YU Rock Misija

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Participants in YU Rock Misija during the recording of the video for the song "Za milion godina"

YU Rock Misija (known in English as YU Rock Mission) was the contribution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to Bob Geldof's Band Aid campaign which culminated with the Live Aid concert. The contribution included the recording of a charity single "Za milion godina" and a charity concert held at Red Star Stadium on June 15, 1985, both featuring top acts of the Yugoslav rock scene.


In an interview for the documentary series Rockovnik rock critic Peca Popović stated:

"Za milion godina"[edit]

"Za milion godina"
Za milion godina single.jpeg
Single by YU Rock Misija
B-side "Za milion godina (Instrumentalna verzija)"
Released 1985 (1985)
Format 7"
Genre Pop rock
Writer(s) Dragan Ilić, Mladen Popović
Producer(s) Saša Habić

The song, entitled "Za milion godina" ("For a Million Years") was composed by former Generacija 5 keyboardist and leader Dragan Ilić, and the lyrics were written by Mladen Popović,[1] who had previously written lyrics for Denis & Denis, Oliver Mandić and other acts,[2] and was, at the time, an editor of the show Hit meseca (Hit of the Month).[3]

In an interview for Rockovnik, Ilić stated:

A large number of musicians took part in the recording, mostly as vocalists. The song was played by Ilić (keyboards), his former bandmates from Generacija 5, Dragan Jovanović (guitar), Dušan Petrović (bass guitar) and Slobodan Đorđević (drums), and Vlatko Stefanovski of Leb i Sol (guitar solo).[4]

The song was produced by Saša Habić.[4] It was released on a 7" single, with the instrumental version of the song as the B-side, with the 75th issue of the Rock magazine.[4] The cover was designed by cartoonist and designer Jugoslav Vlahović.[4]


Additional personnel[edit]

Notable absences[edit]

Bora Đorđević and Goran Bregović, leaders of Riblja Čorba and Bijelo Dugme, respectively — two of the most popular Yugoslav bands at the time — openly refused to take part in the song recording.[5] It was later revealed that Đorđević's refusal may have been based, at least partly, on his wrong assumption about the project being government-initiated, unaware that Yugoslav musicians and industry people started it on their own accord.[6] In a 1985 interview, published before the song recording, he stated:

However, both Đorđević and Bregović, alongside Bijelo Dugme vocalist Mladen Vojičić "Tifa", showed up for the video shoot and can be seen in the video for the song.[5]

In an October 1985 interview for Džuboks magazine, Zabranjeno Pušenje frontman Nele Karajlić was asked about his absence from YU Rock Misija. He stated:

In an August 1986 interview for Rock magazine, singer-songwriter Đorđe Balašević stated:

Dragan Ilić stated that Azra leader Branimir "Džoni" Štulić was not invited to participate in the song recording because he was at the time living in Netherlands.[6]

The concert[edit]

The corresponding charity concert was held on Red Star Stadium on June 15, 1985, a little less than a month before Live Aid.[1] Beside the musicians who participated in the song recording and the bands they were members of, other acts performed as well.[1] Some 20,000 spectators attended the concert.[10] The concert featured, in the following order:[10]

The concert lasted for eight hours and was broadcast live by Radio Television of Belgrade.[1] The concert was also broadcast in Cuba and Czechoslovakia.[11]

In an interview for Rockovnik, Dubravka Marković, an editor of the show Hit meseca, stated about the concert:

Bajaga i Instruktori frontman Momčilo Bajagić stated about the concert:

Vukašinović, performing with his band Vatreni Poljubac and dissatisfied with constant echo, stopped playing in the middle of the song "Živio Rock 'n' Roll" ("Long Live Rock 'n' Roll"), saying angrily into the microphone: "It's not good... Fuck it, it's not good!".[1] His outburst was criticized by a large part of the public.[10][11]

Airing during Live Aid[edit]

The song was, alongside a corresponding message from Belgrade, conveyed by Mladen Popović, aired on Wembley Stadium during Live Aid concert,[1] between Run–D.M.C. and Black Sabbath performances in Philadelphia.[5]

Funds raised and legacy[edit]

According to Peca Popović, the funds raised from the sales of the "Za milion godina" single were 256,000 US dollars and 170,000 dollars from the concert tickets, for a grand total of 426,000 dollars.[12]

In 2007, Serbian critic Dimitrije Vojnov named "Za milion godina" one of ten most important records in the history of Yugoslav rock music, writing:

In 2011, Mladen Popović made a similar statement for the documentary series Rockovnik:

The piano version of "Za milion godina" appeared at the end of the last episode of Rockovnik, where it follows footage of former Yugoslav rock acts.[14]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]