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|Origin||Sarajevo, SR Bosnia and Herzegovina, SFR Yugoslavia|
|Genres||Schlager pop, Pop-Rock|
|Associated acts||Bijelo Dugme, Ambasadori, Pro arte, Indexi|
|Past members||Nuno Arnautalić|
Jutro (trans. "Morning") was a Sarajevo-based rock band most notable as the immediate predecessor to Bijelo Dugme. It existed from late 1971 to the very end of 1973 when it transformed into one of the most highly successful rock bands to come out of former Yugoslavia — Bijelo Dugme.
The idea for Jutro came from Ismet "Nuno" Arnautalić (formerly of Indexi) who approached Goran Bregović in fall 1971 with an offer of putting together a new band. Twenty-one-year-old Bregović, recently back in town after gigging across Italy for a year as part of an act called Kodeksi that eventually transformed into Mića, Goran i Zoran before folding.
By January 1972, Bregović already had a few of his own songs along with a vision for a band that was still missing a singer. He soon turned to old friend Željko Bebek whom he hadn't spoken to in more than a year since their acrimonious split in Italy during fall 1970. Bebek was about to leave for the mandatory army stint, but still accepted the offer, recording a couple of early versions of "Patim, evo, deset dana" before going away to serve in Pirot on 23 February 1972 thus leaving Bregović and Arnautalić without a singer again.
Around the same time, the duo started butting heads over the band's future direction: Arnautalić wanted them to go the route of competitive pop schlager festivals in order to get noticed, whereas Bregović thought live club shows were the way to go about building an audience. After much wrangling they agreed on Zlatko Hodnik as the new temporary singer. Hodnik, the winner of the Zlatni aplauz festival for singing hopefuls, was a typical festival singer, all of which Bregović detested, but Arnautalić prevailed on this issue. In turn, Bregović got to pick the rhythm section, bringing in his old buddy from Kodeksi and Italian days Zoran Redžić on bass as well as drummer Gordan Matrak (fellow student at Sarajevo University's Faculty of Philosophy, which Bregović attended at the time).
Jutro's first live performance took place on 15 April 1972 at the Vaš šlager sezone competitive festival, a contest founded and run by Nuno Arnautalić's older brother Esad. They performed the song "Ostajem tebi" that would later be included on their Radio Kruševac-released single "Ostajem tebi" / "Sad te vidim". The main prize that day was won by Pro arte performing a Đorđe Novković-written song "Nemoj draga plakati".
In November 1972 Bebek got an army leave allowing him to come home to Sarajevo where he recorded tracks "Kad bi' bio bijelo dugme", "Na vrh brda vrba mrda", "Hop cup", and "U subotu, mala", before going back to serve.
In the meantime, drummer Gordan Matrak left the band. For a short period Perica Stojanović became the new drummer, but after he left too, Vladimir "Šento" Borovčanin came over from Pro arte, bringing desired stability.
By February 1973, the band was eagerly awaiting Bebek's return from the army. However, nothing could repair the deteriorating Arnautalić-Bregović relationship and their silent feud finally came to a head. Bregović wanted the band to play tight hard rock with a particularly strong folk component, none of which sat well with Arnautalić who wanted to keep the status quo. Bregović won this standoff, mostly because the rest of the band (Zoran and Šento) supported his vision. Even Bebek chimed in from the army in support of Bregović's direction, and Arnautalić had no choice but to leave the band he founded.
In March 1973, Radio Kruševac released Jutro's second single "Kad bi' bio bijelo dugme" / "U subotu, mala" (two of the songs Bebek recorded during his previous army leave). Around the same time Bebek returned from the army for good, however, not being quite convinced about the band's commercial potential, he also got a regular job — finding employment as clerk at the municipal social services.
Soon after Arnautalić's departure from the band, Bregović, who by now became the group's undisputed leader and driving force, set about molding it to his own preferences, which almost felt like starting over from scratch. One of his first decisions was adding a keyboard player — a spot eventually filled by the locally established musician Vlado Pravdić who had already been contributing to Jutro since the group's early days and was on friendly terms with its members. Furthermore, he owned a Hammond organ, which was an added plus.
Bregović also wanted to come up with a batch of new material, pushing the other members hard towards that end. This created resistance, especially from Šento Borovčanin who had already experienced a certain measure of fame at Pro arte, and thus did not appreciate being bossed around by Bregović. Borovčanin's enthusiasm further dropped when the negotiations with Jugoton regarding the release of a single fell through, and he also started swaying Zoran Redžić over to his side. The situation festered until the beginning of the summer when Bregović kicked them both out of the band following a vicious shouting match.
In order to achieve his goal of coming up with more material, Bregović met up with Pravdić (still not officially a Jutro member) in Gradac during the summer of 1973. Bregović vacationed there in his mother's house, while Pravdić played summer gigs with Indexi in nearby Baška Voda. They jammed a lot together in this period, creating templates for many of the future songs (most of which eventually ended up on Bijelo dugme albums).
So, after a productive working vacation, Bregović was back in Sarajevo faced with a problem of finding a new rhythm section. Borovčanin's replacement on drums became Ipe Ivandić whom Bregović met at Skenderija Hall, while filling the bass player spot proved to be more difficult. Bregović heavily courted Ivica Vinković of Ambasadori who stayed behind in Sarajevo because of university obligations while his band was touring Soviet Union. For a while Vinković was serious about joining Jutro, too, however, once his Ambasadori bandmates returned from tour with pockets full of cash, he wanted no part of Jutro anymore, and immediately ended his episode with Bregović. Still, his brief stint with the band was noted on tracks "Top" and "Ove ću noći naći blues", which would also later become a part of Bijelo dugme repertoire. Jadranko Stanković became the new bassist.
As 1973 was nearing to a close, Jutro was constantly gigging, but the income was low. Furthermore, with no album in sight their prospects for a sudden injection of cash were bleak.
The band also had a continual problem with access to recording studios in Sarajevo, which was Ismet Aranutalić's revenge to Bregović for phasing him out of the band. Ismet claimed ownership of the name "Jutro" and used the influence his older brother Esad Arnautalić wielded around Radio Sarajevo in order to place an unofficial ban on Jutro recording in their studios.
To try to get around this unfortunate situation the band enlisted its own connections as Vlado Pravdić's mother had a friend at Radio Sarajevo whom they called aunt Maca, but they didn't get anywhere until Bregović met composer Nikola Borota Radovan who happened to be contracted by Radio-Television Sarajevo and Jugoton as a music producer and youth TV programme editor. The two cut a deal whereby Bregović would help out on tracks "Hop cup" (G. Bregović) and "Kameni cvijet" (N. Borota) for singer Hamdija Ćustović in return for some studio time at the end of Ćustović's sessions. The session was officially engineered by "legendary" Antun "Tuna" Marković, one of the oldest and most experienced engineers at the time. However, for the occasion, Nikola was briefly replacing him on the mixing console, while he was having a nap in the corner of the control console.
Here's how Bregović described that bizarre event in his career: "As soon as Borota finished his recording session with Ćustović we rushed in with our equipment in order to use the remaining hour to record "Top" and "Ove ću noći naći blues". We had absolutely no permission to be there and were particularly scared of Radio Sarajevo's producer-in-chief Milan Stupar who had a habit of entering the studios unannounced. We recorded everything in such a rush before getting our stuff out of there even quicker and disappearing down the building corridors".
These two tracks were later released on the multi-platinum Jugoton's single under the (newly formed) Bijelo Dugme banner, primarily thanks to the Borota's connections and enormous "bravery" of the local Jugoton representative Hamdija Salković.
Still, Bregović had to concede Arnautalić was a powerful figure on a Sarajevo music scene at the time and that guerilla recording wasn't going to get the band anywhere. Since the band was about to enter their third year of existence with very little to show for their musical engagement, something had to be done about the studio access.
As they were generally known by their song "Kad bi bilo bijelo dugme" and since there was also another band named Jutro operating in Ljubljana, Bregović & co. decided to switch their name to Bijelo Dugme. The change officially took effect on the night between December 31, 1973 and January 1, 1974 when they played Skenderija Hall as Bijelo dugme for the very first time. By some sources Damjan Babic, a composer and professor asked Bregovic if “kad bi’ bio bijelo dugme” song was his and why not to name the bend “Bijelo dugme” (White button). Bregovic didn’t have any other alternative name.
The name change took care of the studio access issue as Arnautalić finally put aside his grievances.