Visit the PopMuseum with an exhibit of Pavel Bobek

The PopMuseum @ KC Kaštan

The PopMuseum, located at KC Kaštan, is a permanent exhibition which was set up with the aim of collecting and showcasing the history of Czechoslovakian popular music. PopMuseum, which is also known as “The Museum and Archive of Popular Music” puts on display various instruments which are related to the rock ’n’ roll genre. Artifacts include low-tech and vintage amplifiers, guitars, basses, vintage radios and much more. Not only that, the exhibition includes instruments which are quite unusual, as they are homemade versions of Western guitars, basses and mixing boards that Czechoslovaks made secretly during the 60s and 70s. In that sense, the museum provides a valuable insight into what it was like to try to enjoy something Western under a suppressed Communist regime.

Currently, there is a temporary exhibition entitled “Keep laughing at life,” dedicated to the life of the famous Czech singer – Pavel Bobek, who sadly passed away in 2013. Bobek played an important role in the 60s, promoting Czech rock and roll (or “big beat”) and pop music domestically, especially in a period of time when anything related to the West was highly censored in Czechoslovakia. From 1963 to 1965 Pavel Bobek was an active member of the rock band “Olympic,” who was immensely popular in their time. Before going solo in 1990 and focusing more on country music, he was also part of a band called “Country Beat” which combined country and pop music, and later on he joined the Semafor theater. As a singer, he mainly focused on doing cover versions of songs from various Western artists from his time, such as Frank Zappa, John Denver and Lou Reed.

Despite the crammed space, “Keep laughing at life” does well in giving intricate details about Bobek’s life. For example, visitors can see Bobek’s notebooks, where he would write the lyrics for a song that he had heard illegally on the radio in English. The exhibition also includes photos from his personal album, providing visitors with the story of his life from his childhood till adulthood, where he is seen performing in different venues and concerts. It is worth mentioning that there are also photos of Bobek and Johnny Cash together, when the latter came to perform in Czechoslovakia in 1978. Bobek even got to sang together with Cash, who is considered to be one of the most influential country singer-songwriters of the 20th century.

Overall the museum tries to show glimmering details of what life was like in Czechoslovakia from the late 50s and 60s till the post Velvet Revolution times, and the temporary exhibit of Pavel Bobek at the PopMuseum does just that by providing a wonderful insight into the long life of one of the most inspirational Czech singers of that era.

Exhibit: “Keep laughing at life”
Where: Kaštan, Bělohorská 201/150, 169 00 Praha 6 – Břevnov
When: from 5.4.2017 till 16.9.2017
Open: Wednesday-Thursday (16:00-20:00), Saturday (14:00-18:00)

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