Ivan Kral, author of 'Dancing Barefoot' song, dies, aged 71

PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech rock guitarist and producer Ivan Kral, who played with Patti Smith and other rock greats, died on Sunday. He was 71.

Kral, born shortly after the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, left his home country in 1966 for the United States where his father worked as an interpreter at the United Nations.

In the 1970s he played with Blondie, among others, before joining Smith with whom he co-wrote songs including the hit “Dancing Barefoot,” listed in the Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Czech producer David Gaydecka of the Metronome festival in Prague confirmed Kral’s passing.

“We worked together since 2016, but the Grand finale, which we have prepared, never came,” Gaydecka said.

Kral also wrote songs for Iggy Pop, John Cale and U2.

After Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution of 1989, which toppled Communist rule, Kral returned home as a performer and a producer for a number of Czech musicians and bands.

Reporting by Robert Muller; Editing by Leslie Adler