A Brief History of Soviet Rock’n’Roll

I love stuff like this.  From Radio Free Europe:

A pro-Kremlin lawmaker spawned a tsunami of scorn in Russia this week by alleging that Soviet rock star Viktor Tsoi’s Perestroika-era anthems were composed by CIA operatives trying to destabilize the Soviet regime.Friends, acquaintances, and fans of the late frontman of the legendary band, Kino, call the claims ridiculous. But the U.S. government was keenly aware of the power of rock ’n’ roll to rattle its Cold War rival, according to “Free to Rock,” a new documentary that explores the impact of rock music on Soviet society.The White House, in fact, played a hands-on role in this soft-power strategy when U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s administration helped send the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band to the Soviet Union in 1977 for the first tour of an American rock band on Soviet soil, said Jim Brown, the film’s New York-based producer.

“Carter was more involved than any of us thought,” Brown told RFE/RL. “He thought rock ’n’ roll could kind of undermine the system.”

Using rock’n’roll as a soft power method of changing the world and bringing down communism? Cool!  Read on.

 

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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