|Studio album by|
|Recorded||Matrix Recording Studios, London|
February - March 1978
|Laza Ristovski chronology|
|Ipe Ivandić chronology|
While conceptualizing and making Stižemo, both Ristovski and Ivandić were members of the hard rock band Bijelo Dugme. The duo decided to record the album as a side project during 1978 while the band was on hiatus because of its leader, guitarist Goran Bregović, serving out his mandatory Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) stint. Ristovski and Ivandić weren't the only Bijelo Dugme members to use the hiatus for a side project as the band's vocalist Željko Bebek was also off on his own recording a solo album, Skoro da smo isti, which was released by Jugoton.
During early 1978, Ristovski and Ivandić, as well as the rest of the musicians they gathered for the project, got together in Motel Kruščica outside of Vitez for practice sessions ahead of going into the studio to record the album. The session didn't go smoothly, reportedly, due to both Ristovski's and Ivandić's excessive drinking. Each song on the album was composed by Ristovski and the lyrics were written by Ranko Boban. In addition to Ristovski and Ivandić, the personnel preparing the album included: Leb i Sol member Vlatko Stefanovski on guitar, Teška Industrija member Goran Kovačević on vocals, Ivandić's sister Gordana Ivandić also on vocals, and Zlatko Hold on bass guitar and synthesizer. Stefanovski's participation was seen as returning a favour to Ristovski for arranging to have Stefanovski's band Leb i Sol among the opening acts at the Hajdučka česma concert six months earlier.
Stižemo was recorded in Matrix Recording Studios in London during February and March 1978 with Zlatko Hold as the producer. Ristovski and Ivandić reportedly obtained the funds required to finance the recording by borrowing money from Bijelo Dugme bandmate Zoran Redžić. Jugoton expressed interest in releasing the recorded material, however, the label that also had Bijelo Dugme in its stable of acts was non-committal in terms of the exact monetary figure or release date for Stižemo as the negotiations between the two parties dragged on.
In parallel to making Stižemo and negotiating the terms of its release, Ristovski and Ivandić fought a continual battle with Bregović for more creative input within Bijelo Dugme. Specifically, they sought to have their names included on the writing credits, which would affect subsequent revenue sharing. Stižemo thus also became leverage of sorts as they met with Bregović during his army leaves to play him the recordings, believing they could persuade him to let them compose for Bijelo Dugme. After getting flatly rejected by Bregović, the two, encouraged by the positive reactions of the critics that had the opportunity to listen to the still unreleased material, decided to leave Bijelo Dugme.
Ivandić's exit from the band, in particular, was accompanied with an unpleasant exchange with Bregović through the Yugoslav press. In the 29 May 1978 issue of Zdravo, Ivandić stated: "[While I was at Bijelo Dugme], in the eyes of the public I was a star while in reality, I was little more than a stage crew worker. That's why Laza and I had to leave". The Yugoslav public didn't have to wait long for Bregović's response: "Ivandić is leaving Bijelo Dugme because he's sick of playing my songs only to go play Laza Ristovski's songs. He's a fool for crapping on the things he did at Dugme. So, he's got an issue with carrying amplifiers while I, a much bigger star who can buy him and sell him ten times before breakfast, don't mind it. Go figure".
By late June 1978, the negotiations with Jugoton broke down for good as the label refused to pay US$300,000 Ristovski and Ivandić requested for the album. ZKP RTLJ stepped in as a label interested in releasing Stižemo, however, even their scheduled release date, 10 September 1978, was delayed.
All music written by Laza Ristovski, all lyrics written by Ranko Boban
|Side A: Odlazak (The Leaving)|
|1.||"Noć u paklu" ("A Night in Hell")||5:52|
|2.||"Ko sam ja?" ("Who Am I?")||7:39|
|Side B: Dolazak (The Coming)|
|1.||"Poslije svega" ("After All")||5:56|
|2.||"Top Hit Lista" ("Top Hit List")||2:59|
- Laza Ristovski - piano, Hammond organ, synthesizer, electric piano, Mellotron, acoustic guitar
- Ipe Ivandić - drums, percussion, vocals, arranged by
- Zlatko Hold - bass guitar, synthesizer, producer
- Vlatko Stefanovski - guitar
- Goran Kovačević - vocals
- Gorana Ivandić - vocals
- Richard Whaley - engineer
- Will Reid-Dick - engineer
- Andy Llewellyn - engineer (assistant)
- Peter James - engineer (assistant)
- Ray Staff - engineer (cutting)
- Ljubomir Milojević - design
Events after the release
On 10 September 1978, the same day the promotional tour was scheduled to begin, Ivandić, Goran Kovačević, and Ranko Boban were arrested in Sarajevo for possession of hashish. In the documentary series Rockovnik, Ristovski recalled:
|“||We were ready to go on tour, and I'm waiting at home, waiting for them to pick me up, we're leaving, to some town, I can't remember which one. And then, Ipe's sister calls me on the phone, saying: 'There won't be a tour', I'm asking: 'Why, what's the matter?', and she says: 'They arrested Ipe'. I immediately bought a plane ticket and went to Sarajevo. And there I heard what happened.||”|
Ivandić was sentenced to three and a half years in jail, but following an appeal, the sentence got reduced to three years. Kovačević was sentenced to a year and a half, and Boban to a year in jail.
Ristovski and Ivandić never performed live as Laza & Ipe. They would eventually perform together once again as members of Bijelo Dugme (to which Ivandić returned in 1982, and Ristovski in 1984).
- Janjatović, Petar (2007). EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006. Belgrade: self-released. p. 33.
- Bubalo, Robert (2 October 2014). "'Na uživanje droge pozivali su me Bebek i Bregović'". Večernji list. Retrieved 15 September 2019.
- Stižemo at Discogs
- Vesić, Dušan (2014). Bijelo Dugme: Šta bi dao da si na mom mjestu. Belgrade: Laguna. p. 152.
- Krstulović, Zvonimir (2005). Bijelo Dugme: Doživjeti stotu. Profil. p. 32.
- "Rockovnik, Strana XVIII, "Pakleni vozači" Rock scena 1978-79", YouTube
- Janjatović, Petar (2007). EX YU ROCK enciklopedija 1960-2006. Belgrade: self-released. p. 34.