Black market music podcast is about music I like.
At the times when my interest in music started, there was tough censorship in ČSSR, and in the shops you couldn’t buy anything else then local mainstream pop, folk, and brass-band music. Fortunately in Bratislava in the 80‘s there appeared a few good rock bands, but the regime harassed them with police raids, performance bans, and interrogations. But if you knew „the right people and the right places“, you could from time to time find some good concerts and exhibitions (that of course were unofficial). Information about these events spread only by word of mouth.
One of these basically illegal events were Sunday flea markets of vinyls of the music from behind the iron curtain. Vinyls, tapes, fanzines, posters, badges, musical newspapers… At first it was held in Sunday mornings in Medical garden, but after frequent police raids it moved to the old town to the terrace „Na vršku“, opposite municipal library, and then to the orchard of Janko Kráľ.
I bought my first vinyl in Medical garden for the money i saved on lunches in the school canteen. It was the Clash – Combat Rock and cost me 250Kčs, and it was a year after the release of the album, which at those time meant, that I had quite a fresh meat!
Fans of music, that regularly met on Sunday markets were basically one big family. Apart from vinyl sales, people also used to borrow, exchange, or copy them. When someone found out some new stuff, they copied it to tapes for friends.
After 1989, when the lawless communist regime fell apart, the illegal vinyl markets lost its meaning – people could freely buy the music in the official shops at home or abroad.
Sellers and visitors at music street market 1986/87 – Na vŕšku.
Foto by: Lucia Bartošová