May 2, 2019
B. B. Gabor
B. B. Gabor (real name Gabor Hegedus) was a an outstanding musician and singer/songwriter who was part of Toronto’s “New Wave” music scene in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Gabor was Hungarian by birth, and his early years were indelibly affected by the trauma he and his family suffered during the 1956 revolution in Hungary, and the subsequent savage repression by the Soviet Union. The family was forced to flee their homeland, and after going through the various hardships assorted with being refugees, the family settled in London, England. In 1973, Gabor emigrated to Toronto and became involved in the local music scene. His hard work and dedication to his craft earned him a record deal in 1979 with one of Canada’s better independent labels of the period, Anthem Records. His enigmatic and irrepressible musical style was great fit with this label. His songs mixed witty, yet perceptive lyrics with great pop music sensibilities. It was music that would appeal to those on the dance floor as well as the more thoughtful types listening through their Walkman’s.
Recorded in June of 1979 and released in 1980, B. B. Gabor’s self titled debut album was well received, with two of the singles “Metropolitan Life” and “Nyet, Nyet Soviet (Soviet Jewellry)” becoming staples on Toronto radio. B. B. Gabor received a Juno nomination and toured in support of the album. He was also a great live act, and this author has very fond memories of watching him at a club in Toronto.
Tragically, B.B. Gabor died at a far too young age, robbing Canada (and music in general) of a very talented individual. However, his musical legacy will always be a testament to his tremendous abilities, which certainly enriched the Canadian music scene of the early 1980’s.