“It all started on November 28, 1983, when Karel accepted my invitation and came to the university club Iuridica for a discussion. We met at the right time in the right place. Miro Žbirka then took Karel’s Slavič trophy, and Karel began to feel that he was losing contact with the younger generation. And suddenly the students of the Faculty of Law of Charles University invited him to a discussion! He was so excited about the talk I had prepared that he told me – Honzo, it was excellent, we will continue it! That’s how it all started. I like to say – I studied law at Charles University, I have the title JUDr. and I can’t do any of that… But I’m convinced that I graduated from Karl Gott University with a red diploma!”
Later you also became Slavík’s secretary. What was the content of your job?
“I officially became his secretary only in 2010. Until then, I led his fan club, was the administrator of his website and the editor of his supraphonic CD and DVD Komplet. From that year I started handling his mail, I did the dramaturgy of his concerts and albums, I wrote over two hundred episodes of his radio show I’ll take this movie back and chose the music for all of them, I set up his Facebook in four languages and filled it, accompanied him on trips at home and abroad, I arranged for him to meet world stars.”
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And have you been dating privately as well?
“Sure. For example, I went to concerts of pop, rock and jazz stars or opera tenors with Karl and his then-love Alicía Kovácsová from the eighties. I’ll never forget the moments when we didn’t like the performance of one of the stars, but the hall roared. Karel always leaned towards me and whispered to me – Honzo, that’s not possible, this guy here definitely has a klak from the embassy! Karel also did not understandably want to give people his phone. He always said – get in touch with Dr. Adam here, he’ll give you a business card. But I often forgot the business cards at home, and then I always heard Karl’s emphatic remark – again?’
Did you spend time together even after the concerts?
“No, because I was able, but he never was. He calmly signed autographs for fans for three hours, and when we were on tour, he wanted to take a walk afterwards. I do not. That’s what he usually said – I’ll go alone again, it’s time for your nap. Well, yes, but when I worked with him, I got up at four in the morning and I did most of the work by nine o’clock, because then the phones started ringing. So I had to lie down for two hours after lunch so I could continue to function.”
What about Karl’s famous room swaps?
“You cannot be forgotten. When we were at home or abroad on tour, I came to the room and preferred not to unpack anything. I knew that Karel would knock on the door within a quarter of an hour, that he wouldn’t be sleeping in his suite because jackhammers would be humming under his windows since morning. Or another problem with the room was unleashed on me. So he often slept in my little ordinary room and I spent the night in his luxury suite.”
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