Metallica surprise Czech fans with cult song Jožin z bažin
Prague has seen many memorable concerts over the years by international artists and a few which were legendary. This week, American heavy metal and thrash metal band Metallica was in town on the European leg of their world tour. Not only did the two-hour concert get stellar ratings, the band’s Robert Trujillo and Kirk Hammett made Czech music history when they performed Jožin z bažin by comedian Ivan Mládek and Banjo Band.
The song became something of an anthem for the band already back in the ‘70s and it’s not hard to appreciate why.
Fast forward to 2008, the tune resurfaced and became popular in neighbouring Poland: it was reworked to parody then prime minister Donald Tusk; the Russians also borrowed the song to make fun of, you guessed it, Vladimir Putin.
Ivan Mládek told Czech Radio that friends had sent him a clip from the Metallica concert the same night.
“I was surprised that it caught the attention of an American band, although the song has caught on in Italy, Russia and of course Poland. It is an honour for me, since I value the American music tradition the most, although I don’t understand this music I admit because what I know is Dixieland. But of course I was happy to hear that such a famous band had chosen to play the song.”
The performer, a household name in the Czech Republic - not only among older listeners - said he was especially pleased that band members in Metallica had taken the trouble to learn the words in the original Czech.
Metallica’s performance in Prague received top marks from many: it received a 90 percent score from iDnes.cz’s Václav Hnátek. The band is continuing its European leg but be warned: if you are trying to get tickets, all of Metallica’s shows on the old continent are officially sold out. So be sure to check out clips from Metallica in Prague at least online.