Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Czech’s Mate, Checked

Over at the Ben Lomond Free Press there's a bit of a Zappa fest and it reminded me of this great story from a few years ago.

Former Czech President Vaclav Havel was a man known for his penchant for a bit of rock ‘n’ roll. He rarely missed the opportunity of catching a gig by visiting bands that included The Rolling Stones. Which is why he may have been persuaded to appoint Frank Zappa as the Czech Republic’s Representative for Trade Tourism and Culture in 1991. Unfortunately Frank, who once famously told the audience at a gig at The Royal Albert Hall, “everyone in this place is wearing a uniform”, was a little too free with his advice to his new boss. He said that it was “unfortunate that President Havel should have to bear the company of someone as stupid as Qualye even for a few minutes.” Unfortunately Quayle, Dan was the Vice President of the United States of America and when the US government got wind of the remarks they suggested the choice was simple - trade agreements with America or free Zappa records for life. No matter how much you like rock, running a country comes first and Havel relieved Zappa of his portfolio immediately; yet more proof that pop and politics are far from comfortable bedfellows.

UPDATE.

At Gail Zappa's suggestion I went and had a dig around about what really happened. Anyone interested click the link for a thoroughly revealing story. It's about a third of the way down the post.....

3 comments:

gail Zappa said...

It is not nice to pick on dead guys. And Mr. Havel was the President of his country at the time FZ was named to represent the Czech Republic You owe it to your readers if not to yourself to do the research and get the real answer to the question you're 'posing'. It is far more insidious than anything you could imagine having to do with Dan Quayle. Clue: start with James Baker lll. Go on. I dare you.

Music is the Best!

gz

Richard Havers said...

Gail, I've upgraded Mr Havel to President immediately on the post!

As for the story, I'm found that in an old issue of Mojo or Q magazine ages ago. So I guess the motto is, never trust a journalist - nor a blog for that matter. I'm fascinated by your tantalizing suggestion....

He who dares wins....just ff to start googling....

I'm with you on the music is best....sometimes it's better!

bigrab said...

Well what a fantastic thing Mrs. Zappa replying to your post and colouring in the gaps in this story. Very interesting indeed.