Black Hole Underground Club. Nagy, Gyula Private Collection
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Name of collection
- Black Hole. Gyula Nagy's Private Collection
Provenance and cultural activities
The story began a long time ago. In 1844, Abraham Ganz founded the Ganz Works, which became one of the biggest industrial companies in Hungary at the end of the nineteenth century. Profitable investments in the railway sector resulted in a need for more and more workers. In order to accommodate these workers, the company bought a chunk of land between Delej and Golgota Streets in Külső-Józsefváros, which at the time was on the outskirts of Budapest. The so-called Kolónia opened here in 1909, a residential construction with 648 flats, most of which were studios. The fact that by 1910 more than 3,000 tenants had already moved into the new housing reveals a great deal about the dramatic housing situation at the time. In the same year, Ganz Works, as a socially-minded employer, opened a community center in the middle of the housing project with a restaurant, publication, and bath. The laundry was in building B and the kindergarten was in building C. However, in this fortress-like construction, the most important building was the bath, since most of the flats did not contain bathrooms. It had fourteen bathtubs, three swimming pools, and a sauna.
The bath was in use until 1969, when it had to be closed due to its poor physical condition. In 1959, Ganz Works was incorporated with MÁVAG Works, a factory owned by the Hungarian state since 1870. In 1973, the Hungarian Young Communist League (KISZ) Committee of the Ganz-MÁVAG factory turned the bath into its youth club. Between 1974 and 1982, the club was open five times a week. Gyula Nagy started to work here in 1974 as an agitprop educator, and he soon became the leader of the youth club. This club was the predecessor of Fekete Lyuk.
In 1980, squatting and the punk lifestyle began to become more and more popular among young Hungarian intellectuals, and this was also the time when the New Wave first appeared in Hungarian music life. Traditional, successful musicians rejected the newcomers. János Bródy, a key figure of the legendary Illés band and general secretary of the musicians’ trade union, stated that URH (Ultra Rock Hírügynökség-Ultra Rock News-Agency) or the Albert Einstein Bizottság (Albert Einstein Committee) did not belong to the society of musicians, since for example the members of Bizottság were artists, not musicians. The authorities regarded the newcomers as representatives of the political opposition. In 1980, the band Balaton started to perform with Mihály Víg, and Ágnes Bárdos Deák, László Kistamás, and Csaba Hajnóczy formed the band Kontroll Csoport. In 1982, a band called Trabant was founded, and in the middle of the 1980s, Tamás Pajor’s band Neurotic became the rising star of Hungarian New Wave. For some of these bands, Gyula Nagy organized concerts in the Ganz-MÁVAG Vasas Cultural House. In 1987, influential alternative musicians, like the abovementioned Tamás Pajor and Mihály Víg, joined the Hit Gyülekezete (Congregation of Faith), a religious sect. They thus left more space for other artists. However, the new wave bands were all similar in a way. They differed from the mainstream musicians, since they had more direct contact with their audiences than the big Hungarian rock bands, which behved like unapproachable stars. The new bands, moreover, played in small youth clubs where the audiences were smaller too, and the music groups came quickly in succession one after the other on stage, and many of the musicians could hardly play any instrument. This all gave the spectators the impression that they also could be on stage, and it made these new bands more loveable. Their lyrics criticized the system, and not only the communist system, but also Western customer society, and they emphasized the importance of complete liberty, with lyrics which touched on traditional anarchist theories.
Gyula Nagy started to work in the Ganz-MÁVAG Vasas Cultural House in 1984. He organized concerts there with the other agitprop educator, Tamás Pap. For these concerts, they had to get approvals both from the local police unit and from the municipal district council. He remembers Katalin Kiss, the leader of the Agitprop Educating Group of the 8th District Council. Thanks to her, Gyula Nagy and Tamás Pap could host bands which had very limited chances to play elsewhere in the country. Usually, the police simply gave formal approval of the district’s decisions. However, the organizers had to present the lyrics of the future concert in advance to the Cultural Unit of the Main Police Headquarters of Budapest (BRFK). They also had to provide tickets to the police, who sent undercover agents to these concerts. Normally, they only observed the performances, but they had the right to stop the concerts if they so pleased, as they did for example in the Kinizsi Garden once, when the singer did not sing the lyrics which had been submitted to the authorities..
The prologue of Fekete Lyuk, according to Gyula Nagy, was the dissolution of band Kontroll Csoport. This legendary band gave its last concerts in 1983, and its former members became the founders of three very important alternative bands. Csaba Hajnóczy founded the band Kampec Dolores, Péter Müller led the band Sziámi Sziámi, and László Kistamás established the band Balkan Futourist with drummer Karcsi Lehoczki. Kistamás’ and Lehoczki’s also created the Déjà Vu performance, in which nobody played on his or her usual music instrument, but instead had to add something unexpected to the production. This performance was staged once a month in the Ganz-MÁVAG Vasas Cultural House. It was very popular, maybe even too popular, so the director of the cultural house, Hubert Jenővári, put an abrupt end to it. However, once Jenővári had been replaced by Zoltán Molnár in the position of director, he provided practice facilities for Karcsi Lehoczki’s Balkan Futourist. This new director also supported the idea of opening a new club at Golgota Street 3.
On January 1, 1988, Ganz-MÁVAG was split into seven individual factories and nine divisions. This was the day when the directory board permitted the opening of a new youth club in the former bath. The leader of the initiative was Gyula Nagy, who directed the previous club within the Vasas Cultural House. As Tibor Legát maintains, the mere fact that permission was given for Fekete Lyuk to operate showed the softening of the dictatorship in the late 1980s. Gyula Nagy and his friends had hatched plans to establish a musical center for the Hungarian New Wave in 1985. In the winter of 1988, the bands Balkan Futourist and Baby line created Fekete Lyuk with friends of the musicians. They started to build the stage, and they covered the wall with graffiti, while at the same time they preserved the rundown form of the rooms. The first concert was given by Baby line on February 26, 1988. Over the next two days, the official opening events were dominated by performances by Balkan Futourist.
The members of Baby line suggested that nobody should get any money for the concerts. Instead, using the money they brought in, the club bought microphones, loudspeakers, and lights. The musicians and their friends formed an intimate community around Fekete Lyuk. The group included Pisti Osztos, László Rajk, Róbert Pálinkás, and the leader of the band Trottel, Tamás Rupaszov. Rupaszov created and edited the newspaper of the club, Lyukság, with László Marton. Around this time, a popular punk club in Kispest was ordered to close down, and Fekete Lyuk managed to pull in its audiences. The pogo dance became popular, and nobody was bothered if someone lay down on a table or danced on the bar. Gyula Nagy remembers when Sotár, the lead singer of the famous punk band AMD, asked him whether Fekete Lyuk would accept them and their fans. Nagy answered yes, and from that time onwards more and more punks appeared in the club. In addition, skinheads and fans of Gothic also frequently came to Golgota Street 3, which became the first multicultural underground pub in Hungary.
This community around Fekete Lyuk organized the concerts, and at the beginning, they themselves led the bar of the club. Gyula Nagy only provided background through his connections to the authorities. Fekete Lyuk quickly gained symbolic importance. It became more than just a popular club, because it also provided some rare space for free initiatives. The club housed, for example, an exhibition about Imre Nagy organized by the Inconnu Art Group. Imre Nagy served as Prime Minister of Hungary during the brief Revolution of 1956. He had declared a state of war with the Soviet Union. After the Revolution he was executed and was officially labeled an enemy of the people. One of the first attempts to commemorate the Revolution freely was also related to the Inconnu Group, which circulated a call for an art competition. The artists involved had to produce works which would represent The Fighting City on the 30th anniversary of the outbreak of the revolution. The group advertised the competition in issues of samizdat papers and emigrant publications. The police prohibited the exhibition and confiscated most of the artworks. Moreover, the authorities threatened Tamás Molnár, the owner of the flat which was supposed to host the exhibition, and other members of the group with exile from Budapest.
This incident took place not even two years before the same group held an exhibition about Imre Nagy in Fekete Lyuk, which indicates how brave an act it was to host this exhibition. In 1988, many of the club`s habitués and leaders took part in a commemoration of the 1956 Revolution. These people erected traditional wooden columns, the so-called kopjafa at the public cemetery of Rákoskeresztúr, where the heroes of the Revolution were buried.
The failure of the 1986 exhibition and the success of the 1988 commemorative are milestones in an important change in Hungary. According to Máté Szabó, until 1988, the strict dictatorship treated each and every independent initiative very seriously. The system repressed and banned every attempt at free expression of opinion. Thus, no constructive protests could emerge, and opposition groups existed only in isolation from one another. In 1988, thanks to the weakening of political and administrative control, cooperation between opposition groups became possible. The loosening of control over society in 1988 made it possible to open Fekete Lyuk, and the Inconnu Group finally could commemorate the 1956 Revolution in cooperation with the circles concentrated around the new club.Fekete Lyuk began as a shelter for new wave and alternative music. Thanks to the changes in the authorities’ control and the enthusiastic work of some young people, it became a symbol of free initiative. The bands could present alternative views of life and art in the club, views which included criticism of the communist system. The club won a kind of cult following, and its income grew rapidly. The conflicts which resulted in the decline and the closing of the club were all connected to money. Some members of the bands, Gyula Nagy, and even the director of the cultural house Zoltán Molnár all wanted to run the bar, which was the most profitable part of Fekete Lyuk. The battles around the bar ended when Molnár emerged victorious. On January 1, 1994 the director terminated the labor contract with Gyula Nagy. After twenty remarkable years, he was no longer the agitprop educator of the Vasas Cultural House. In the same year, the club was closed. Gyula Nagy returned in 1999. This time he arrived at Golgota Street as a businessman, as the new Abraham Ganz. However, this is another story, which has little to do with the legendary Fekete Lyuk.
Description of content
The collection of Gyula Nagy is not the outcome of any deliberate act of collecting. Rather, it is the consequence of his work as a club manager. The most important items in the collection include issues of the fanzine Lyukság, which was produced in the period in which the club Fekete Lyuk was active, photographs of concerts performed in the club, and tape recordings of performances by bands which played in the club. Gyula Nagy simply kept and thus preserved these items, considering them more personal objects than a genuine collection.
- music recordings: 10-99
- photos: 100-499
- publications (books, newspapers, articles, press clippings): 10-99
Geographical scope of recent operation
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Important events in the history of the collection
- all closed to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Ádám, István Pál
Apor, Péter. “Századvégi utóirat az anarchizmusról és a rockzenéről” [Fin de Siècle Postscript About Anarchism and Rock Music] Valóság Vol. 37 No. 3 (1994): 30-40.
Domanovszky, Sándor. A Ganz Híd-, Daru- és Acélszerkezetgyártó Részvénytársaság története [The History of the Ganz Bridge- Crane- and Steel-construction Producer Corporation] Budapest: Ganz Acélszerkezet Kiadó, 1995.
Klaniczay, Gábor. Ellenkultúra a hetvenes-nyolcvanas években [Counterculture in the 70`s and 80`s] Budapest: Noran, 2003.
Legát, Tibor. “Lyuk a nyolcason: Szocio-tanulmány Nagy Gyula felvételeivel” [Hole on the Eight: Socio-study with the Photos of Gyula Nagy] Mozgó Világ Vol. 16 No. 9 (1991): 39-51.
Modor, Ádám. “Egy betiltott 56’-os kiállítás Budapesten” [A Prohibited Exhibition of 56’s in Budapest] Magyar Nemzet Vol. 66 No. 247 (22 October 2003): 5.
Para-Kovács, Imre. “Fekete Yuk” [Black Hole] Magyar Narancs Vol. 6 No. 5 (1994): 24.
Uj, Péter. “Fekete Lyuk újra” [Black Hole Again] Népszabadság Vol. 57 No. 50 (1 March 1999): 11.
Sebők, János. Rock évkönyv 1981 [Rock Year-book 1981] Budapest: Zeneműkiadó Vállalat, 1982.
S. Peterdi, Vera. “A MÁVAG kolóniái (1869–1985)” [The Colonies of MÁVAG] In: Bencze Géza ed. Tanulmányok a MÁVAG történetéből [Studies from the History of MÁVAG] Budapest: Ganz Acélszerkezet Kiadó, 1989.
Szabó, Máté. Alternatív mozgalmak Magyarországon [Alternative Movements in Hungary] Budapest: Gondolat Kiadó, 1993.
Nagy, Gyula, interview by Ádám, István Pál, January 01, 2009. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection