Milan Hlavsa, also known as “Mejla”, was a Czech musician, guitarist and founder of the underground music groups “The Plastic People of the Universe” (PPU) and “DG307”. He played in diverse rock and rock’n’roll bands from a young age. PPU, founded in 1968, was inspired by the New York band “The Velvet Underground” and the Prague psychedelic band “The Primitives Group”. From the beginning of the 1970s – with its new manager, Ivan Martin “Magor” Jirous, a theorist of the Czech underground – the group tended towards experimental and underground music. The members of PPU and DG307 were imprisoned after trials in 1976. Hlavsa was held in custody for several weeks, though in the end he did not receive a sentence. Based on international obligations on human rights, agreed by the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic at the Helsinki conference (CSCE) in 1975, the trials of members of the underground scene (in Pilsen and in Prague) led to the foundation of the opposition initiative Charter 77. He was under the repressive supervision of the State Security (StB) until 1989. Hlavsa also maintained contact with dissidents due to his marriage with Jana Němcová-Hlavsová (1957, daughter of Dana and Jiří Němec, initiators of Charter 77 and the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Prosecuted – VONS). During the 1980s, Hlavsa performed with several bands, for example, the Prague new-wave band “Garáž”. He was a member of the reformed PPU from 1997 until his death.
Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
- Praha, Prague, Czech Republic
- Bárta, Jan
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Post Bellum. 2018. “Paměť národa: Jana Hlavsová (1957).” Accessed September 11. http://www.pametnaroda.cz/witness/index/id/2288.
The Plastic People of the Universe. 2018. Accessed September 26. http://plasticpeople.cz.
Česká televize. 2018. “Fenomén Underground. Bílá místa v příběhu PPU: Milan ʻMejla” Hlavsa.ʼ Accessed September 23. https://www.ceskatelevize.cz/porady/10419676635-fenomen-underground/414235100221001-bila-mista-v-pribehu-ppu/8259-milan-mejla-hlavsa.