Jaroslav Hutka

* 1947  

  • “There was this big wall, a large window… the window led to the first floor which was covered by snow and there was a steep staircase going down. And it was empty. Suddenly, many people arrived. I can’t remember with whom I arranged my arrival on a particular day, particular hour. Perhaps Hanzl or someone from the Na Zábradlí theatre. They said they would organise a demonstration on the airport. I thought it bizarre – so far from Prague and to organise a demonstration under Bolshevism… but the demonstration was there. They received false rumours that I had left already, fortunately they did not believe it. Then it dawned on them that they could get by the staircase to the large window from the international space. Many people gathered there, they smiled at me. I couldn’t hear anything so they took out little papers and wrote messages on them, like ‘Hello, Jarda. How are you?’ What can you say, it was full of joy. I was still behind the iron, or rather a glass curtain and there were there. And there was this touching, almost symbolic moment when someone wrote on a piece of paper: ‘Jarda, play.’ It was strange, it was like a fish out of an aquarium. I took my guitar, because I simply could not refuse to play for those people, who pushed against the glass. It was all shot by the Dutch TV, that was nice. So I played the song Náměšť. And I saw that the people sang behind the glass with me but they could not hear me. I stopped singing for a while. And they sang in a crowd so you could hear it behind the glass, and I heard they were exactly at the same word, the same stanza as me – they read my lips. Or perhaps in that special moment there was a different way of communication at work there. It was simply amazing.”

  • “I was summoned by the police, someone must have peached on me… Unfortunately I have lost the letter. It said: ‘Come to the district police station in the hippie matter.’ So I went to explain my hippie look. Six elderly men sat around in uniforms and they kept persuading me not to be stupid, that I did not look good with my long hair. I stood my ground. And then they said very informally: ‘Well, you have decided yourself. From now on you’ll have it different. We meant well with you.’ Bullshit that even the Secret Police kept telling you over and over again. I had a strange experience then though. I sat with a young policeman to fill in a form. It had a column: tattoo – ‘None’. – ‘Nickname?’ – ‘None’. And many other asocial characteristics like this. He then asked rather sceptically: ‘And education?’ Now I told myself I was going to relish that moment, since my specialisation was called Decorative techniques in architecture plus promotional creation. He took a long time to type it and when he finished he spoke in a rather formal manner to me. I went home, we laughed at it and the policemen in Olomouc left me alone. But in Prague they were really nasty.”

  • “I think Palach helped it a lot and it was because of him that the normalization was postponed by half a year. It was a shock for everybody… The way I experienced it then was like I felt I was the next to go. Today, I can no longer imagine it. But then it was a logical response to the absurd situation, it was understandable but horrible. People were shaken and the communists, I think, were terrified for a moment. I think there was still freedom until the summer [1969], including open borders, new newspaper and the freedom of broadcast both on radio and TV. I think it worked until summer. I had great business with Blue Effect in the spring, they invited me to support them. They were a new band and could not play a whole gig. It was interesting travelling to big stages where people arrived to listen to rock music and suddenly they saw a hippie idiot telling them to listen to serious stuff and think about matters related to the occupation. I always won the audience since the atmosphere was special indeed.”

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Praha, 24.06.2015

    (audio)
    délka: 02:07:45
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
  • 2

    Praha, 08.10.2015

    (audio)
    délka: 02:00:42
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
  • 3

    Praha, 16.12.2015

    (audio)
    délka: 02:11:24
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
  • 4

    Praha , 21.09.2016

    (audio)
    délka: 02:04:14
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
  • 5

    byt Jaroslava Hutky - Praha 2, 28.03.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 01:08:44
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu The Stories of Our Neigbours
  • 6

    Praha, 16.05.2018

    (audio)
    délka: 51:21
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Memory of the Nation: stories from Praha 2
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

A singer is suspicious everywhere and every time

1972_01.jpg (historic)
Jaroslav Hutka
zdroj: Archiv Post Bellum

Jaroslav Hutka was born on April 21, 1947, in Olomouc into a business family. In 1952 the family was forced to leave Olomouc and settle in Bouzov, as a part of the plan to move capitalists out of the city. Two years later, however, they were ordered to return to Olomouc. In 1962, Hutka moved to Prague to study Secondary Art School, specialising in painting. He left the school in the third year without degree and in 1966 moved in with Ladislav Fajt, with whom he started making music. Since 1967 he has performed with his own repertoire, first with Fajt, later with Petr Kalandra. In 1968 he and Kalandra were pioneers in performing on the Charles Bridge, but they soon stopped in order to be able to join the artistic group Pod plachtou 68. After the Soviet occupation in 1968 Hutka focused on folk music, namely on songs from the collection of František Sušil – Moravian National Songs. In the early 1970s, he was one of the co-founders of the ensemble Tyjátr písničkářů (The Theatre of Singers), in 1972 he became one of the founders of the Šafrán (Saffron), which performed until the mid of the decade without any major intervention by the Secret Police. After 1975, however, the regime got interested in Hutka and since 1977 there was a pressure by the Secret Police on him to emigrate. In 1978, Jaroslav Hutka and his wife Daniela left for emigration in the Netherlands. After 1985  he started making concerts in clubs of compatriots all over the world and in late 1988 he moved to Germany. He performed during the demonstrations of the 1989 revolution and then became a part of Václav Havel’s presidential campaign. Although he announced the end of his career in 1997 he started making new songs in 2006 and still performs today.