It had to happen sooner or later, we've all been expecting it, but it's still a blow. For everyone. No matter what anybody says, we all knew him. Karel Gott was a person you couldn't ignore, even if you lived under a rock without television, radio, telephone and internet. It's simply impossible for anyone not to know Gott - at least when it comes to Czechs, Germans and Austrians. The whole nation mourns him, as his death really is a great loss.
I have never been and never will be a huge fan of his songs. When I was a child, my mother and grandmother kept pushing him on me: "Divine Kája. Kája is the best! Go, Kája!"
When he was on TV, I saw my mother glance at my father with disgust in her eyes and I heard her painful sigh. "Karel, I love you, marry me!" was written all over her face.
Maybe that's why I never liked him much until early adulthood. Only later did I realize that he was a real star. That the Germans and Austrians envied us for having him. That he was probably real good, despite his songs being miles away from rap or hip hop. Why else would he be collecting one prize after another?
And then it happened. I met him in person. I can tell you that I nearly peed into my panties. I don't know how old he could have been back then, but definitely over seventy, like my grandfather, but the nonchalance, elegance, gentlemanism... I don't wonder that Ivana grabbed him with both hands. Even though it had seemed disgusting to me at first, he was much older after all, and I am not the type that would do anything for money, but as soon as he spoke to me, I understood. I don't blame her anymore, bad me, and I won't think that she has been with him just for money and fame anymore...
I'll sum it up nice and simple. Sophisticated ellegance under any circumstances, refined humor and manners, and then he composes a song for you? You can't resist, no matter how hard you may try.
But the singer has been ill for a long time. When he managed to beat cancer, it seemed like he was reborn, but leukemia, that's a higher level. It's good that he lived to eighty, that he recorded a duet with his daughter, that he wrote a biography (hopefully he managed to finish it), made a film - here you can see that he wad really been preparing for leaving this world way in advance.
Until the last moment, he gave concerts and devoted himself to his fans. Now that he's gone and the whole nation is mourning, suddenly we are living in... a world devoid of Gott. Did you know that he hated when people called him Maestro? I called him that too, and he didn't object...
It's good that he managed to say goodbye to everyone and finished everything he needed to finish. Commuting to the hospital constantly for new blood, suffering in pain and waiting for the worst can't be pleasant. Moreover, he refused chemotherapy and other treatments that would have extended his life for a while. In such a case, death comes as a deliverance.
Given his nationwide "greatness" and popularity, I personally think that a state funeral and national mourning is appropriate, even if it violates some protocols. Everybody will come to say goodbye to the nation's darling. He touched people across all generations. Look at how many people keep showing on his doorstep with flowers and candles. From all over the country. One woman even said:
"I didn't have a father, and I considered Karel my father. I've loved him all my life, his songs have been providing me company for as long as I can remember."
I am a bit sorry that some politicians dared to use Gott's death for their own self-presentation, but oh well. Karma catches up with everyone.
Finally, I would just like to add that even though I don't know all of his songs, this makes me genuinely sad. I know all too well that we might never have another personality like him again. Karel Gott was unique and I believe that he will live on in the Czech Republic for a long time. Something like Fredie Mercury. It's been a long time since he died, but people still know him and his songs can be heard on the radio.
Karel's name should not be forgotten until the end of all times. Even those who haven't been born yet should know him. I hope he'll get a nice life-size statue, not like Věra Špinarová... hopefully they won't mess it up. Charles will be forever in our hearts and, in the future, also in textbooks. He rewrote music history and rightfully deserves all the honors that belong to the departure of such a great man. Amen.