Beatrice (band)

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Beatrice
Origin Budapest, Hungary
Genres Hard rock, punk rock
Years active 1969–1978
1978–1981
1987–present
Labels MHV
Proton
Quint
Hungaroton
EMI
Website beatrice.hu
Members Nagy Feró
Laczik Fecó
Magasvári Viktor
Nagy Hunor Attila
Past members Lugosi László
Miklóska Lajos
Donászy Tibor
Zselencz László
Pálmai Zoltán
Vedres József
Hirleman Bertalan

Beatrice is a Hungarian rock band founded by Fero Nagy. Although he was not a trained musician or a talented singer, his stage persona, together with his professional rock instrumentalist partners, made the group one of the most popular hard rock bands in Hungary in the late seventies.[citation needed] They had two notable periods: the early days in the late seventies, when they became rock icons (with songs like "Big City Wolf" and "Jericho", released so later on Banned Songs album, 1993), and a second wave of popularity in the early nineties (with the albums I Hate the Whole XX. Century and The Most Byouthiful Songs of our Childhood). Through dissolutions and re-formings, causing fluctuating popularity, being active even till the recent days, Beatrice is one of the most enduring rock bands in the country.

Biography[edit]

The glam and disco period[edit]

Beatrice was originally formed in 1969 as a female rock band (the first such in Hungary) covering popular songs like "House of the Rising Sun" from The Animals. The lineup changed several times until the mid-1970s when the constant lineup became: Mónika Csuka (vocals, guitar), Katalin Nagy (keyboards), Kriszta Hamar (bass guitar) and Mária Csuka (drums). No record of any form was made by this formation.

In 1976 singer Feró Nagy, the husband of Mónika Csuka, joined the band. In 1977 Katalin Nagy and Kriszta Hamar left Beatrice. Feró invited guitarist Sándor Bencsik and bassist András Temesvári. With this lineup the band scored mostly disco songs which were highly popular at the time. Their biggest hit was the song "Gyere, kislány, gyere" ("Come, girl, come") which popularized disco and won a radio song contest in the same year. In 1978 Beatrice disbanded, leaving Feró alone. Feró and Csuka divorced soon .

The hard rock period[edit]

Feró created a whole new band in 1979 with the same name, but with nothing else reminiscent for the previous lineup and style. Beatrice played punk rock music, being the first band in Hungary (in fact it was a harsh hard rock music, being punk only in its attitude and show elements). Their music was cheap and aggressive.[citation needed] Despite in the early times it was not against the Socialist system, in the hgighly overruled atmosphere of the reigning dictatorship its weird humor, foulmothed plain speech and disturbing hanging-out from official standards could not been tolerated by bureau staff, and Beatrice became progressively prohibited and ridden (Fero and other members were even harassed by the police and observed by the so-called „III./III.” secret agent net), while, building up a massive fan community, it also became highly popular, mostly among the working class young people.[1]

Of course it was highly disadvantageous and foredoomedly suspicious to play a style from the other side of the iron curtain, what's more, a style (punk rock and hard rock) what has the motif of rebellion and 'destruction' amongst its base elements. The 'Rice' [p: 'riche'] style was a unique Hungarian version of hard rock and punk, using folk elements and impacts from aboard punk bands like Ramones, and hard rock groups like AC/DC.[2] Feró was the absolute frontman, usually making comical and/or aggressive monologues or performances on stage, calling himself "A Nemzet Csótánya" ("Cockroach of the Nation"). He became a "phenomenon" along with the band, becoming the living logo of the Beatrice and hard rock. A lot of cultural memes arose by them, including the red dotted head scarf (it became a logo or a crest of the band), or expressions parodising the political system or other, officially well backed or „made” bands („Attack: One, Two, Three'” or „Sánta Mária ... Sánta Mária ...” [„Gimpy Maria ... Gimpy Maria”] - a sarcastic hint to Neoton's song, Santa Maria). A verse of their lyrics (A kétezredik év felé - Towards the Second Millennium) became not just the symbol of the rotting and self-eating dictature, but a variant of that also became a demonstration slogan after the system change („That who lies, is cheating, that who lies, is stealing, to lie or to cheat is a very nasty thing.”)[citation needed]

The original line-up were: Feró Nagy (singer, frontman and songwriter); László Lugossy (guitar); Lajos Miklóska (bass guitar); and Tibor Donászy (drums) and Attila Gidófalvy (orgel, only 1979). With this lineup Beatrice released several successful singles like "Nagyvárosi farkas" ("Big City Wolf"), "Beatrice Blues" and "Jerikó" ("Jericho"). Although (just like other punk bands around the world) they were mostly a concert-band. Their first album was banned by the government and was released only in 1993. Despite they was highly popular, almost nothing official from them remained from this period, just fan records from concerts. (This is not a unique example, bands which started their career in the golden age of Hungarian hard rock, the late seventies - Tűzkerék, Syrius, Kex etc. - all lack original records because of official banning).

As the influence of Beatrice the Hungarian version of punks appeared calling themselves "csövesek" („tube dwellers” = „tramps”, „hoboes”) wearing a black leather jacket with ragged jeans and a traditional Hungarian red-white polka dotted head scarf. (The extremely pejorative [3] slang term „csöves” meant „tube dweller”, it is originated from the word „cső” („tube”), and means „a man who lives in tubes ”, i.e. tramp, homeless).[4] Probably Beatrice fans get their name from their tube-form jeans or leather trousers, and not from tube dwelling (associated with homelessness, banditism, alcoholism etc.), because this meaning of the expression started up years later.[5] The government was very upset and against Beatrice's activity.[citation needed] They created hoaxes like Feró chopping down and eating the heads of living birds (à la Ozzy Osbourne / Alice Cooper) and doing other Pagan rituals on stage. The result was that more and more young people became curious about their concerts.

In 1980 they made a successful concert with fellow bands Omega and LGT which was recorded and released as an LP. In the same year Lugossy left the band. His substitutes were guitarists József Vedres and Csaba Bogdán. Keyboard player László Waszlavik also joined Beatrice. In 1981 Beatrice disbanded. Feró and József Vedres formed a new band called Bikini.

Re-forming after the Bikini years[edit]

Beatrice was in silence, but Feró wasn't disappeared for long. He get a rock-centered radio show called 'Garázs' (garage) from 1988 to 1992. In this showhe could continued the best traditions of Beatrice's fumbling, childish, sinless humour, and played rock music not just of the most then-popular and then-up-to-date bands (Motörhead, AC/DC, Metallica, etc.), but also of the most unknown Hungarian country prodigies. He played a lot of his own songs (Bikini, Beatrice), too. This show was popular amongst youngsters again (a new generation of Fero fans) and helped the awakening and rebuilding of Beatrice. In the early nineties, he also was the anchorman of a TV show, the Rockkalapács (Hammer of Rock).

After a six-year hiatus, Beatrice was reunited in 1987 with the lineup of Feró Nagy (vocals); László Lugossy (guitar); Lajos Miklóska (bass guitar); Tamás Zsoldos (guitar) and Bertalan Hirlemann (drums). They released a successful "greatest hits" LP also containing new recordings. In 1990 they released their first studio album, Gyermekkorunk Lexebb Dalai.

In 1991, László Zselencz (bass) and Zoltán Pálmai (drums) replaced Miklóska and Hirlemann. Zsoldos also left the band. They scored their most famous and successful album Utálom az egész XX. századot ("I hate the entire 20th Century") which led the Hungarian record sales list for 38 weeks. They made several successful tours and another album in 1992. Also several lineup changes occurred in 1992 and 1993. They were named as "The Most Successful Rock Band of '92" by MAHASZ.

Recent Days[edit]

During the last half of the 1990s the entire lineup except Feró was changed. They released two albums in 1996 and 1999. They are still doing concerts and tours around Hungary, mostly playing their classic hits. In August 2005, Beatrice performed on the Sziget Festival rock fest.

The current lineup is: Feró Nagy (vocals); Viktor Magasvári (guitar); Fecó Laczik (bass guitar) and Hunor Attila Nagy - son of Feró (drums).

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Kisstadion '80 (1980) (live album also containing the performances of bands Omega and LGT)
  • Beatrice '78-'88 (1988) (remake album, with a few new songs)
  • Gyermekkorunk Lexebb Dalai (The Most Byouthiful Songs of Our Childhood) (1990)
  • Utálom az egész XX. századot (I Hate the Entire 20th Century) (1991)
  • A Beatrice legjobb dalai (The Best of Beatrice) (1992) (live album)
  • Vidám Magyarok (Happy Hungarians) (1992)
  • Megkerült hangszalag - betiltott dalok (Found Tape - The Banned Songs) (1993) (recorded in 1979)
  • Ki viszi át? (Who Takes It Through?) (1996)
  • 20 éves jubileumi koncert (20th Anniversary Concert) (1998) (live album)
  • Vakaroma (I Scratch the...) (1999)
  • Európai Show Illúzió (Europen show illusion) (2003)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bence Csatári: The Myth of the Beatrice (A band in the crossfire of the attention of the security-of-state agencies). Betekinto.hu (Electronic period of the historical archive of (Hungarian) Security-of-state agencies). 2012-12-22.
  2. ^ Rockmuzeum.ini.hu
  3. ^ Van hajléktalan, és van csöves - milyen az élet a hajléktalanszállón? („Homeless is one thing, tube dweller is an other - what is it like to stay on a homeless harbor hostel?”). Origo.hu (news portal).
  4. ^ The alternative Hungarian Dictionary
  5. ^ [1]. See paragraph starting with "És most engedjenek meg nekem egy ...".

External links[edit]