This affectionate send-off was musician's way of celebrating Croatian artist Karlo Metikoš who suddenly passed away exactly a year earlier. Metikoš ushered rock to 1960s Croatia and was allegedly huge concert attraction at home and abroad, making name for himself in France where his cover of "Rhythm Of The Rain" by The Cascades led to globetrotting lifestyle than unprecedented amongst his colleagues. At the peak of his fame, Metikoš did something very unusual and decided to step in the background, his main focus being music he wrote exclusively for his love Josipa Lisac. Thanks to his understanding, courage and support, Lisac grew into homegrown Rock icon, practically the only female artist amongst the guys.
Understandingly heartbroken, Lisac decided that from now her only raison d'être is to keep memory of Metikoš alive, via highly publicised annual concert tributes to his music. This was the very first of what became tradition and I was there amongst the audience in ZKM theatre that evening. Truly eclectic range of artists invited showed the whole spectrum of who Metikoš was as an artist - his former 1960s colleagues Janko Mlinarić Trooly, 4 M, pianist Branko Bulić, rock pioneers Crveni Koralji and chanson legend Arsen Dedić rubbed shoulders with new kids like Dino Dvornik, Psihomodo Pop and Neno Belan who all revisited songs from his repertoire, either as a singer or as a composer. The highlight of the evening was appearance of 1960s veteran Zdenka Kovačiček who at that time was a little forgotten - her wonderful, bluesy cover of old pop classic "Dok razmišljam o nama" made everybody take a notice and Kovačiček was subsequently nominated for "Porin" in category of the best female vocalist of the year. Besides Kovačiček, concert surprisingly lacked strong female performers (Meri Trošelj fluffed her turn, Doris Dragović declined the invitation) making single entrance by Lisac even more important - it seems that in 1992 there was simply nobody around willing to step into her shoes. Old fellow travelers Dražen Vrdoljak and producer Vladimir Mihaljek Miha also helped along.
On personal note, I recall seeing Gabi Novak in the audience, gently swaying to "Rhythm Of The Rain" by Fantomi. Backing band Telephone Blues Band was excellent and if memory serves me well, Rajko Dujmić had a blast playing keyboards behind Aki Rahimovski who stormed trough "Ležaj od suza". The evening gave new impetus to Kovačiček who would eventually start to record again, however her public resentment and jealousy of Lisac never completely disappeared, as many unnecessary interviews attest.