I think my mother was quite ambitious for me and then I adopted that ambition as well, and once I entered the conservatory the fascination with all things musical I was able to do all the time was too strong to even think about a different career or a different direction in my life. It was just very straight and very clear to me that there is nothing else I want to do.
He just said ‘When you grow, my son, don’t stay here, just go to America. If you only saw what big buildings they have!’ Or another sentence that puzzled me was ‘If you go to America…’ Obviously he was speaking in Slovak: ‘Keby si vedel ake tam maju velke cary.’ I said ‘What the hell is cary?’ Well, he was referring to cars. So that was the idea that stuck in my mind and he kind of injected the temptation in my head. So I was growing up and I was thinking always ‘One day I am going to go there and see what America is all about.
They would ask me ‘Well what did you learn?’ and I would tell them and they would say ‘Well that sounds really good, but what really happened is this, this, and that.’ So they taught me about the First Republic; they taught me about Masaryk. At age ten, I have to say I was a rather confused person, but no regrets. It was fine. I wasn’t anti-social or anti-communistic, because I didn’t know any better.