Boris Grebenshikov


Bilingual mathematician Boris Grebenshikov has also been known in the West since 1986, when his band Aquarium was featured on the U.S. release of “Red Wave”, the first compilation of rock music from St Petersburg. Three years later, MTV audiences could see him on video clips, singing in English, and he was likened to a “Russian Bob Dylan, David Bowie or Marc Bolan” depending on the critics. Every Western journalist was trying to find an equivalent to the multiform talent of Boris, who had signed with CBS/Columbia.

Boris Grebenshikov was not the first Soviet citizen seduced by rock and roll even though this music style, which communist ideologists considered as a sort of bourgeois perversion, was not to be found in record shops. He was not the first one singing rock in Russian or wearing long hair and faded jeans. But he was the first to fully pass on the whole Western spirit of his time. BG really is The Godfather of Russian rock. But he is also The Godfather of Russian reggae. And…he invented Russian Celtic music as well! He assimilated cultures from around the world and adapted them for present-day Russian-speakers. If he was discovering the outside world during the Soviet Eighties, when it was impossible to actually set foot across the Iron Curtain, the Capitalist Nineties were the years when he “discovered his own country” as he now says, visiting just about every Russian city and small town that had a concert venue. The “endless tour” that he undertook right after Russia became independent from the Soviet Union and that he still pursues today– have proved another inexhaustible source of inspiration for his songs.

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