Do you remember your first CD? I do exactly. Shortly after the Velvet revolution, flea markets arrived in Slovakia. Mostly held on Sundays, you could get everything there! “What are you doing on Sunday morning?” “I’m going to the flea market.” Many questions ended with this answer. This was exactly the way how the ugly tracksuit style arrived in Czechoslovakia, or different electronics of questionable quality.
In the early days, one of those flea markets was located very close to where we lived, just next to a bakery shop with a beautiful smell or to a pub where we used to go for a coke after playing soccer as small boys. Exactly at this one, my dad bought me my very first CD in my life. It was just mine and even the fact, that I had no sound system to play it on, didn’t change anything on it. You don’t care when you are eight. The name of the band told me very little, I didn’t even have a clue about the style of music. All I had my eyes for was, that the album was blue, and it said: Use Your Illusion II & Guns N ‘Roses. At the time, I couldn’t even guess what everyone would be able to find on Google today in three seconds – that the album was released together with its yellow twin Use Your Illusion I. on September 17, 1991, as the L.A. band’s fourth studio album.
There was no other option, the pride of owning the first CD was about to mark me as a GN’R fan for the rest of my life. I remember how we went for vacation in Croatia in the summer of 1993, and my grandfather bought me and my cousin music T-shirts in the city of Rijeka – I chose GN‘R, my cousin Nirvana. Back then, Freddie was just after his death, and we were becoming rockers. A decision had to be made between the two. An easy choice for me, my heart was beating for GN‘R.
And it stopped beating for GN’R sometime in the mid-1990s. The end is part of every beginning, especially when you are growing up and a million things are going through your head. After the indistinct album “The Spaghetti Incident?”, the band began to disintegrate, and my interest started to decrease. It almost disappeared for several decades, leaving only pleasant memories synchronized with the occasional sound from the radio.
Epilogue – 18 June 2022
I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the live performance of my childhood heroes. I was expecting everything and nothing at the same time. In fact, even if I would have expected the most, it would still be not enough. What the group performed on Saturday June 18 in Prague, in their three-and-a-half-hour performance, cannot be described in words. Meeting the heroes of my early days, here, almost within hand’s reach. The perfect experience. A journey in time. The best quality. And much more. Axel three-hour running around the stage, Slash’s guitar solos, Duff’s cold blood. The body freezes from the memory every time I (will) remember it. Simply, perfect.
Do you remember your first CD? I do exactly. And from now on, I will remember just as accurately the day when I met my music heroes live. It only took us thirty years. But it was still me, it was still them. And that is the way it was.