You are a singer, guitarist, composer, painter and blacksmith, who will be bound by brotherly love for the sake of death. Jiří would celebrate his 70th birthday today, and at the same time in April this year he has been drowning in the Danube for 40 years. Is the wound healed yet?
“She is healed today, but the scar will remain forever. It’s complicated. I am a convict, my brother is a victim. He’s dead, but I’m still dragging the cart with his corpse. Because I make music and I’m not a chimney sweep, I’m still marked by it. “
You must have been planning something for your brother’s undead anniversary.
“Jaroslav Topercer and I were preparing a memorial concert in the 02 arena, my brother would like that. My Milan and I were supposed to perform on it Schelinger Band and brother hits. And Jirka’s songs were to be performed by his colleagues, young singers, and it was planned to sing and remember. A re-edition of Jiří Schelinger’s book “Life and …”, which we wrote and published with Petr Bošnakov in 1994, was to be published at the concert. And it’s sad. The concert is amen because of the covid, but the book is being published, so hopefully my brother’s fans will be happy. “
Unlike Jirka, who ran away from a plumbing apprentice after two years.
“Yes. But then I honestly trained as a locksmith and also completed my basic military service. We kept growing up to the fourteen-fifteen. Only then, when he ran away from that teaching and started playing with the bands, did we start to move away from each other. ”
He has always been a rebel and an unguided missile. During his actions in 1968, when he opposed the invasion of Soviet troops, he was in custody, where he attempted demonstrative suicide.
“So he went to psychiatry, which is a common practice, and in the end he still made money on it. After his release from the hospital in Bohnice, he received his dream blue book and thus gained a two-year lead on the path to popularity.
Until his 30s. Until Jiří went to Bratislava to shoot his film hit for television for playback, which is how to have spinach. Under still unclear circumstances, the day after filming, on a walk through the night city, he jumped drunk from the Old Bridge into the Danube and drowned.
“Yes. That evening, I painted a picture at home, in which I inadvertently surrealistically portrayed male feet drowning in a stream of dark river. Like I guessed something. “
It was an accident, a suicide, a murder planned by the State Security. There is still speculation about it.
“The then Public Security tried to close the case quickly and the body of a foreign stranger, who was also to be pulled out of the Danube, was declared his brother’s body. Years later, I received an autopsy report describing Jiří’s body differently than he actually was, the cause of death was supposed to be a heart attack. The identity of the body was never determined by any family member. The conclusion that he was a brother was made on the basis of a dental card. But as it really was, no one will ever know. No one was there, no one saw it. “
But you were so bound by your sibling bond that you started living the career of a brother who died prematurely.
“Exactly. I also made a lifelong commitment: to live life symbolically even under the talented Jiří and to finish his career, which ended prematurely. I started the band Jiří Schelinger Revival with my friends and started touring the Czechia with my brother’s songs. Everyone wanted Pigeon House, Frozen Strawberries, Sleeping Beauty, I’m Just Crazy or René, Me and Rudolf. I started replacing Jirka with his fans, so I recorded, recorded clips and released records again. I collaborated with Aleš Brichta on the Earthquake project. But then I found out that there are four bands called Jiří Schelinger Revival in the field of Czech pop music. And so I made us the Milan Schelinger Band. “
Today, you are the only rightful bearer of the revival of your brother’s name. And what else?
“I had a memorial plaque planted on the house in Nusle, where my brother and I lived, and I organize the Schelinger’s Bousov music festival every year in my hometown. I finally left Prague and settled in the Pošumava smithy. In my free time I devote myself to blacksmithing and painting. “
You can find the whole interview in the printed Aha! 3/6/2021
Schelinger’s († 30) wife Alena: I hid my father’s death from my daughter, then inherited debts!