Celý život ve pouhých roku…

…at least, that’s what I think ‘a whole life in just one year’ might be in Czech!

First of all, welcome back to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, after some time away – reassessing where all my ‘Girls Of The Golden East’/’Bananas For Breakfast’-related discoveries leave me in terms of the blogs themselves and my wider life in the ongoing history of me and Pop Music, where what I have termed my ‘Seventies-ness’…’sedmdesátá-nost’ in Czech, for example? – definitions on a postcard, please! – has very much come to the fore, to the extent that when I go into a shop selling records, books and memorabilia, whereas it used to be the case that it was the 1960s that got me going it is now overwhelmingly the 1970s.

I had a very pleasant reminder just yesterday that I have now passed one year of on-line friendship on Facebook with Aleš Korábek, the journey towards which was set off by the following still from the ‘Příběhy slavných – Léta letí’ documentary on Valinka’s life and work – captioned ‘fan and friend’.

Screenshot 2016-09-18 16.51.37

The ‘see your memories’ feature has been a doubly pleasant reminder, since it was about a year back that I thought I’d better start waking up my Facebook friends to what really had been going on behind the former Iron Curtain in the former Czechoslovakia, thinking that the following set of photos of Valinka, taken for the front cover of ‘Zpíváme s kytarou’ (‘We’re Singing With The Guitar’), originating from one of Aleš’s fellow members of the inner sanctum that is ‘Valérie ČIŽMÁROVÁ’ Facebook Group, Jana Bajerová, with the text…and I quote…”Some pics of my favourite ‘Girl Of The Golden East’, thanks to a connection of Aleš Korábek, who runs the Valérie Čižmárová Fan Club. 1970s Czechoslovakia had a Pop Star like this…..Yes, I know!” might arouse interest.

I don’t think that anybody would gainsay that Valinka could make a good photo and show that ‘sedmdesátá-nost’ has a lot to recommend itself! These are fantastically engaging photos in their own right. When – as it was increasingly becoming obvious to me at the time – one knows how she could sing they take on an almost mesmerising aura.


Of course, all this was just around the corner from my sorting out Valinka’s recording dates thanks for Aleš’s handy guide on his fan page, which would thoroughly bring her career to life – especially 1973, so, I am eternally grateful to Aleš – whom I am proud to call a friend – for (talking of memories) taking me back to what I think may, after all, have been one of the best years in my life, when I  – like Britain as a whole, as we were joining the then European Economic Community – was spending my first and only full calendar year at a wonderful school like Herbert Strutt, learning exotic things like Modern Foreign Languages, thus beginning an exciting journey into the wider world, where, until Brexit finally happens, the United Kingdom would inhabit the same body politic as an independent Czech Republic and Valinka’s home country of Slovakia.

Imagine if I’d have known about Valinka then. My two academic years at Strutts could have been a yet more incredible experience…feeling all that ‘sedmdesátá-nost’!


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