Who is Marko Perkovic "Thompson" ?

logo_perkovic_marko_thompson.jpgMarko Perkovic is Croatia's most prominent musician. He and his band go by the stage-name "Thompson." That was the nick-name given to him by his fellow soldiers during Croatia's 1991-1995 war of independence from Serbian-dominated communist Yugoslavia. The village he was born in, "Cavoglave," was on the front-lines of Serbian aggression during that turbulent period. He took part in the successful defense of his nation. The weapon he was issued was the American-made sub-machine gun, hence the nick-name Thompson. Marko Perkovic was quickly catapulted to fame by his patriotic song, "Cavoglave," dedicated to defenders from the village of his birth. The song inspired all Croatian defenders. It inspired Croatian civilians and Croatians all around the world at a very critical moment in the small nation's history. It was on that foundation that he built his career. And "Thompson" soon became a house-hold name.
What type of music does "Thompson" perform?
"Thompson" is a hard-rock/heavy-metal band. Many of the band's songs are comprised of ethno-elements, folk poetry and songs that have for centuries accompanied Croatian folk-dances. "Thompson" has also been known to perform and record pop-songs.
What does Marko Perkovic sing about?
Marko Perkovic and his band are certainly not one-dimensional. Earlier in his career, Perkovic recorded many love songs to accompany hits that were centered around Croatian social themes. Since his career took off during Croatia's fight for independence, many of his songs were about the liberation of Croatia. Croatia gained official international recognition in 1992. Croatia was officially and legitimately liberated in 1995. Contrary to negative propaganda and outright lies, Thompson’s songs inspired Croatians during the liberation of their homeland. Thompson also recorded songs depicting the plight of Croatian soldiers after the war. Stories about the experiences similar to those of Vietnam Vets in the United States after returning from war. With his more recent albums, Thompson has centered the themes of his songs on the natural scenic beauty of Croatia and three social values that the overwhelming majority of Croatians hold dear: God, family and the homeland. His music has never glorified war-criminals from the past or present. These accusations are simply preposterous.
God, Family and the Homeland
Thompson has on numerous occasions challenged anyone opposed to him or his music to prove their false claims and accusations. He has challenged all his critics to listen to his songs, obtain translations of his lyrics, and finally learn the truth about his music. Once again, the main themes of Thompson's songs are about God, family and the homeland. Many critics, purposely or not, misinterpret his music as political activism. Perhaps it because of the message his songs emit. Messages of faith in God, love of family and homeland. A far cry from a nationalist or extremist, Thompson is simply a patriot. Something he willingly admits. These are themes hardly worthy of controversy and the kind of negative publicity surrounding him and his band.
Thompson does NOT perform anthems that glorify war-criminals, concentration camps or genocide
The worst of all false accusations flung at Thompson is that he is the author of a song called: "Jasenovac & Gradiska Stara." Contrary to fallacious propaganda and claims, Thompson is not the author of this song. He does not, nor has he ever, performed it live. It cannot be found on any of Thompson's seven albums. We challenge all his critics and accusers to listen to all of his recorded work and learn the truth for themselves. Once again, we challenge all to obtain copies of his official albums; and kindly ask to refrain from viewing or listening to propagandistic montages constructed and posted on the Internet by anonymous Thompson-haters. The song is simply not his.
Why, then, does so much controversy revolve around Thompson?
Since the end of World War II, the Croatian nation was systematically stigmatized by the Serbian-dominated communist government of Yugoslavia. For 45 yrs., any hint of Croatian patriotism was extinguished by the state's apparatus, most commonly under the false indictment of “fascist“ or “Nazi“ separatism. To accompany the murder and imprisonment of Croatian patriots within Yugoslavia and around the world, negative propaganda about Croatians was disseminated by Belgrade's information services. This was purposely done with the objective of squashing any activism around the world. Within years, the Croatian nation became synonymous with that of the Nazis. Sadly, in many cases of western literature, the false accusation stuck.
With his songs, Thompson has for some reason warranted the ire of many anti-Croatian Greater-Serbian nationalists and their well-paid public-relation mouthpieces their lobbies employ. They have still not come to terms that they were on the losing side of a war of aggression that Milosevic’s Serbia committed against Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. They have still not come to terms with the fact that Croatia is an independent country proud of its recent victory on the battle-field against criminal aggression. Croatia's enemies have since conducted a defamation campaign against all Croats, not just Thompson. It is their hope to stifle Croatia’s chance at entry into the European Union. Thompson is very popular among Croatians that are old enough to remember the war years in the early 1990s. And the band quickly became a natural target for Croatia's enemies. The defamation campaign is spear-headed by negative propaganda identical to the kind spread world-wide during communist Yugoslavia. Propaganda that basically equates the entire Croatian nation and its identity to Nazism. It appears that not even a simple musician can escape anti-Croatian bias. This type of propaganda war-fare should not be surprising to American eyes or ears. We ask all interested to try and understand the political/social landscape of once war-torn South Central Europe. Starting from that position, it will be much easier to understand today’s relations between peoples of the former Yugoslavia.
Thompson performed in Frankfurt, Germany on April 21, 2007
As you probably know by now, Thompson is very popular in Croatian emigrant communities around the world. He has sold out concerts in Australia, Canada and Germany. Just to name a few countries. Thompson played a packed Ballsporthalle in Frankfurt, Germany on April 21, 2007. We’d like to remind you that the concert was held in the heart of Germany. A nation with the most stringent of anti-bias and anti-hate laws that exist anywhere in the world. When German authorities translated Thompson’s lyrics, something we ask all of you to do, they soon learned what the band is really about. And the show went on as planned. We find it extremely hard to believe that Thompson’s most vocal critics are not aware of this. Once again, we remind you that Thompson performed a successful show in Frankfurt, Germany. The concert and the translation of lyrics made by German authorities were reported by major media-outlets in that country. As correctly and truthfully reported in the newspapers Allgemeine Zeitung and Frankfurter Allgemeine, Thompson’s lyrics neither promote, nor incite, violence.
There has never been a violent incident at a Thompson concert
Because of many false accusations and outright lies, we’d like to mention that there has never been an incident at any of Thompson’s many concerts. Whether in Frankfurt, Germany or Zagreb, Croatia-- Thompson‘s concerts, naturally, always conclude peacefully. Just another fact that proves the critics wrong.
Marko Perkovic is a musician
Marko Perkovic is a Croatian patriot that loves his country dearly. He is not a member of any political party in Croatia, nor does he have any affiliation to political or activist groups within or outside the country. Marko Perkovic Thompson is just a musician.
Just as we Americans love our country, Perkovic loves his. Just as Jewish-Americans love their heritage and Israel, Perkovic loves Croatia. And so do Croatian-Americans. So do Croatians world-wide. With his music, Perkovic simply sings of patriotism and love of the Croatian heritage. His songs inspire many Croats to live honest lives, cherish family, honor God and be faithful to the homeland. To Croatians in the United States, this translates into the respect of not only the Croatian heritage, but of respect to our American heritage; into respect for the great nation that in the past granted amnesty to Croatians that sought refuge and freedom from oppression. The incessant attacks against this very successful musician are simply baseless and unwarranted.
Frano Budimlic
New York