However, his fondness for fast cars and alcohol turned out to be fatal for him, on October 9, 1973, he died in a car accident in Říčany. He drove to his parents in Jevan in a new Renault 17 TL.
“His lifestyle was self-destructive towards the end of his life, his self-disclosure was devastating,” recalled the composer Ladislav Štaidl about his brother, who was two years older. Witnesses agree that Jiří was having a hard time coping with the death of his great love, the figure skater Hana Mašková. The beautiful and talented athlete, who had a contract with the world ice revue Holiday on Ice, died in March 1972 on the road from Paris to Tours when her car collided with a military truck.
At the same time, the bronze medalist from the Grenoble Olympics was not just one of the many charming young women who passed through Jiří Štaidl’s arms, it even seemed that she could become his life partner. Even this relationship, often experienced at a distance, eventually fizzled out. At the time when Mašková killed herself, they were no longer together, but Jiří Štaidl still experienced the tragedy strongly. He had never quite accepted that they had broken up. And after the figure skater’s death, he started drinking even more.
The successful and well-earning copywriter Štaidl was, after all, a well-known bon vivant. In addition to the women who were attracted to his first-republic charm and ability to show everyone, at least for a moment, that they were the center of his world, he liked to have a good drink and also had a taste for fast cars. “The way he drove, it was like reaching death on the ass,” recalled his colleague, the lyricist Pavel Vrba. But Štaidl himself claimed that only bad drivers crash. But in the end, even a master behind the wheel like him couldn’t handle the combination of alcohol and fast driving.
Jiří Štaidl was driving his dark green Renault at full throttle on the road, connecting the D1 highway, which was only two years old at the time, and Říčany. He had several “shots” in him and an almost unknown beauty in the passenger seat. When a lorry drove from the right into the road from the side, Štaidl did not brake, but tried to avoid it. But it touched the car and the Renault ended up on its side. While the girl was lucky and ended up in the back seat after the collision, Štaidl flew out of the car, hit the guardrails and died on the spot.
The life of a boy who was born into a good family on January 22, 1943 ended tragically – his parents, for example, sent him to private piano lessons with Professor František Kubelík, uncle of Rafael Kubelík. Unlike his younger brother, however, Jiří Štaidl gravitated towards the written word, he began to create short stories, poems and newspaper articles. However, he was not accepted to study screenwriting at FAMU, so he worked for a while as a laborer or drove a postal tudor, later he worked as a stagehand at the Paravan Theater.
Štäidl was 20 years old when his first big hit, Tam za vodou v rákosí, to the music of Karel Mareš, performed by Waldemar Matuška and Eva Pilarová, was heard on the radio. In the same year, together with Mareš, he also created the band Ondráš podotýká, in which Yvonne Přenosilová, Naďa Urbanková or Miki Volek sang his words in Semafor. “When I started writing, I never thought I could make a living from it. Only when I learned how much money can be made from it, I started to get serious about it,” he glossed over his success.
From Semafor, where he started working with Karl Gott, he left as a principal to his own Apollo theater, from which the band Apollo Beat was born. The collaboration with the multiple Golden Nightingale brought a hundred songs, roughly half of Štaidl’s entire work. In 1969, he completed his one-year “training emigration” with Gott. “He didn’t just want to make hits, he wanted to do something big that would stick,” Gott said years ago. However, an accident near Říčany put an end to Štaidl’s plans for a literary career.