Boris Grebenshikov
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Boris Grebenshikov - Russian rock guru.

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Boris Grebenshikov is called a guru of Russian rock music by many fans and bands. He and his friend Anatoliy Gunitskiy created “Akvarium” band in 1972. They were one of the pioneers of Russian rock. In 1979th Grebenshikov was expelled from the Komsomol (All-Union Lenin Communist Youth League) because of the participation in the rock festival. However in 2003d he was awarded with the Order of Merit for the Motherland. That may be considered as a turn of Karma’s wheel.


As a lot of other rock stars Boris Grebenshikov experienced the problems with drugs. He was cocaine addicted for a while. He was strong enough to give up this vicious habit. Drugs and psychedelics are mentioned in some songs of “Akvarium”. As I understand, Boris Borisovich Grebenshikov gave up using cocaine because of his psychedelic experience (magic mushrooms). Also I can’t say for sure. The song called “New-York sufferings” («Нью-Йоркские страдания») is devoted to drugs. Also it is a kind of humorous songs. It has traditional Russian folk motives. Each couplet is devoted to some certain kind of narcotics. It contains such words for example:

“In the Central Park at night Sky is wonderfully bright But my manager is a foolish man He hasn’t brought any weed again”

           (Translated from Russian) The songs by Boris Borisovich have various topics. One of them is theological. In his songs Boris Grebenshikov mentions different religions: Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism. The other noticeable topic of songs by Grebenshikov is socio-cultural. This topic is sometime mixed with the topic of love or art. Many of such songs are devoted to the week points of modern society. We can find such words for example: “There is black soot in the red boilers

Tattered trains in the ancient ruins Trespassers walk with their feet on the Hermitage pictures      

The band-master is totally deaf “                             (Translated from Russian. The song is called: “Праздник урожая во дворе труда” (“Harvest festival in the castle of labor”). Sure, textual part is of the great importance in rock songs and many English speakers can’t fully enjoy the songs by Grebenshikov in Russian. Do not be upset, people – “Akvarium” has more than twenty songs in English. The English albums of BG (many people in Russia call Boris Grebenshikov just BG): “Radio silence” and “Radio London”. For those who love melodious music I may advice the song called: “Death of King Arthur”.

BG is a representative of St. Petersburg rock club. It is considered to be the greatest Russian rock club. Also St. Petersburg is called the cultural capital city of Russia. Boris Grebenshikov is a representative of clerisy and so are his creative works: intellectual and beautiful. Also I should mention that the songs of “Akvarium” are very multifarious: there you can find some blues, metal, waltz, reggae and so on.   BG has been working in the collaboration with many people. Among them are: David Allan Stewart (“Eurythmics”), Joanna Stingray, Billy Bragg and many Russian rock stars. Also some of the songs were performed with a small orchestra of Krishnaists.