Marko Perković

Marko Perković (pronounced [mâːrkɔ perkoʋit͡ɕ]; born 27 October 1966) is a Croatian musician who has been the lead singer of the band Thompson since 1991.

Marko Perković
Marko Perkovic Thompson 23082013 02 roberta f.jpg
Perković performing live in August 2013
Born (1966-10-27) 27 October 1966 (age 55)
Years active1991–present
Musical career
LabelsCroatia Records

Perković was born in the village of Čavoglave, SR Croatia, within SFR Yugoslavia, today a part of Croatia. He participated in the Croatian War of Independence (1991–95), during which he started his career with the nationalist song "Bojna Čavoglave". In 2002, he started his first major tour after the release of the E, moj narode album. Since 2005, he has been organizing an unofficial celebration of the Victory Day in his birthplace of Čavoglave.

During his career, Perković has attracted controversy in the media over his performances and songs, some of which are alleged to glorify or promote the World War II-era Croatian fascist Ustaše dictatorship.

Early lifeEdit

Marko Perković in Frankfurt

Perković was born in 1966 in Čavoglave (at the time SR Croatia, SFR Yugoslavia) to Marija and Ante. He rarely saw his father, who worked as a Gastarbeiter in Germany and rarely came home. He finished high school in Split. In 1991, Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia, prompting the Croatian War of Independence. He joined the Croatian National Guard where he was given the American Thompson gun, which became the nickname given to him by his battlefield comrades.

It was while he was defending his home village that Perković became inspired to write one of the most popular songs during the war; "Bojna Čavoglave" (Čavoglave Battalion), which launched his music career. In 1992 Perković held concerts throughout Croatia, and released his first album the same year. He continued to write songs to raise morale during the war. In 1995 he returned to the Croatian Army and the 142nd Drniš Brigade, and became one of the first soldiers to enter the captured cities of Drniš and Knin during Operation Storm.


On 15 September 2002, he had his largest concert to date at the Poljud Stadium in Split with about 40,000 visitors.[1]

In 2007 he surpassed the 2002 concert at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on 17 June 2007, with 60,000 people attending. His concert at the stadium was aired live on the state owned HRT Plus pay-per-view channel, and several days later on the main national channel as well.[2]

Perković during his career has cited Mate Bulić, Nightwish, Iron Maiden, AC/DC and Dream Theater as main influences.[3]

In 2009, a concert in the Swiss city of Lucerne was canceled after the Social Democratic Party called for an urgent statement on the issue of Thompson's concert, calling Perković a fascist.[4] He was then banned from performing in Switzerland, after the Swiss Service for Analysis and Prevention (DAP) stated that his texts are glorifying the Nazi-affiliated Ustaše of the Independent State of Croatia. The ban was subsequently lifted and he continued having concerts in Switzerland.[5]

Young boy wearing a shirt with a Black Legion, Ustaše Militia sign at a Thompson concert

The lyrics of his songs often feature patriotic sentiments and relate to religion, family, the Croatian War of Independence, politics and media, but also contain notorious references to war crimes.[6] Accused of neo-Nazism, in 2004, the band was prohibited from performing in Amsterdam by the local authorities, although he held a concert in Rotterdam.[7]

As Switzerland is a member of the Schengen Agreement, Thompson was prohibited from entering into all Schengen countries for a period of three years, confirmed by Michele Cercone, spokesman for the Vice President of the European Commission.[8]

Perković created controversy by allegedly performing "Jasenovac i Gradiška Stara", a song that openly glorifies the Ustaše regime, its crimes against humanity during World War II and the genocide of Serbs.[9] The Simon Wiesenthal Centre filed complaints to Croatia's state television channel regarding its broadcast of a singer accused of expressing nostalgia for the Ustaše, although Perković denied any connection with that time period. The complaints were ignored.[10] Perković denied writing or even performing the song, stating he is "a musician, not a politician".[11]

Some of his fans are known for their ultranationalism, demonstrated by Ustaše uniforms (including black hats associated with the movement), symbols, and banners. At the beginning of the song "Bojna Čavoglave", Perković invokes Za dom - spremni! (lit. "For home (land) – ready!").[12] In 2015, Perkovic performed in Knin in front of some 80,000 spectators for the 20th anniversary celebration of the Croatian military’s Operation Storm with many of those in attendance singing pro-Ustasha songs and chanting slogans such as "Kill a Serb" and "Here we go Ustasha".[12]

Perković and his band's inclusion in Croatia's celebration of the national team's second place finish in the 2018 FIFA World Cup also garnered controversy and criticism.[13]

Perković's alleged glorification for the Ustaše have led to him being accused in some publications, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center, of being a "fascist singer".[14][15][16]

Personal lifeEdit

Perković's nickname, "Thompson", is actually a nom de guerre deriving from his time as a soldier in the Croatian War of Independence, during which he carried a Thompson submachine gun. In the mid-1990s he was in a relationship with Croatian singer Danijela Martinović.[17] Although never legally married, they had a Catholic marriage ceremony.[clarification needed] After their separation, he sought a Church annulment, which was granted by the Ecclesiastical Court in Split in 2005. Thus, he was able to have a church marriage with his wife Sandra Rogić, a Croatian-Canadian he met during a concert in Canada. Together they have five children: Katarina, Cvita, Ante Mihael, Diva Maria and Petar Šimun.[18]

He owns a 20% share of the radio station Narodni radio,[19] a privately owned Croatian radio station notable for airing exclusively Croatian songs.[citation needed]

Pope Benedict XVI received Perković in an audience in December 2009.[20]


Studio albumsEdit

Compilation albumsEdit

Concert videosEdit

See alsoEdit

References and notesEdit

  1. ^ "Thompson zapjevao pred 40.000 ljudi". Večernji list. 16 September 2002.
  2. ^ "S Thompsonom pjevalo 60.000 ljudi". Večernji list. 18 June 2007.
  3. ^ Thompson: "God-willing, maybe I'll sing in English" Archived 2014-02-22 at the Wayback Machine, Slobodna Dalmacija, 17 April 2008; retrieved 24 April 2008.
  4. ^ Anamarija Kronast (29 September 2009). "Ne žele "fašiste": Thompsonu zabranjen koncert i ulaz u Švicarsku" [They want no "fascists": Thompson's concert banned and entry to Switzerland declined]. Nacional. Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  5. ^ "Thompson održao koncert u Švicarskoj, više ga ne optužuju da veliča fašiste" [Thompson held a concert in Switzerland, they are no longer accusing him of glorifying fascists]. Večernji list. 8 December 2015.
  6. ^ Wood, Nicholas (2 July 2007). "Fascist Overtones From Blithely Oblivious Rock Fans". New York Times. Retrieved 2 July 2007. On a hot Sunday evening in June, thousands of fans in a packed stadium here in the Croatian capital gave a Nazi salute as the rock star Marko Perkovic shouted a well-known slogan from World War II. At a recent concert in Zagreb, some fans of ... Perkovic wore the black caps of Croatia's World War II Nazi puppet government, known as the Ustaše. Some of the fans were wearing the black caps of Croatia's infamous Nazi puppet Ustaše government, which was responsible for sending tens [sic] of thousands of Serbs, Gypsies and Jews to their deaths in concentration camps.
  7. ^ "Alert!: Croatian hate music group banned in Netherlands". Archived from the original on 15 March 2010. Retrieved 18 April 2012.
  8. ^ "Thompson čak tri godine ne može ući ni u Europsku uniju". Večernji list (in Croatian). 30 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Croatia scores own goal after World Cup success". Financial Times. 21 July 2018. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Wiesenthal Center slams Croatian star nostalgic for pro-Nazi regime"; accessed 5 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Backgrounder: Marko Perković and Thompson". Anti-Defamation League. Archived from the original on 29 October 2008. Retrieved 22 October 2008.
  12. ^ a b Milekic, Sven (6 August 2015). "Croats Chant Anti-Serb Slogans at Nationalist Concert". Balkan Insight. BIRN.
  13. ^ Gadzo, Mersiha (18 August 2018). "How Croatia's World Cup party highlighted 'fascist nostalgia'". Al Jazeera.
  14. ^ Maldini, Pero; Paukovic, Davor (2016). Croatia and the European Union: Changes and Development. Routledge. p. 73. ISBN 978-1-31715-697-0. Curiously, on the date of Croatia's accession to the EU. neo-fascist singer Marko Perkovic Thompson organized a concert in Split as an alternative to official celebration...
  15. ^ Adar, Shaul (24 July 2018). "Croatia's National Soccer Team Celebrates With a Nazi-supporting, Fascist Singer, Dividing the County". Haaretz.
  16. ^ "Wiesenthal Center Slams Inclusion Of Fascist Singer Thompson In Croatian Football Team Celebration/ Reception In Zagreb". Simon Wiesenthal Center. 18 July 2018.
  17. ^ Morić, Danijela-Ana (18 October 2016). "Danijela i Thompson: Kemija raspjevanih bivših supružnika". (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  18. ^ "Thompson sa suprugom Sandrom na glazbeno-scenskom spektaklu". (in Croatian). 26 November 2016. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  19. ^ "Thompson kupio 20% Narodnog radija za 4000 kuna". (in Croatian). 14 April 2004. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  20. ^ "Papa primio Thompsona dan prije Mesića" [Thompson received by Pope before Mesić] (in Croatian). Retrieved 18 April 2012.

External linksEdit