Monday, July 2, 2007
A similar case as Extempore: they played the covers of Sex pistols, Ramones, Damned, The Stranglers, The Jam and Devo with wild energy.They were quite talented musicians and had a few punk songs of their own as well.The rest of their set was long jazz-rock improvisations.They split up after their bass player left them for the popular jazz rock/new wave band Prazský vyber.Now, Zikkurat again renew in 2005 and play.They have some record from 79 but it record have copyright as I can’t upload any album...Few records from their production you can hear here.
Punk rock in its raw “ teenege anger“ way.The basic out-of-tune punk, played by 15- or 16-year-old high school students.The important thing way that they played almost exclusively their own songs(with the exception of a few covers of Chalsey and Sham 69).Their first gig ended up after 3 songs when the shocked venue organizer cut off electricity.They played only twenty gigs.In’81 they were forced to stop playing because of secret police interference for article about their in New Musical Express.From their gigs are two records, but only in bad quality...
Energie G- Live 79, 81(records)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
The first Czechoslovak band to play punk rock live-although only cover songs by The Stranglers, Wire, Magazine and Generation X(but with their own Czech lyrics).Punk rock was just a part of their repertoire in ’79; other than that they played alternative rock.The only punk rock song of their own was one called “Libouchec“ , named after village in northern Czech.During this song, at the beginning of the show, the band’s leader Mikolas Chadima said word “bullshit“- and the authorities tried to jail for it.
(I enter some their songs on upload server over coming week)
The plastic people of the universe
In the second half of 70’s, there were two important movements in Czechoslovak rock music.The first one, the so-called „“alternative rock scene“ was half legal/half tolerated by the regime.It was eventually crushed in ’82- ’84 when most of this bands were officially banned, but back in the 70’s they still balanced of edge.Musically it was influenced by jazz-rock, the “Rock in Opposition“ movement, Velvet Underground, etc.The other one- the „“underground rock scene“- was centered around the band THE PLASTIC PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE(P.P.U).They, together with lesser known bands(DG 307, UMELA HMOTA etc.), created an authentic underground culture with its own illegal gigs, magazines and recordings.Soon after that, the system went nuts and answered in the fashion true to it: a wawe of police repression.Nevertheless, the underground survived despite the jailing of its most active members throughout the 80’s.
Both movements were open enough to spot the punk rock invasion back in ‘76/’77 in West and with smuggling of first punk records through the borders punk rock sowed its seeds even Czechoslovakia.The first band were from Prague and operated around Jazz Selection organization(this seemingly strange connection is result to the “alternative rock scene“ with ist jazz rock influences and to the organization Jazz Section’s being both tolerated by the regime and for ist time extremely open and daring in supporting bands), which hosted the “Prague Jazz Days Festival“ in 1979.
(You can find information about P.P.U on this page: http://www.furious.com/PERFECT/pulnoc.html )
Thursday, May 3, 2007
Back in 1977 the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia was living under the iron fist of the ruling Communist(although “state capitalist“ woulf be a better term) regime.This meant a lot of things hardly imaginable for people living in Western countries or for Easterners who hardly remember these times.Just briefly, for you to get at least a bit of the picture:
- “All the power belongs to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia“ was written in the constitution.The consequences of this little sentence included a ban on political opposition,“endless friendship“ with Soviet Union(which ‘saved‘ us in 1968 from ‘forces of counterrevolution‘), and elections every four years with no possibility of choice but compulsory participation.
- police repression: although by the 70’s, there were no longer political trials quite like those in 50’s(when regime’s opponents ended up hanged or working in uranium mines), the opposition was constantly harassed.State security (known in Czech mostly by dreaded letters “StB“) did their job well-a part of those involved in dissent was forcibly expatriated from Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the 80’s and the rest were often jailed.And also often ridiculed as agent of western imperialism paid by money from foreign secret services.
-censorship: in music, the area which will present in this page, this meant that the bands could play only with the permission of state institutions.To highlight the fact that these didn’t like punk rock for its music alone and that the nonconformist lyrics were giving them headches seems to be pointless.There were punk bands lucky enough to trick this system and there were bands that played without legal “basis,“ and their underground gigs often ended up dispersed by cops.Of course you could not find punk record in record shop, not could you hear punk rock on the radio or tv(until the very end 80’s)
-isolation: getting permission to travel to Western contries was a long and difficult process, becouse the regime feared that people would not come back.For most part, you could travel out to other Socialist countries.Or in from them: the only official gig of a Western punk band took place in september ’87 when Die toten hosen played in city of Pilsen. At a peace festival for nuclear disarmament(and it still ended up in a police riot!)
In general, it could be said that the system did not like it when people acted on their own, outside of its legal structures and its control.It hated punk nonconformist outlook and labeled punk as “a decadent life style smuggled to our country by Western agents as an ideological diversion with the aim of spoiling innocent socialist youth“.Needless to say a hostile environment produced a pretty unique and strong punk rock movement.
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
‘‘Most of the Eastern European countries have a punk history which is almost as old as those from the “Western Democraies“ .Nevertheless, their realisations and development underwent very different paths than ours.One factor was isolation.Some of these countries were really cut off from rest of the world.Another factor was that due to the lack of freedom police forces(‘Peoples Militia‘, Secret Police, Intelligence Services...), censorship and all authorities.That also meant that many punks were imprisoned for being labeled ‘social parasites‘, ‘drug-addicts‘, ‘cultural agents of capitalism‘, or were simply sent to a psychiatric hospital(like many regular political opponents), and the statedoctors diagnosed ‚‘schizophrenia‘ or whatever would suit the political authorities .‘‘(Luk Haas in his ‘‘Discography of Eastern Europan Punk Music 1977-1999‘‘)
I decide that I create some blog about Czechoslovakia punk, Oi! and HC music so as you know how it was with our music in communist countries.I will give some info and mp3 about
bands and about our ex-country(czechoslovakia don’t exist already, state was discrete to two countries- Czech republic and Slovakia) here.I hope that you find some interesting info and time which you spend on this page don’t will bootless.