Petr Lutka

* 1952  

  • "When you are expelled from one city, you go to another. The invitations flocked at first and there was still room to play. We had a ban in Prague, because there was a strict inspector through culture, who also decided on Suchý and Mišík. He also determined where individual performers can perform and where not. He ordered the actors whether they could work in a theater or in a film. It wasn't pleasant at all. We simply experienced difficult years on the Prague scene. However, it was possible to play in Brno or in other places, unless one signed the Charter, such as Vlasta [Třešňák] or Sváťa Karásek and others. However, I personally could play almost everywhere and I was grateful for that. In the slightest, however, I did not feel any heroism, even though I was occasionally invited for questioning. For me, it was mainly about the faith that I adopted in 1981. I was never ashamed of it and definitely did not want to renounce it."

  • "The songwriters later separated from Porta. Especially from the poetics and content of what took place at the festival. I would not like to evaluate it and say what is better or worse, but I must say that birds of a feather flock together. Šafrán was created as a reaction and an effort to separate from folk and country concerts, which often took place in Lucerna, for example. Swimmers, Greenhorn, Rivols and similar performers played there. However, over time, the songwriters gathered around Šafrán. We even named ourselves accordingly. We thought that there were a handful of us and that we were bringing a different type of message. Anyway, there was a kind of natural separation. Here and there, one of us played at Porta, but it was really rare. Later, people from the second folk wave, thus Nohavica, Plíhal, Dobeš and many others, went there."

  • "Each one of us was a completely different persona. We complemented each other very much and loved each other. It broke up little bit when someone left. After the revolution, the old relations could not be re-established. We each followed a slightly different path. Jarda Hutka tried to renew the association and also other efforts were great, but overall, it just didn't work out. Playing after the revolution was magical because we at least met in person. From time to time they release something and it is then an opportunity to play together, but artistically it has never happened. Our community was also defined by force. Of course, this also applies to the Charter, meaning that it brought together people of all kinds. However, after the coup, it was no longer connected, because what was common disappeared and lost its depth and strength."

  • "A couple of bands came, but also songwriters. Everyone who still could, performed there. The whole thing happened sometime in the middle of 1980s. So, for example Hutka was already gone. The audience numbered several thousand people, and one realized how the songwriter's words and the selection of lyrics could resonate when presented in the right way. For me personally, it was one of the peaks of my folk career. I think I hit the atmosphere there then. My performance was presented by Honza Rejžek. We passed some encouragement on to each other. It's hard to realize it today [pause] we got such wings. It was very beautiful and it was a relief. I think there was something that shook the people. During public appearances, one realized that his audience was waiting for something like this. From this point of view, the songwriter has to fulfill the role of a kind of conscience that truthfully names things. Unspeakably, a person cannot betray it, avoided it or filled important places with sauce. Many times, however, I realized that I was not very brave in these respects, and perhaps this is still true today."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Praha, 19.06.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 01:17:19
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
  • 2

    Praha, 03.10.2020

    (audio)
    duration: 02:05:57
    media recorded in project Stories of the 20th Century TV
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

I hope my shyness has never been a denial

A portait of Petr Lutka from that time, around 1975
A portait of Petr Lutka from that time, around 1975
photo: archive of the Galen publishing house

Petr Lutka was born on June 28, 1952 in Hranice na Moravě. However, he spent most of his childhood in Lipník nad Bečvou, where his family came from. He has been involved in music since he was a child. He made a good use of his talent for the first time at the age of sixteen as a guitarist for a local big beat band. But rock music bored him over time, he lacked the warmth of the message. Gradually, therefore, he moved to acoustic guitar and to songs composed for him by his classmate Jiří Zych. Right at the first performance in Uherský Brod, he was noticed by Jaroslav Hutka, who motivated the young performer to move to Prague. Petr did it without much hesitation and in 1971 he started studying at the University of Economics. However, he performed tirelessly and soon became an integral part of the Prague folk scene. He soon joined the emerging song association Šafrán alongside the aforementioned Hutka, Vlasta Třešňák, Dagmar Andrtová-Voňková and other authors. However, the recorded joint LP of the Šafrán Association with Lutka’s songs was never officially released, after some protagonists signed Charter 77. In 1981, Petr Lutka adopted the Catholic faith, which was significantly reflected in his work and the way of life. Before the revolution, he took part several times in the pilgrimage to Czestochowa and the expedition to Rome on the occasion of the canonization of Agnes of Bohemia. He sees all this today as a herald of the political change in the Eastern bloc. From the 1990s until today, he still gives concerts and continues on the set lyrical trajectory.