You know how your parents, when they thought you were maybe a little too obsessed with music, told you that no rock band ever really changed the world? Tell ’em about the Plastic People of the Universe.
Named for a Frank Zappa song, the Plastic People formed in Prague in the shadow of the 1968 Soviet invasion. By the standards of American rock, they were a sloppy psychedelic garage band; by the standards of the Kremlin under Brezhnev, they were subversive radicals who posed a serious threat to Eastern Bloc communism.
The Plastic People floated in and out of sight throughout the ’70s and ’80s, forced underground by the bounty the Soviet regime had put on their heads, and even did some hard time in a Czech jail in the mid ’70s. Their persecution got the attention of Amnesty International and other humanitarian causes, who increased pressure on the Prague regime. And in 1990, when communism finally ended in Czechoslovakia, the free nation’s first president was Vaclav Havel – the Plastic People of the Universe’s junior lyricist.
You don’t often get to see psych-rock groups that have write-ups in European history textbooks. See what all the fuss was about at 8:00 next Tuesday at the mainstage of the Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, with Macitajs on Acid. $15.