Josipa in the beginning - from a very first magazine cover photo session (1968)

Oh, the joys of vacation and finally freedom to use my time productively and fulfilling, like for example browsing Internet for hours (you didn't expect that I would do such things as walking or going out of the house did you?). Just pottering around without any particular plan or obligations suits me perfectly fine and occasionally I even start thinking that this kind of life might be better than any other option. Unfortunately all this resting sometimes results in too much napping so I find myself fully awake in the middle of the night, amongst vampires and witches (who else would be wide awake at 3 a.m.) so back to Internet browsing again and voilà I discovered a priceless photo (left) that I have searched for decades. I even think that I might know perfectly well where it came from - from the same photo session that resulted with 1968. cover of than very popular "Studio" magazine, as photographed by Marko Čolić and if I am correct this would have been very first time that inimitable Croatian über diva Josipa Lisac appeared on magazine cover. Another, very similar photo (right) was actually placed on front page but the fact that this picture was unknown to me all these years makes it much more fascinating.

That Lisac is, has been and probably forever will be my all-time favourite Croatian music artist is clear to anybody who ever glanced on my blog, but since I am not impressionable teenager anymore, I kind of keep this for myself, specially as she is now more or less accepted as music icon and religious fervour of her fans sometimes genuinely annoys me (when I was growing up, she was still to some extent cult artist, nowadays her admirers faint if I only suggest that not everything she ever recorded was second coming). Of course I know every single recording by heart and trough the years bought them in so many various packages (vinyl, cassette tapes, CD, digital) that its sometimes downright ridiculous but since I am by nature analytical Virgo, can't help but to sometimes mull it over, compare and reassess again why certain music choices were made, could it have been different and who were influences. (Did you know that word fan comes from fanatic?) When it comes to music, Lisac was my first lighthouse and it took me a lifetime to give a proper chance to other artists who worked and existed in very much same time frame; often I see some group pictures taken on festivals or tours and its just mind-boggling how all these people spontaneously and naturally mingled together, even though they all represented completely opposite genres and directions. (It just shows music knows no boundaries) 

What I find so fascinating in this picture is that it depict completely different Lisac than one we are familiar with - for the most of her public life she have been glamorous, collected and slightly intimidating person, every smallest detail in its place, her image so well constructed that we cannot even imagine her living like ordinary people. But the eighteen year old schoolgirl on this photo is adorable in a completely different way - she is light years from confident, authoritative and slightly eccentric person in later life, this tender girl here with touchingly vulnerable face is just at the very start of her professional life and this gentleness makes me want to embrace her protectively. The fact that "Studio" placed her on a magazine cover means that she had already made some impression and "Što me čini sretnom" had everyone falling over themselves praising this new discovery of the year - for a while it even seemed that this will be a forerunner of distinctively new wave of homegrown female singers, as opposite to previously accepted traditional type of professional sufferers who were mostly indistinguishable from each other. It turned out differently - Lisac happened to be one of the kind and experienced rough backlash because of it, but it made her tougher and more resilient to survive in the music business. Later pictures show either cautious or detached look, here she was still living with her parents and like everybody else at the time, was chopping wood for the kitchen oven (as shown in some than-current pictures). This newly discovered photo from 1968. is probably one of my favourite pictures of her.

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