Bardóczi Gyula

Bardóczi Gyula
born 27.01.1947

1965-1979 - Gemini
1979-1980 - Kati És A Kerek Perec
1980-1990 - Neoton Família
1990 - Új Neoton
1988 - Old Boys
Gyula Bardóczi was nicknamed "Little Worm" as a kid because his big brother went by "Big Worm". His big brother took Gyula everywhere he went, so Gyula hanged around with Budapest's nonconformist youth since he was 10, picking up a handful of useful skills including a skill of playing drums. Once he, a teen kicking a ball made of rags in the yard, met a bass player Gábor Várszegi who was recruiting members for his rock band "Gemini". Gyula took up Gábor's offer to join the band, earning 50-150 forints for a night playing live at various clubs. That was the start of Gyula's music career; there were also guitarist Gábor Pusztai and keyboard player György Szabó beside him and Gabor in "Gemini". Starting 1972 "Gemini" released singles on a regular basis; some of these were even released in USSR by Melodiya record label, and in 1976 the band recorded its first and last album.

One of the places "Gemini" performed at was "VOLÁN" club, a den of nonconformist youth culture. It was founded by a famous László Turán. "Gemini" played there twice a week, and it was there Gyula became acquainted with many gifted newcomer musicians. In 1970 bass player Ernő Kiss, a big fan of Gábor Várszegi, founded a club-based band that was also called "Volán". Imre Papp became the band's keyboard player, Ádám Végvári — the band's guitarist, and the drummer's duties were split between Béla Nagy and Gyula Bardóczi who remained a member of "Gemini". The band played mostly progressive rock in the vein of famous Western rock bands like "Black Sabbath", "Deep Purple" and "Led Zeppelin", which were in vogue during 1970-74. In 1971 István Lerch took up keyboards, followed in a year by a gifted musician Katalin Nagy (vocals, keyboards, sax; born 1956) who transferred from "Tűzkerék" rock band. By that time Ádám Végvári left the band for "Universal" and was replaced by guitar player László Baranszky. "Volán" existed until 1973; after its breakup most of the musicians transferred to "Gemini" and Ernő Kiss began to assemble members for his new project named "Kerek-Perec" ("Salty Pretzel"). 

In 1975 Katalin Nagy renewed collaboration with Ernő Kiss, naming their joint project "Kati És A Kerek Perec" ("Kathy And A Salty Pretzel"). At the time Western music included many new genres like funk, glam rock or disco, so they decided to move away from rock and play music that'd be more fit for dancing. The original lineup included Ernő Kiss, Kati Nagy, Béla Nagy and guitar player Attila Fábián. In 1976 they recorded a successful song titled "Langolok" (cover version of hit song "I'm On Fire" of a British band named "5000 Volts"), but the first years of their creative activity couldn't be called very fruitful in general, which might be the cause of a change in lineup in 1977: Béla Nagy and Attila Fábián left the band, replaced by Sándor Zámori (drums) and Miklós Patay (guitars). The band actively participated in various TV shows, took part in prestigious Metronom and Sopot festivals in 1977. The same 1977 year they released their first single "Egy dal neked" (the song was their entry at Metronom'77), and a year later they released their second single "Hinta"/"Jókedvű Nap" ("Seesaw/Merry Day") which brought them their first success: "Jókedvű Nap" became a hit in Hungary in 1978 and was included in the compilation titled "PEPITA FAVORIT'79". Their success was nailed down by a third single "Csillagszórós Éjszaka"/"Egy Kölcsön Álom" (1978), outstanding in its melodiousness and beauty. As a result they caught the eye of Péter Erdős, a manager of Hungarian Record Company who was supervising all of the country's pop music, getting state support.

The band's lineup changed again in 1979: Miklós Patay and Sándor Zámori left "Kati És A Kerek Perec" to be replaced by Ádám Végvári (guitars, bass, vocals) and Gyula Bardóczy (drums). This was the reunion of the former members of "Volán" who started working together again. In Autumn 1979 they participated in recording a cover compilation titled "DISCO PARTY" together with another famous Hungarian pop disco band "Neoton Família" and a popular Hungarian singer Kati Kovács; this compilation included their cover versions of then-famous Western disco artists: "ABBA", Donna Summer, "Bee Gees", Gilla, "Boney'M" and "Eruption". Nagy Kati, for one, sung "ABBA"'s"Fernando". The same year the band released its first LP "Kati És A Kerek Perec", which made a favorable impression on the public. Among the songs presented in this album "Titanic" became a hit, being recognized as 1979 best song in Hungary and later included in a compilation titled "DISCO PARTY 2" (1981) along with other best Hungarian disco songs. "Kati És A Kerek Perec" songs were well-known in USSR (where the band was called "KKP Band"); some of them were included in compilations and Krugozor magazine flexi-disks released by Melodiya label.

In 1980 "Neoton Família" became troubled by their drummer Zoltán Ambrus's inability to play disco rhythms properly, so they invited Gyula Bardóczy to cover for him during several shows. Gyula's performance impressed "Neoton Família"'s members so much that they offered him to join their ranks. At the time "Neoton Família" was known worldwide thanks to their hit song "Santa Maria", so being adopted by this musical "family" was a very tempting offer. Gyula, however, accepted the offer on one condition: that is, he was to join the band along with his friend Ádám Végvári. So Gyula and Ádám left "Kati És A Kerek Perec" to be replaced by Sándor Mikulcza (guitars, vocals) and Vince Babarik (drums). The band released its second album titled "Szerpentin" (1982) with the new members, yet while it was as good as the first, Péter Erdős lost interest in "KKP Band", stating that "there's no need to have two bands playing in the same style". Having lost state support, Ernő Kiss and Kati Nagy tried to perform abroad, but upon confronting various problems had to announce the band's breakup in 1983.

Meanwhile, even in 1979 several musicians that played at Metropolitan Cultural Center earlier, including singer György "Balázs" Szabó, ex-keyboard player of "Gemini" László Szidor, guitar player Ferenc Vadász and others, created a new band, calling it "Old Boys". In 1988 Gyula Bardóczy became this band's member and producer, and after "Neoton Família"'s 1990 breakup he turned all his attention to the band and helped "Old Boys" release several records and live albums. Former singers of "Neoton Família" Éva Pál and Mária Juhász took part in recording their 1990 album. "Old Boys" stay true to their style for over 35 years, playing legendary Western rock hits of 1960s-1980s.

By Mikhail Badanin
Translated into English by Andrey Sinelnikov