Nele Karajlić bigraphy, stories - Film

Nele Karajlić : biography

11 December 1962 -

Nenad Janković, known as Nele Karajlić (born 11 December 1962 in Sarajevo, PR Bosnia-Herzegovina, FPR Yugoslavia), is a Bosnian Serb Comedian, rock and roll musician, composer, actor and television director living and working in Belgrade.

One of the founders of New Primitivism movement in Sarajevo, he's a singer and co-author of the Zabranjeno pušenje's songs. He also co-created and participated in TV shows Top lista nadrealista and Složna braća. During the Bosnian War Nele moved to Belgrade, Serbia where he formed one of two factions of Zabranjeno pušenje, (later renamed to "No Smoking Orchestra").

Music career

Nele & Sejo - the original Zabranjeno pušenje

As Zabranjeno pušenje's music and shtick started to catch on all over ex-Yugoslavia during mid-'80s, Nele became one of the better-known public figures in the entire country. His skinny figure, unkempt style and protruding jaw made a perfect visual companion to dishevelled philosophy of New Primitivism that the band claimed to follow and propagate.

Never content to merely let the music do the talking, Nele often engaged in matters he knew would create a stir. Some of them, like the now famous 'Marshall episode', seem ridiculously benign and innocuous by today's standards but nevertheless raised a furor in the post-Tito socialist Yugoslavia of the 1980s. Band's pre-show press conferences often assumed the form of a debate club with Nele charming journalists while pontificating on issues ranging from lower league soccer to Karl Marx's Manifesto. It was part publicity tool, part socio-political theatre.

Nele circa 1980 As far as on-stage behavior goes, dr Nele Karajlić was probably the first Yugo rock frontman to take a truly active approach while in front of a crowd. Fully utilizing the stage equipment, he would climb stage walls, dive into the audience, rip his clothes off, simulate fellatio on microphones, flip crowds off, etc. One particular occasion during 1985/86 tour at Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall in Zagreb (place that usually hosts opera singers and symphony orchestras and hence has a bolted down concert piano on stage) saw him get on top of the said piano, and proceeding to dry hump it for an extended period - all of which got him a big cheer from the crowd but also managed to offend many purists.

The band started to hit it big fairly quickly. Their debut album Das ist Walter appeared in June 1984 and it was soon apparent that their popularity would soon grow beyond the city of Sarajevo. A national tour followed, which brought Nele more attention. They played a sold-out show (6,000 capacity) at Hala sportova in Belgrade on November 4, 1984. At this time Nele was also starring on the Top lista nadrealista sketch comedy TV show, soon making him a celebrity. His face started popping up on fold-out posters in entertainment magazines and he was talked about by the media.

Over the next seven years Pušenje recorded three more studio albums and played countless sold-out arenas until in late 1991 Nele and Sejo Sexon decided to go their separate ways.

Nele-Sejo relationship was always the band's nucleus. Having written lyrics and music for most of the songs, the duo was running the band while rest of the group employed a revolving door policy.

The circumstances under which Zabranjeno pušenje ceased to exist, at least in its first incarnation, are not entirely clear. In later interviews, Nele has explicitly stated that Pušenje disbanded when Sejo informed him about not wanting to play anymore in late 1991 and that it had nothing to do with war, while Sejo seems to suggest break-up occurred implicitly when Nele fled for Belgrade in the spring of 1992, soon after ethnic fighting flared up in Bosnia.

Whatever it was, the two would continue separately from that point on, and there is no indication they've ever met face to face since then, except one time when Sejo's father died, and they met for a night long drink at a bar, as Nele himself once stated in an interview.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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