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January 5, 2001

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    Milan Hlavsa     1951 - 2001     Rock in Peace

The only thing the Internet is good for is meeting Czech rock bands. My Uz Jsme Doma fan page led to friendship and official webmonkeyness. And because I'd linked to his interview with Miroslav Wanek and an overestimation of my credentials (he thought I worked for the Village Voice), Billy Bob Hargus invited me along to dinner with the Plastic People of the Universe when they played New York in July '98. I should have asked if there was any truth to Allen Ginsberg's postulation that The Velvet Revolution was so named in part because of PPU's interest in the Velvet Underground, but instead I used the opportunity to feel out Milan Hlavsa's thoughts on grass. He didn't like it anymore, he said, because it was psychically and physically bad. Maybe he had an intimation even then of the lung cancer that would eventually kill him. Whatever the case, I didn't mention the little bag I'd procured especially for the band. I hardly knew Milan, but the news of his death in emails from friends made me really sad. I just sat there and stared...