Paul McCartney's first concert in Czech Republic big occasion for generations of Czech music fans

03-06-2004

For many years the Beatles have been hugely popular here in the Czech Republic, and this coming Sunday, Czechs fans are in for a rare treat, when Paul McCartney plays a concert in Prague, becoming the first of the Beatles to appear here. To find out what the concert will mean to Czechs, I spoke to politician, broadcaster and musician Michal Prokop, who himself started a rock band in the 1960s.

Paul McCartney, photo: CTKPaul McCartney, photo: CTK "It's a big occasion for us to see one of the rock legends of the '60s. I'm from the generation of the '60s, I'm a musician, and the music of the Beatles and Paul McCartney was one of...my idols."

Did the music of Paul McCartney and the Beatles have a big influence on the music of your generation here in Czechoslovakia?

"Sure, sure. For us it was a window to the free world, it was something extraordinary for us. It was a window for freedom, all the rock'n'roll music."

Was it possible to buy the Beatles' albums here in the 1960s?

"Sometimes in Tuzex, the special shops, there was an opportunity to buy two or three albums, I don't know which albums but I have some old albums from Tuzex."

Would you say it's the case that Czech people are more familiar with the early Beatles music, from the early '60s, more than say the White Album? Because it seems to me that everybody knows Love Me Do and Please Please Me - people don't seem to know so much the later stuff.

"Maybe. The first music, the first albums of the Beatles were very, very simple. Simple music for all generations. But the later albums were a little bit complicated, from Sergeant Pepper, and it was not the music for all. But the first albums were really pop."

Will you be at the concert on Sunday?

"Yes, I have no tickets yet, but I will be there. Sure."

03-06-2004