How do you get to Zsa Zsa Gabor from Gabor Szabo?

The short answer is, by rearranging letter magnets on the fridge.

The longer answer is more complicated. It involves magical Al Gh’er Rh’ythms of Yoot T’Ooob, whose mysterious workings summon up an almost forgotten album of a Hungary-born guitarist.

And considering that was 1968, dang, the album holds up amazingly well. Using Gabor’s name as a search term subsequently unleashed a prodigious number of additional albums on the T’Oobs, all of them spectacularly good–at least if you like extended, atmospheric, understated, contemplative, crossover stuff, inflected with funk, and anticipating all that 70s fusion that we (?) know and love so well.

Carlos Santana has praised Gabor as a seminal influence, and you can definitely hear “Black Magic Woman” and “Soul Sacrifice” waiting to be born in Gabor’s “Gypsy Queen”:

Santana pays tribute to Gabor in his song “Mr. Szabo”:

Now, to get from Gabor Szabo to Zsa Zsa Gabor was an elementary matter for one such as myself. Elementary in the sense of me having tragically arrested development and a sixth grade sense of humor.

“Gabor Szabo? Any relation to Zsa Zsa Gabor??? Hyuck, hyuck, hyuck.”

To answer the question, no, there is no relation. But you can see how I connected the dots. That, and residual memories of Green Acres.

Wait, that was Eva Gabor. Darnit! I could never keep those Gabor sisters straight. (The third sister, Magda Gabor, was less famous and hence constitutes less risk for misidentification.)

Zsa Zsa was born Sári (shah-ree) Gábor of Jewish parents in Hungary. As she explained in this delightful interview with Steve Allen, the Zsa Zsa name she adopted is complete nonsense.

Zsa Zsa may have meant nothing to her but it means a lot to us here at BoFN.

Zsa Zsa was of course a dazzling beauty, as well as a brilliant comedienne, like her sister Eva, with perfect comic delivery. Zsa Zsa chewed her way through eight husbands and lived to die just a bit shy of 100. She passed on surprisingly recently–2016.

Meanwhile, the musical visionary Gábor István Szabó came into our world in Hungary in 1936, the same year Zsa Zsa won the Miss Hungary contest. He died much earlier, and did not live even half as long. This might explain his compulsion to get so many albums out.

With so many more years, so much more fame, and so much beauty, you’d think Zsa Zsa would forever outshine Gabor the guitarist, but it’s not necessarily so. The T’oobs have a way of balancing out legacies, and while searching for Zsa Zsa will give you mostly tidbits of Hollywood trivia, for Mr. Szabo it yields dense results that represent his musical vision pretty darn comprehensively. Cosmic justice for a musical visionary, you might say.

Speaking of guitars, there is another guitarist cum boxer cum MCAT tutoring Youtuber cum brain specialist cum blogger cum founder of BoFN: none other than our our man, Dave. Pluck the link below and offer a helping hand to the King:

This entry was posted in funny names in movies, funny names in music, funny names in tv, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How do you get to Zsa Zsa Gabor from Gabor Szabo?

  1. beth says:

    fascinating. I remember them so well from talk shows, game shows, and of course, green acres. and let’s not even go into the t’oobs aka tubes (americanized version) of the family or the origin story of that part of their name.

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