Baracs János

Baracs János
born 26.01.1953
bass, vocals

1969-1971 - Woods
1971-1972 - Tűzkerék, Kex
1974-1977 - Woods
1977-1990 - Neoton Família
1990-1993 - Éva-Neoton
1994-1996 - Ádám's Family
Frankly speaking, Neoton had an incredibly bad luck concerning bass players: five bass players came and went during the first ten years of the band's existence. Lajos Galácz, one of the two founding fathers of "Neoton", seemingly abandoning all hope to find a regular bass player, had to pick up bass himself. He was also affected by the bad mojo though: in 1977 he left the band, devoting his life to his own family affairs. After a long search János Baracs became a new guitar player for the band, and a chain of events that led to his inclusion to the band was a succession of many random coincidences.

János was born 26 January 1953. He was into music since childhood and by 1966 he already founded his first school band with his fellow students. Two years later he first played in public at "Uránia" movie theater with a band called "Yellow Birds", which made news for all his school. János left this band for another named "Syncom" but soon had to leave it since he refused to perform on TV. Later he made an appearance as a mamber of a band called "Woods", where he played bass guitar and sang. The founder of this rather popular in the late 1960s rock band was László Bobrovszky, later to become a singer of "Memphis" and "Stereo". In 1971 "Woods" and "Neoton" even shared stage in club "Rózsá", somewhat of a Budapest landmark which was situated in the basement of the University of Veterinary Medicine.

The same 1971 János became a guitarist of a rock band named "Tűzkerék" ("Firewheel") founded in 1970 by a legendary Hungarian musician Béla Radics. In the early 1970s "Tűzkerék"'s organ player was Katalin Nagy, later to become a member of "Kati És A Kerek Perec" disco band. János was also playing with "Kex" and studying at the university at the same time. "Kex", a band performing psychedelic rock, was at a peak of its success then, but in 1971 the founder of "Kex" János Baksa-Soós emigrated to West Germany, so the band often had to invite guest performing musicians to stay afloat. János Baracs was full of expectations regarding a long-time collaboration with "Kex", but due to 1972 car accident with their organ player Miklós Doleviczényi the band broke up. "Kex"'s legendary drummer András Kisfaludy left the band for "M7". János was also invited to join "M7", but the emotional stress tragic accident caused him was so strong he sunk himself into depression, giving up music for a while and even selling his guitar. Several years later, as János finally healed his wounded soul, he was visited by his former bandmates from "Woods" with a proposal to rejoin the band. They had neither guitar player nor singer, since László Bobrovszky had finally left his band for the band named "Syconor". After thinking for a while János accepted their offer.

"Woods" has just signed a contract for a number of concerts with a state promoter agency ORI when János heard the news of Lajos Galácz leaving "Neoton Família", making a bass player's position vacant. János wasn't really expecting "Neoton Família" will accept him as one so he didn't dare to offer his services to László Pásztor, but his wife literally forced him to phone György Jakab and introduce himself. György, fascinated by a talented bass player, immediately passed the news to László. The next day János took a record of his performances to the members of "Neoton Família". László Pásztor said he'll consider recruiting him, telling János to be patient and wait for a call. Over the course of a single day János made an effort to memorize the most important "Neoton" songs to join the band on stage without any delay if needed. László did not call though. It turned out he lost János's phone number and had to search it with the help of ORI. Two days later János officially became "Neoton Família"'s bass player, and on 16 February 1978 he already played a first show with his new band.

The first "Neoton Família" record János Baracs had participated in was "Neoton Disco". When he came to the recording studio with the other musicians though, it turned out there wasn't a single song that featured bass guitar part on the whole album. János basically went out of the picture; however, an amusing event occurred during the recording. An opening song called "Keep On Running" was supposed to be recorded with keyboard player György Jakab's vocals, but as he was recording the piano part, János Baracs started to sing the lyrics in a small voice. György overheard that, immediately declaring it's János who should record the vocals. His low jaunty voice was a perfect match for this song's lyrics. Later he and György became good friends, often singing in pair, as it was with "Santa Maria" (1979) or "Marathon" (1980), and János Baracs's bass voice could be heard solo in such songs as "Hegyirabló" (1979), "A felügyelő" (1980), "Rongyszőnyeg" (1982), "Szeretek ugrálni" (1983), "Na-na nagyfiú" (1984), "Minek ez a cirkusz" (1986), "Védőháló nélkül" (1987), "Medve táncdal" (1988) and many others.

It should be noted that János Baracs always felt sympathetic to Éva Csepregi, becoming friends with her. He had an easy disposition, always being eager to help, so he was nicknamed Öcsi ("Buddy"). In the wake of the "Neoton Família" shakeup following Éva Pál's leave János Baracs found himself a part of Csepregi/Végvári/Baracs trio which became the band's new backbone. After the band's 1990 breakup János joined "Éva-Neoton" band created by Éva Csepregi, and in 2005 he became a member of Éva's new project titled "Neoton Família Sztárjai".

By Mikhail Badanin
Translated into English by Andrey Sinelnikov