ROCK CLUBS OF LENINGRAD
Rock clubs as a phenomenon emerged in the Soviet Union under the very curtain of its existence, partially adopting the features of its Western counterparts, but on the whole became something completely new. And Leningrad, being one of the cradles of rock music along with Sverdlovsk and Moscow, acquired its own organizations and platforms that embodied the ideas and philosophy of new music.
The Leningrad rock club is the first place in the USSR where rock bands, which later became cult, gathered together with the permission of the authorities. Let’s try to figure out how this legendary site appeared, and why the rock club is popular today.
From the history of rock club
The first attempts to create a place to unite rock musicians date back to 1973. Then, in the regional youth club on Energetikov Avenue, the joint efforts of underground managers – Sergey Dryzlov, Yuri Baidak and Tatyana Ivanova – created the “City Experimental Club of Modern Youth Music Fans”.
The first big official concert in Leningrad was held in this club. At the same time, the initiators of the club began to conduct the first negotiations with representatives of the trade unions in order to provide the club with a reliable “roof.” In January 1981, the director of the Leningrad Inter-Union House of Amateur Art, Anna Ivanova, held a meeting at which she gave the beginning of the club’s life, saying the historical phrase: “Well, if I get fired from work, I have a husband – he will feed me”.
The official birthday of the Leningrad Rock Club (LRK) is March 7, 1981. On this day, the first concert of the “Flax Club of Music Lovers” took place in the hall of the Leningrad Inter-Union House of Amateur Creativity, the participants of which were the groups Picnic, Russians, Myths and Zerkalo. Since that time, the location of the Leningrad rock club has become the house 13 on the street. Rubinstein. The appearance of LRK was a great holiday not only for the musicians themselves, but also for their listeners, because now the concerts of their favorite performers have become accessible and open to free visits.
But even in the conditions of music freedom, the rock club experienced difficulties: lack of equipment, rare concerts. Since 1982, Nikolai Mikhailov, ex-member of the Picnic Group, has become the club’s president. During perestroika, Mikhailov tried his best to establish contact with state institutions and western representatives of show business in order to develop LRC.
From the memoirs of music producer and journalist Andrei Burlak: “In the first half of the 80s, when the party nomenklatura fought desperately with any manifestations of dissent, including the passion of young people with rock music, the ability to smooth out conflicts, find compromises, lead conversations in high classrooms to maneuver between the hammer of the Soviet government and the anvil of the rock-and-roll volnitsa was priceless — that is why Mikhailova was elected president of the club several times in a row, although in 1986 he nearly lost his post when he Young groups, dissatisfied with protectionism and taste that flourished in the club, tried to take power into their own hands. ”
In addition to his activities at the rock club, Mikhailov was the manager of the Games group. In the 1980s, the main stars of LRK, the groups Alisa and Kino, moved to Moscow. Musicians increasingly began to choose large venues for their performances, so the future activities of LRC became questionable. In the autumn of 1988, Nikolay Mikhailov changed the club’s policy: the association of independent musicians turned into a youth music center, to which the name Leningrad Rock Club was finally established.
Leningrad rock club was not just a place where they came to listen to music. It was an organization with official status, charter, council and president. For many musicians, club membership has become a dream. The procedure for joining the LRK was as follows: the musicians applied for membership of the club. Then the council of LRK went to audition, and then the council was going on, at which the final answer was made. If it was positive, the repertoire department was given a program that included permission to publicly perform songs. Then the group was included in the concert plan, and it continued to exist as a member of the LRC.
The walls of the Leningrad rock club became not only home to many iconic rock groups, but also a launching pad.
In June 2012, LRK moved to a new address: Tsvetochnaya Street, Building 6. On June 9, an official opening was held at the Pushkinskaya 10 Art Center with the participation of Nikolay Mikhailov, Gennady Barikhnovsky and Peak Serpent and Tim Tyler. March 1, 2013 released the album “Leningrad Rock Club. New generation”. Such legendary groups as “Secret”, “N.P.P.” and others took part in the recording of the disc.
Fish Fabrique – one of the oldest underground clubs in St. Petersburg began its existence in 1994.