Pavel Štěpán

* 1967

  • “Then there were classic summons as well. The whole band would get a notice to show up for an interrogation at the local crime division in Jihlava. We would each spent half an hour there with them asking us classic stuff… Jihlava… Why are we doing this? Where have we seen that? Do we know what it means? That they are actually fascist symbols, the whole punk movement is fascist. The band Kiss, they always compared it to Kiss. The Kiss members, they, too, all think that they are rockers but they are, in fact, fascists, because they have that double ’S’ at the end. And they would take pictures of us, put us in the archives, and it never ended up being anything too serious. Usually it was really over in a half an hour. They took our pictures. We would tell them some nonsense, that we saw that stuff in a German magazine and that we actually have no idea what was going on, we would tell them this kind of rubbish. The problem was when State Security came from Brno, those guys were playing a different league and they knew very well what was going on, and they never believed this nonsense we told them.”

  • “Once those State Security guys slapped me so hard that I almost fell off my chair, that was because of these petitions, but otherwise they wouldn’t beat us with batons or anything like that… I know that a lot of other people from other towns had problems with that, that they would cut off their hair, the cops would take them to the station, cut off their mohawks, cut up their jackets with scissors, rip all those metal studs off. Every time those guys from, I don't know, from Příbram, from Prague, from Strakonice, when they came to Jihlava and got to meet the local police, they would say: ’You guys live in heaven on Earth, these Jihlava cops are so sweet compared to the other ones.’”

  • “When we played at the Palace of Culture the organizers came to us, it was not easy for them to feature us at the Palace because we were banned so it was not going smoothly but there was some leverage. Even back then there were people inside the Czechoslovak Socialist Union of Youth who were not brainwashed by the regime, they were not such hardcore communists and they wanted to help the bands. The other ones, not the pop music ones. They would just say: ’Look…’ Back then we had this huge hit called ’The World Has Gone Fucking Crazy’. And they said: ’Look, guys, you know, the lyrics… They’re great, the song is great, but they will be filming here and there will be these important people and there will be checks and it would be nice if you maybe played the song but didn’t sing this, or something like that.” I mean we did this little trick – because we did end up playing the song, but as soon as we came onto the stage the audience started screaming, people started climbing up to the stage, started pogo dancing, and at the sign of the first notes of ’The World Has Gone Fucking Crazy’ people started pogo dancing and singing along. So the song ended up with us singing the lyrics ’The world has gone…’ and we wouldn’t say it, the people would scream the rest of it for us.”

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    cukrárna na Fibichově ulici - Jihlava, 16.02.2017

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    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu The Stories of Our Neigbours
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The world has gone fucking crazy

Pavel Štěpán in childhood
Pavel Štěpán in childhood
zdroj: archiv pamětníka

Pavel Štěpán was born in Jihlava on the 6thof December 1967. He trained to become an electrician and in 1985 he and his brother founded a punk rock band called Hrdinové nové fronty (“Heroes of the New Front”), with Pavel playing the drums. They became very popular and played at concerts like the 1988 Rocková bilance event in the Lucerna Palace in Prague. The band members were often interrogated by the police and even by the local State Security in Brno. Their concerts would often end with violent interventions. The group disbanded in 1989 but has remained very popular among punks to this day.