Ivan Hajniš

* 1947  

  • “We were recording Light my fire (with Jan Němec). We had some sort of concert in the evening, we came back from it, I went to sleep and suddenly before dawn: ‘War, it’s war!’ The Russians were everywhere - I was living at Bojiště at the time. It was a huge shock. [...] Soldiers everywhere, cargo planes, ambulances, lots of wounded. [...] I went to I. P. Pavlova (in the centre of Prague - transl.), and me and my friends were caught by Russians with subs, and we had to tear down anti-Russian posters.”

  • “When we arrived in Czechia, it was like when one goes back into the First Republic, into greyness. Greyness, smoke, dirt. The pubs stank from the crapper, they didn’t have the pottery. We were looking forward to having a stew in Dubí. [...] The bartender was in a dingy overcoat, he hardly washed the pint mugs. We were used to sparkling clean glass in Sweden. We knew this. We were home. A journey through time. [...]”

  • “For our first holiday in emigration we flew to Italy to the sea. We had to change course and the plane flew over Prague. When we where passing above Prague, the pilot announced that we were flying over Prague. That was two three years after we had emigrated, we had tears in our eyes. We didn’t yet know then that we would ever come back again, that it would ever end. No one expected that.”

  • “As dandies (people following an alternative sub-culture, characteristic for their long hair - transl.) we spent lots of time in practice rooms. With the big beat (the Czech term for beat music - transl.) all the time, even ten hours a day. Our first success was in a pub in Kbely, the pub there had a saloon. So we started to do Sunday big beat concerts. That’s the first time I experienced that people would start to shriek and scream when we played. Dandies from all over Prague came to hear us, we were the first ‘hairies’ in Czechia. Our members were Pepík Brouček, Korejs and others. A part of that was that we were chased, beaten and jailed by policemen.”

  • “I was caught by patrolmen once. ‘ID check. Where is your stamp?’ (In the ID card - ed.) - ‘They didn’t give us any stamp. I’m employed by Prague Concerts and Shows.’ - ‘Don’t try that on us!’ Spent the whole night at the police station, in the morning they took me by 603 (Škoda car type used by the police - transl.) to the prison in Ruzyně. They locked me up in a cell. [...] For about four hours; the prison doctor came along, rummaged through my hair. ‘Okay, he doesn’t have lice.’ [...] The next day I was supposed to turn up with my hair cut.”

  • Full recordings
  • 6

    Praha 4, 22.08.2011

    (audio)
    duration: 02:55:45
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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“Kiss introduced that after we did.”

Ivan Hajniš in the 60s
Ivan Hajniš in the 60s
photo: archív pamětníka

The rock singer, bluesman, guitarist and accordion player Ivan Hajniš was born in 1947 in Děčín, although he grew up in Prague. He attended a secondary school of graphics but did not complete it. From 1967 to 1969, he was singer and guitarist of the cult psychedelic band The Primitives Group, where he was one of their founding members in 1965. He suffered persecution with the band under the hands of members of the National Defence Corps (the police) and he spent several hours in a holding cell. He emigrated to Vienna in 1969, from there he moved to Sweden. He went through a lot of jobs in Sweden, he was in the hospitality industry with his wife for several years. He stopped doing that business after their divorce when he returned to music at a semi-professional level in the early 1980s. Following 1989, he began visiting the Czech Republic on a regular basis, though he continues to live in Malmö, Sweden. In recent years, he has been playing with the bands George & Beatovens, Dr. Tom’s Blues Cabin and The New Blues Band; he has regular concerts in the Czech Republic and Sweden.