Happy New Year From Vinyl Lair!
Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!
The Plastic People Of The Universe Album Egon Bondy’s Happy Hearts Club Banned 2001
The Plastic People of the Universe(PPU) is a Czech rock band from Prague. It was the foremost representative of Prague’s underground culture (1968–1989), which had gone against the grain of Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime. Due to their non-conformism, members of the band often suffered serious repercussions such as arrests. The group continues to perform despite the death of its founder, main composer and bassist, Milan “Mejla” Hlavsa in 2001.
From January into August 1968, under the rule of Communist Party leader Alexander Dubček, Czechoslovakians experienced the Prague Spring. In August, Soviet and other Warsaw Pact troops invaded Czechoslovakia. This led to the overthrow of Dubček and to what came to be known as the normalization process. Less than a month after the invasion, Plastic People of the Universe was formed.
Bassist Milan Hlavsa formed the band in 1968 and was heavily influenced by Frank Zappa and the Velvet Underground (Zappa’s band, the Mothers of Invention, had a song called “Plastic People” from their 1967 album Absolutely Free). Czech art historian and cultural critic Ivan Jirous became their manager/artistic director in the following year, fulfilling a role similar to the one Andy Warhol had with the Velvet Underground. Jirous introduced Hlavsa to guitarist Josef Janíček, and viola player Jiří Kabeš. The consolidated Czech communist government revoked the band’s musicians license in 1970. (Wikipedia)