The Evolution of Marko 'Thompson' Perković and the Croatian People

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Summary: A musician evolves based on feedback from his fans. Marko did not push his patriotism but gave his fans what they wanted. The fans, Croatians in the Homeland and abroad, want to be proud of Croatia and its traditional cultural values. The people have elected Marko to be their representative and their voice. A politician / representative of the people should not attack the people through attacks on Marko.

There are many Croatian people that are very passionate about Marko Perković and his music yet there is also a small but very vocal group of anti-Perković protesters. Over the years various groups have prevented Marko from holding concerts and today Marko is still not allowed into Switzerland to sing.

Marko is popular and there is no doubt about that. Artists become popular because they produce something that the people want to buy. An artist does not create needs nor does an artist force his art. It is the fans that determine the status of the artist. I will propose that the artist is the mirror and voice of the people. Marko is popular because he represents and vocalizes the will of a large segment of the people. His songs resonate so deeply that one of his songs "Lijepa Li Si" has become an unofficial anthem!

When certain groups attack Marko they are not attacking just him but they are attacking each and every one of his fans. When they say that it is bad for Marko to sing his songs, they are also saying that it is bad to listen to the songs and to feel the feelings that are represented in those songs. An attack on Marko is an attack on people with pro-Croatia patriotic feelings.

There are certain groups that have an agenda to weaken Croatia. Marko is a threat to their agenda and for that reason they seek to destroy him, via social engineering, so that they can weaken Croatia.

Who is Marko and how did he become the artist that he is? Over the course of his career Marko and his music has undergone quite a transformation. This transformation can be easily seen in his album covers.

Marko was a soldier during the Homeland War yet his first albums were predominantly about love of women rather than love of country. Look at the hair on the first three albums - how embarrassing in retrospect. The following is a listing of Marko's patriotic songs per album.

#1 - MOLI MALA: Only 2 out of 14 songs are about patriotism.

  • Jer, Hrvati Smo
  • Bojna Čavoglave (remix)

#2 - VRIJEME ŠKORPIONA: 5 out of 13 songs are about patriotism.

  • Škorpioni
  • Moj Grad
  • Anica-Kninska Kraljica
  • Povratak Bogu
  • Ljutu Travu Na Ljutu Ranu

#3 - GENI KAMENI: 2 out of 10 songs are about country.

  • Geni Kameni
  • Ima Nešto Vrijednije Od Zlata ( could be about women or country)

#4 - VJETAR S DINARE: 6 out of 10 songs are about patriotism or country.

  • Lijepa Li Si (smash hit)
  • Zaustavi Se Vjetre
  • Prijatelji
  • Crne Noći Bijeli Putevi (remix)
  • Ej, Haj, Pjesme Naše

#5 - E, MOJ NARODE: 10 out of 11 songs are about patriotism or country.

  • Iza Devet Sela
  • Geni Kameni (live)
  • E, Moj Narode
  • Zeleno Je Bilo Polje
  • Radost S Visina
  • Reci, Brate Moj
  • Moj Ivane
  • Stari Se
  • Lijepa Li Si
  • Neću Izdat Ja

#6 - BILO JEDNOM U HRVATSKOJ: All songs are about the Croatian Soul (religion, family, patriotism or country).

  • Početak
  • Dolazak Hrvata
  • Duh ratnika
  • Diva Grabovčeva
  • Moj dida i ja
  • Neka ni'ko ne dira u moj mali dio svemira
  • Lipa Kaja
  • Kletva kralja Zvonimira
  • Ratnici svjetlaDan dolazi
  • Tamo gdje su moji korijeni
  • Sine moj

Artists and musicians evolve over the course of their career reacting to what their fans like. As Marko noticed that the patriotic songs were more popular than the love songs he wrote more patriotic songs. Marko is therefore a product of the people and their voice.

There is a large segment of the young population that sees patriotism as a positive policy for the country and people. The desire of the people should be embraced and encouraged.

A politician / representative of the people should not attack the people.

Updated 25th-April-2012 at 08:04 PM by Željko Zidarić

Željko Zidarić


  1. Željko Zidarić avatar
    Reprint from -Frano Budimlic - New York

    ThoMPson & the Croatian diaspora
    Utorak, 05 Lipanj 2007

    I wanted to write this text months ago after the release of Marko Perkovic’s new album. Something held me back though. Perhaps it was the premonitions I had; premonitions about the course of Thompson’s success that have, amazingly enough, been realized. And that date back prior to his “E, moj narode” album.

    Marko Perkovic has, as so many other Croats before him, been crucified by the proponents of neo-Yugoslavism that dominate in Croatia. When they’re tearing him apart in the print or electronic media, every sensible person can tell that their true target is the Croatian identity.

    Ah, yes, the Croatian identity. A topic of controversy that has for years entertained the Croats themselves, and most importantly, their enemies. Thanks to years of independent study of Croatia’s history, politics and journalism, I have, sadly, concluded that there is no more hated nation in South-Eastern Europe. Nor does there exist a people to match the Croats in the defense of their perpetually vilified and ravaged national identity. The indefinite postponement of Thompson’s Sarajevo concert is just another example of a silent persecution being committed against Croatians in Bosnia & Herzegovina. Let’s get things straight. Marko Perkovic Thompson is the most prominent and influential Croatian musician today. Aside from, maybe, Miso Kovac, he is the only artist that can fill Poljud or Maksimir to the rafters. Although Miso is undoubtedly the most popular Croatian singer to have ever lived, his time has, sadly, passed. Thompson is enjoying the zenith of his career.

    There is no doubt that Thompson owes much of his success to the atrocious state of Croatian politics and nation; his music always channeling the love, distress and honesty of the Croat masses. While he will always be remembered for mobilizing the hearts and souls of Croatia’s defenders with “Bojna Cavoglave“; from Croatia’s Stalingrad -Vukovar, to the ramparts of Dubrovnik during the Homeland war, Perkovic has intelligently crafted and fortified his artistic habitat in post-war Croatia-- never letting go of the ideals that inspired him to write his hits.

    When I was a boy, I witnessed Thompson’s first performance at the Croatian Center in NYC. It was one block away from Cardinal Stepinac Place on 41st street in Manhattan that I saw and heard him sing “Cavoglave” for the first time. That was back in 1991 or 1992 - during one of the UN-peace-keeper enforced lulls of the Homeland war. It was that night I learned that Perkovic was actually from a small town outside of Drnis. Prior to that, I was under the impression that he hailed from Imotski, being that the first version I heard of “Cavoglave” was actually dedicated to the defenders from Imotski. As it turns out, Thompson recorded two versions of Croatia’s most popular battle cry. One dedicated to his own Cavoglave, and the other to Imotski -- where, by no accident, the same song was first recorded.

    Much has been said and written about Marko Perkovic Thompson since then. Most of it negative. Unfortunately, he is unable to escape criticism from even the most unlikely of figures. As if it weren’t bad enough that the Serbo-phile littered Croatian media holds him to the most absurd of criteria, many Croats frown upon his success. Perhaps that treatment is truly due to the curse of Zvonimir that Thompson so passionately sings about. Note to Perkovic’s haters: Thompson doesn’t believe that such a curse really exists. He uses the myth metaphorically to describe the treason and betrayal so prevalent in Croatia today.

    But it is not necessarily in the homeland that Thompson enjoys his greatest success and admiration. It is in the diaspora.

    In the age of Globalism, Thompson has single-handedly built not one, but many highways connecting the diaspora to Croatia.

    It is with his unique synthesis of ancient Croatian tales -most true, others mythical- of heroics, love, beauty, faith and rock & roll that Thompson has captured the hearts of countless Croatians worldwide. He sings of God, family and the homeland. Sadly, and unbelievably, themes that are considered anachronistic in these chaotic times. Some go as far to render those same themes nationalistic, and even xenophobic. These absurd criticisms are telling of the era we live in.

    Thompson brings hope to the Croatian masses; from Toronto to Melbourne, Vancouver to Munich, he fills the hearts of Croatians who yearn for a better tomorrow, and at the same time, painfully reminisce of years lost. Years filled with poverty, wars, injustice and persecution.

    Thompson comes from a small village like most Croats do. He shares and promotes the values that most Croats hold dear. He is a commoner with a proven talent. Thompson is a reflection of the Croatian émigré communities around the world. He is a simple man with remarkable abilities. That is what binds Perkovic to the diaspora. And it is this for that same reason that Thompson is hated and ridiculed by the remnants of the old Yugoslav regime still alive in politics and the media. If there’s one thing that they hate more than Thompson, it is the Croatian diaspora. And if there’s another thing they hate more than the diaspora, it’s a proud and successful Croat living in his “own little piece of the universe.”

    Marko, hvala!

    -Frano Budimlic
    New York
  2. Željko Zidarić avatar
    Written by Frano Budimlic

    Who is Marko Perkovic "Thompson?"

    Marko 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.