Fábián Éva

Fábián Éva
born 01.10.1954

1972-1973 - Kócbabák
1973-1976 - Neoton & Kócbabák
1977-1979 - Neoton Família
Éva Fábián, later to become a member of "Neoton Família", was into singing and music since childhood, and her grandmother took her to an audition for Hungarian Radio Children's Choir when she was only 9. That was the start of her singing career; later she took part in various youth contests and festivals and at the age of 18 she became a member of a vocal trio "Kócbabák" along with Marcella Babics (born 1953) and Éva Csepregi (born 1956). Their band was founded by singing teacher Ödön Hoffmann whom girls called Uncle Dönci. He taught singing to many upcoming famous Hungarian artists including Éva Mikes, Péter Máté, Andrea Szulák, János Koós and Zsuzsa Cserháti. 

The band's name, "Shaggy Dolls", comes from a cover version of Italian singer Patty Pravo "La Bambola" ("A Doll", 1968) girls once sung. The same 1972 year "Kócbabák" took part in "Ki mit tud?" TV talent show. The trio was backed by Budapest music band named "Stereo". They got only as far as semifinals, and the winner was another female trio called "Mikrolied" backed up by a rock band called "Generál". Right after that Marcella Babics left the band to tour abroad with "Apostol" band and was replaced by Éva Pál (born 1952).

Marcela probably hurried, because after a while, "Kócbabák" received an invitation from the Hungarian television, which was making a music show for Sweden to introduce recent Hungarian pop to Swedes. As a result, the girls created their own music show with which they visited Sweden in the spring of 1973 and then traveled all over Hungary, including performing at the legendary nightclub "Pipacs Bár" in Siófok, where they met musicians from "Neoton". Then they were approached by László Pásztor, who invited them to record a joint composition for the next radio contest "Tessék választani!". This is how cooperation between the two teams began, but the early years of "Kócbabák" were not tied to the "Neoton" group alone. In 1973-77 the girls worked together with a number of other Hungarian performers, including Máté Péter, Szécsi Pál, Presser Gábor from "LGT", Sztevánovity Zorán from "Metro", with groups "Express" and "Apostol". For example, they provided backing vocals to Péter Máté on the recording of his single "Napsugár" (1974) and his album "Magány ... És Együttlét" (1978), for Szécsi Pál was helped to record the single "Gyere El" (1974) and the album "Violák" (1976), for singer Vincze Viktória - single "Napleány" (1977), and for Zorán - his album "Zorán" (1977).

Éva Fábián, nicknamed "Vicuska" by her fellow members, was the trio's lead singer and informal leader, but in the person of Éva Pál she found a serious competitor and was forced to give her a significant part of the vocal parts. Nevertheless, she was a lead singer in many song including "Túl okos vagy" ("Smart Guy", 1975), "Párbeszéd" ("Dialogue", 1975, duo with László Pásztor), "Évszakok" ("Seasons", 1975), "Piros léggömb" ("Red Balloon", 1976), "Aludj el" ("Go to Sleep", 1976, duo with László Pásztor), "Boldog család" ("Happy Family", 1977, duo with Lajos Galácz). Also her voice can be heard in 1979 disco hit "Ki szól?" ("Who Rings?", duo with László Pásztor). However, in the eyes of Péter Erdős, supervising "Neoton Família" on behalf of the Hungarian Record Company, despite Éva's singing talent she looked too "old-fashioned" and wasn't ready to give the band her all. She was odd-looking, her moves were clumsy and she was more of a regular pop singer than a member of disco band aiming to conquer the world stage so in the late 1979 she was expelled from the band.

Thus started Éva Fábián's solo career in 1980. She recorded a number of melodic songs such as "Ne félts hát!" (1980), "Égigérő lajtorja" (1980), "Már nincs szenvedély" (1980), "Szégyen, hogy sírok" (1980), which became popular in USSR and Eastern Bloc countries. Then came 10-track album titled "Éjszakai repülés" ("Night Flight", 1982) homaging Antoine de Saint-Exupéry which flew under the public's radar. During 1982-1987 Éva went on East European tour a number of times, she took part in several music contests and events including "Bratislavská Lýra" (Czhechoslovakia, 1983) and "Interpop" (Hungary, 1986), winning some awards. She performed such songs as "Édenkert" (1984), "Fogom a kezed" (1984) and "Őrülten táncolok" (1986). 

In 1990 Éva went from being a pop singer to the realm of music for kids. She directed many shows aimed for children, regularly held charity events, participated in the events held in Jordan, US, UAE — and got several international awards including FIDOF Top Award.

By Mikhail Badanin
Translated into English by Andrey Sinelnikov