thousands of people who formed themselves and their attitudes, built a space of freedom, a place where all the disguises were taken off at the entrance and people lived without prejudices, stigmas and shackles. One author will describe it this way: “She looks like a star from a long-lost Jim Jarmusch film, has her back-slicked gray hair, black glasses and a whole host of expensive suits. Some kind of Croatian Rick from Casablanca, working in a law office during the day, runs his bar at night. ” The matter was much worse. Perhaps it is good to portray it through the sentences of Feđa Vukić, who wrote in Servus about the night of November 23, 1990, when, after the renovation, the Đuro 2 club was opened.


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"Friday, November 23, 1990, 1990, brought to Zagreb the debris of the white-world happening mood - on the same night, the foundations of two completely different buildings in two completely different parts of the city shook. First, in the newly renamed Medveščak Street, in the basement of a historicist building next to the residential part of the city, the good old ‘Đuro’, once the so-called youth club with the addition of ‘Đaković’. One of the cult ports of Zagreb's nightclubbing cruise has now got a slightly more elegant interior by Damir Radaković and Zoran Zidarić, who in some places (re) emphasized the elements of (little) civic furniture, which, surrounded by the rumble of the latest electro-body-rap-hop-psycho-soul rhythms, can also be understood as an ironic departure. Anyway, that evening in Đura was tout Zagreb d’culture jeunesse, as in the best days, skirts and dresses were decently short, guys neatly combed, perfumes matched, waiters quick enough, wine suitably chilled, wardrobe at least the first night unobtrusive. However, in the disco The Best, in the basement of the Mladost swimming pool, on the very edge of the city towards the Sava, only the Guard remained of the wardrobe. Already at the entrance, Šafranić's always decent Falcons pointed out that a truly unique event was taking place inside: the President of the Republic attended the opening of the disco with obligatory advisors ... The Best is decorated in the best manner of large entertainment facilities left by anonymous Italian designers. there are no signs of the zodiac on the ceiling. During the opening, the huge space was filled to the brim with an elite, mostly nouveau riche audience that drove to the Sava with high-roll devices, such as a Rolls and a specially decorated monster with a three-pointed star, among others. And while Đuro was drowning in smoke, through the wide semi-darkness of the new disc The Best, people in incredibly short skirts with impossible necklines at the front and back were moving ", Vukić described the opening of the two clubs.



--The club hosted an alternating program of slam poetry and glamorous fashion shows, fetish parties and serious literary evenings, and David Byrne, Steve Earle and David Thomas appeared on stage, to name just a few. Gjuro 2 was a hotbed of Zagreb, as well as Croatian cultural and alternative scene, a cult place that will mark the lives of tens of thousands of people .--




The people who did the design were, for example, Bruketa & Žinić, we made hundreds of exhibitions, all possible photographers, a bunch of fashion shows - says Kokanović today, bravely taking off his mask so that the waiter does not see him in the Kinoteka cafe. She still chooses her wardrobe carefully, wears glasses and combs her hair back. He laughs the same way he smiled when he opened Gjuro 2 thirty years ago and because of him at one point ended up in Remetinec detention as a trainee lawyer, where Miroslav Kutle made him a welcome coffee, and the detention police laughed when he told them that mistakenly came into custody in the middle of the night. “Yes, everyone is here by mistake,” they replied to a lawyer who usually came for clients, not as someone to take shoe polish.

For the sake of fact, it should be stated that the club Đuro Đaković was named after that national hero of that country from that war, and in 1984 it was opened for the first time. Everyone who still plays music today performed as DJs, from Dubravko Jagatić, Ilko Ćulić, Martin Milinković, Ozren Kanceljak, almost everyone who means something in the life of Zagreb's DJ desks. Đuro worked until ‘89, when it was closed, it was the first life of the club on Medveščak, next to the Small Stage.


A wide staircase led down to a huge long basement that at its end opened into a huge room where there was a dance space. So the club looked empty. In all other situations, when the guards at the entrance passed, one would enter the most seductive hell. Smoke in which the bodies of seriously handsome pieces and probably some guys were hiding, pressed into the crowd through which one had to know how to break through to get to the bar or the dance floor. The energy of the party was in every part of the club, other people's bodies simply passed through their hands, they spoke on their necks, in the interlocutor's hair or shouting so that the friend could hear something, it was all just as badly tempting as it should be and so that every parent would forbid. When he started creating that, Kokanović was 29 years old and was employed in a Zagreb company as an office lawyer, without the ambition to sink into the routine of a safe life. Then Đure accepted.

Namely, working during the college in "Kugla glumište" as a stage worker and DJ in Lapidari and Kulušić, Kokanović knew how to set up a club, he also knew everyone who ran other clubs, people from the then youth organizations, and how, obviously, naturally talented for managerial endeavors, he found himself in conversation about opening a club. He undertook to open the club, gathered several close friends, among them Miroslav Miki Balent and Antun Petković, who were in charge of the catering part, and Nikola Devčić Mišo to put together the program. For a year, they redecorated the space and opened it to everyone, authors and audiences.


We arranged everything ourselves, Miki studied physics and knew electricity, the bar was built by architects Damir Radaković and Zoran Zidarić. They came up with everything, where the bar will be, where the toilet will be, and we will build and glue the tiles - says Kokanović. Gjuro 2 had probably the largest bar in town, along the entire first room, transparent with various things built into some epoxy mass. Greiner and Kropilak poured it out, Mišo dragged Vjekoslav Zaninović, Mario Kovač, Bruketa and Žinić behind him, he plunged them all into the chaos of Gjuro 2. Everyone, of course, gladly agreed because it was something where there was room for everyone. A year later, the scene described by Feđa Vukić took place, Gjuro 2 was opened. But it was always one club, the latter accepted the past and made its future.

- Everything exploded after two or three months, and at the beginning of 1991 we were a hit - says Kokanović. Until then, the club was under the jurisdiction of the Alliance of Socialist Youth, and from there everyone slowly left and left the club in safe hands.

At the beginning, Sasa Dragas held on Tuesday. There, the magazines Quorum, Godine nove and others organized promotions. Fine artists held exhibitions. We were a real club with a huge membership, probably three to four thousand people in Zagreb were members of the club. This, of course, was also due to the fact that members did not pay for the entrance fee, although the entrance fee was charged only after 11 pm and probably only those who came to Zagreb for the first time bought a ticket. The program, promotion or something similar would end by 11 pm and after that there would be dancing - Kokanović recalls.

In a way, Gjuro 2 participated in the sociological division in Zagreb. One team, make-up artists, went to the Saloon, and the other, which would include young artists, rockers, students, went to Gjuro 2. - The whole city created the program - describes Kokanović.

- I think that there is no one who has not had his book promotion, concert, doing something creative for the audience, without being a guest in Gjuro - says Kokanović. The club financed itself on a simple principle, you sell a million beers and set aside a portion for the program. Over time, the evenings held by individual DJs settled down. Legendary were, for example, Tuesdays and after parties on Thursdays.



The people who did the design were, for example, Bruketa & Žinić, we made hundreds of exhibitions, all possible photographers, a bunch of fashion shows - says Kokanović today, bravely taking off his mask so that the waiter does not see him in the Kinoteka cafe. She still chooses her wardrobe carefully, wears glasses and combs her hair back. He laughs the same way he smiled when he opened Gjuro 2 thirty years ago and because of him at one point ended up in Remetinec detention as a trainee lawyer, where Miroslav Kutle made him a welcome coffee, and the detention police laughed when he told them that mistakenly came into custody in the middle of the night. “Yes, everyone is here by mistake,” they replied to a lawyer who usually came for clients, not as someone to take shoe polish.

For the sake of fact, it should be stated that the club Đuro Đaković was named after that national hero of that country from that war, and in 1984 it was opened for the first time. Everyone who still plays music today performed as DJs, from Dubravko Jagatić, Ilko Ćulić, Martin Milinković, Ozren Kanceljak, almost everyone who means something in the life of Zagreb's DJ desks. Đuro worked until ‘89, when it was closed, it was the first life of the club on Medveščak, next to the Small Stage.


A wide staircase led down to a huge long basement that at its end opened into a huge room where there was a dance space. So the club looked empty. In all other situations, when the guards at the entrance passed, one would enter the most seductive hell. Smoke in which the bodies of seriously handsome pieces and probably some guys were hiding, pressed into the crowd through which one had to know how to break through to get to the bar or the dance floor. The energy of the party was in every part of the club, other people's bodies simply passed through their hands, they spoke on their necks, in the interlocutor's hair or shouting so that the friend could hear something, it was all just as badly tempting as it should be and so that every parent would forbid. When he started creating that, Kokanović was 29 years old and was employed in a Zagreb company as an office lawyer, without the ambition to sink into the routine of a safe life. Then Đure accepted.

Namely, working during the college in "Kugla glumište" as a stage worker and DJ in Lapidari and Kulušić, Kokanović knew how to set up a club, he also knew everyone who ran other clubs, people from the then youth organizations, and how, obviously, naturally talented for managerial endeavors, he found himself in conversation about opening a club. He undertook to open the club, gathered several close friends, among them Miroslav Miki Balent and Antun Petković, who were in charge of the catering part, and Nikola Devčić Mišo to put together the program. For a year, they redecorated the space and opened it to everyone, authors and audiences.


We arranged everything ourselves, Miki studied physics and knew electricity, the bar was built by architects Damir Radaković and Zoran Zidarić. They came up with everything, where the bar will be, where the toilet will be, and we will build and glue the tiles - says Kokanović. Gjuro 2 had probably the largest bar in town, along the entire first room, transparent with various things built into some epoxy mass. Greiner and Kropilak poured it out, Mišo dragged Vjekoslav Zaninović, Mario Kovač, Bruketa and Žinić behind him, he plunged them all into the chaos of Gjuro 2. Everyone, of course, gladly agreed because it was something where there was room for everyone. A year later, the scene described by Feđa Vukić took place, Gjuro 2 was opened. But it was always one club, the latter accepted the past and made its future.

- Everything exploded after two or three months, and at the beginning of 1991 we were a hit - says Kokanović. Until then, the club was under the jurisdiction of the Alliance of Socialist Youth, and from there everyone slowly left and left the club in safe hands.

At the beginning, Sasa Dragas held on Tuesday. There, the magazines Quorum, Godine nove and others organized promotions. Fine artists held exhibitions. We were a real club with a huge membership, probably three to four thousand people in Zagreb were members of the club. This, of course, was also due to the fact that members did not pay for the entrance fee, although the entrance fee was charged only after 11 pm and probably only those who came to Zagreb for the first time bought a ticket. The program, promotion or something similar would end by 11 pm and after that there would be dancing - Kokanović recalls.

In a way, Gjuro 2 participated in the sociological division in Zagreb. One team, make-up artists, went to the Saloon, and the other, which would include young artists, rockers, students, went to Gjuro 2. - The whole city created the program - describes Kokanović.

- I think that there is no one who has not had his book promotion, concert, doing something creative for the audience, without being a guest in Gjuro - says Kokanović. The club financed itself on a simple principle, you sell a million beers and set aside a portion for the program. Over time, the evenings held by individual DJs settled down. Legendary were, for example, Tuesdays and after parties on Thursdays.



When Irvine Welsh showed up, the queue for tickets was to Fanatic, in the middle of Medveščak Street, so they had to move that literary evening to the Kaptol Center to provide space for 800 people who wanted to listen to it. - He read in his Edinghburg slang that no one understood, but they applauded seriously. After that, we all moved to Gjuro - says Kokanović.

Probably all the bands that were formed in Croatia in the last forty years performed in the club, from Majki, Pips, Psihomodo pop, Edo Maajka, to Urban, Miladojka Youneed, Kojota ... Simply, Gjuro 2 was a small cultural center, says Kokanović innocently. Innocent is not an exaggeration, he really talks about it as something quite logical and natural, although, if he was at least an associate member of the HDZ, he would get a street with a fountain in Zagreb. He mentions the designer Dejan Kršić who made flyers because there was no internet in today's sense, and no money for advertising.

Programs for individual events were printed on flyers and left at strategic locations in Zagreb, KIC, Kinoteka, Moderna vremena bookstore and other places. And then the audience figured out where to find out what was planned. The club had the best advertising by word of mouth, only the flyers served that purpose. From 2000 to 2005, Tuesdays in Gjuro were legendary, Thursday became an after party, with a program immediately after working hours, the first club with such content. They always understood what was in, they did not miss the opportunity to be on top.



Sex was also on stage, New York transvestites also performed in Gjuro 2, performing the show Nymphomania, in which there was whipping, singing and dancing on stage, although it all started with a fashion show to warm up. The sexual intercourse they normally had at other performances was absent, and the Zagreb audience welcomed them with dignity, the audience was equally crazy and fun, sexy and accessible naked, the Zagreb transvestites appeared as if they were going out to a house party and not to a club in to which police patrols also came on booze and hung on the bar. The bravest in the audience were rewarded with a kiss. After all, they fit perfectly into Bizzare parties, where performers, dressed in rubber and plastic costumes, pierced their own bodies.

“I can’t believe the woman’s wings were really sewn to her skin. When the man started tearing them up, I thought it just seemed to me. But her blood really started to flow. The climax was when he pierced the skin on her back with a needle and threaded metal bars through the hole, ”a 19-year-old viewer described the scene. Yes, Gjuro 2 was also a safe place for gay audiences, everyone who lived in Zagreb at the time had their place and the right to their place in Gjuro 2. Existence and respect was the right of that club long before it was realized that the same the right also exists in the Constitution of Croatia.

The club had its very serious night schedule and it was known exactly when to show up because the DJs changed the content and style. Tuesday was an important day, then everyone who wanted to mean something in the city came to Gjuro 2. Mario Kovač was behind the counter. Towards the end of the program, he played a sensational thing, a recording made on the day when it was announced that Comrade Tito had died. Everyone knows that it was broadcast at 15.05, matches were played. Kovac played a recording made on Radio Belgrade. Gordan Nuhanović wrote in one text that Comrade Tito died there every Tuesday between one and two in the morning, and not, as everyone believes, at 15.05.




Kokanović also started his legal career in Gjuro. Serious work in a serious law office, which was Kokanovic's official life, meant running around the courtrooms for the most ridiculous hearings until the matter boiled down and he became a serious lawyer whose appearance in court meant that the client was in big trouble and threatened with several years in prison. , so he hired a lawyer who would cost him a fortune, but freedom is also won with money. Afternoons even then meant time spent over the scriptures and laws to successfully get through the next day, and then, when night fell and all the normal ones went to bed, Kokanovic would go to Gjuro. There he would greet the morning with the team to which he offered the worst cultural place in Zagreb, with those he brought so that Gjuro 2 could be so good, from waiters who, just like in the movie cliché, were actually medical students and other serious colleges, people who had great ambitions to become serious and respectable members of society and who achieved them. All with "toxic noise", as Nikola Devčić Mišo will describe it, Kokanović's friend with whom the young lawyer made Gjuro 2, and these were huge reservoirs of good music that opened at night on Medveščak, a bunch of booze, debauched laughter, sex, philosophy, and the ordinary banalities of life, simply, life at its best.

- We didn't have anything, we didn't have our own apartments, barely student rooms, we didn't have wives or families. We only had Zagreb and the night. We had to do something - says Kokanović with the smile of a man who must quickly come up with an excuse for one of the better craziness he has done in his life.

Kokanović's name is inscribed in the column of important creators of cultural life, but he is a man who organized more than 150 jazz concerts, brought to this small country of confused people the world's best jazz musicians, organized about twenty jazz festivals, filled Adris hotels with the names of jazz stars. is rare who could come, and the man who spent decades in the craziest basement of Zagreb, Gjuri 2. For those who only knew him superficially, it is easily possible that he acted like a guy who has a twin and each of them has his own, quite a different life. In fact, he wanted to be a footballer in his life. He played in the Slavonian-Brod zone, in the area from Gradiška to Vinkovci. He was good. As a left-hander, he was special, he played for the cadet national team, he ran on the field with Mlinarić and Deverić in the team. They were coached by Belin, and Jozić was the selector. He had all the predispositions to become a hero of sports sites. However, he was seduced by the evening lights of the metropolis, because of them he decided to enroll in college in Zagreb and stay here instead of realizing some idea of ​​his parents, finishing mechanical engineering or something similar, getting a job in his native Slavonski Brod and being a normal man.

No, in order to have an alibi for going to Zagreb, he decided to enroll in architecture and law, he had to move from the BSK club to NK Zagreb and then he quickly decided that he would stay only with the law because he only had to work there while the architecture required serious work as well. And he wanted to be free at night. Football fell apart along the way, no longer fitting into his lifestyle. He studied in the dormitory, studied at the University, and in the evenings there was always some devil celebrated in the dormitory. - We lived on the road - he laughs and describes life with an index, in which the last tram leaves at half past one at night, concerts are in the Student Center, foreign newspapers are bought on the Square where new music is read, two or three are watched. film daily in cinemas, it is done in various sub-fields, some stupid student jobs that required physical engagement, but there was earning. Kokanović left all that behind when Gjuro 2 became his address in life.

He was in Gjuro 2 intensively from the age of 30 to 40, six nights a week. And then he realized that was enough. He left in 2000. He started a VIP club, a jazz gathering place. Gjuro 2 shut down in 2005.



VOX POPULI:

Gjuro II is one of the most failed clubs in the city.


They have been wanted for more than 10 years and have not yet decided what kind of club profile they want to be. Will they release corny hits from the Open for teenagers who are already dizzy from the third beer or will they turn to the 'alt-urban' scene of Mario Kovac who will entertain the audience with English stuff and some Croatian 'legendary' things that we have heard so much that go out on your nose? In Gjuro, mostly permanent DJs play, the preparations are unknown, and some more interesting club events have not been organized for years. The profile of the audience is so diverse that it is difficult to say what kind of 'team' goes there - the club does not have a profile, so the audience does not have one either.


The podium fills up with glass very quickly (so much about the ‘team’) so the dancing is spiced up by kicking bottles with your feet. Aggressive pushing on the podium is of course implied. Since there is no door policy, anyone can enter the club, no matter how old they are and how they are dressed, although in fact everyone is dressed the same most of the time because they follow the HR concept of fashion - when one has pants in boots, we will have them all! !!


The club is rarely invested in, especially in technique. Every now and then some paint falls on the walls and the arrangement of the present furniture, but the speakers are still squeaking when the volume is raised. The lighting is at the level of a student non-profit club, and the wardrobe at the entrance is the size of a pantry, so it is not unusual for coats to be kept on the floor and on some tables. The crowd can be unbearable because no one limits the number of people who can learn what kills and the little fun that space provides because one cannot move. Going to the toilet is a real feat and lasts 20 minutes to half an hour, especially for girls.


The advantages of Gjuro are a cheap entrance, not too expensive booze (at least the choice is not something), the proximity of the Kaptol center where there is a garage and a tram line next to the entrance to the club. Gjuro, on the other hand, is one of those clubs where the atmosphere peaks around maybe an hour between 1 and 2 after which the club begins to empty and the podium is occupied by intoxicated kids experiencing their ‘five minutes of dancing glory’. By half past 4 the club is empty.


Gjuru II is also characterized by the rolling of couples leaning against the walls of the club. They serve as a cheap ‘sex’ club decor and are interesting to watch because they really do their best to look sexy, god bless them.