In twenty-first-century Russia the symbolic authority of a generation of rock stars born at around the same time as the current president of the Russian Federation continues to exert itself. Artists like Boris Grebenshchikov (b. 27 November 1953, Leningrad), Andrei Makarevich (b. 11 December 1953, Moscow) and Iurii Shevchuk (b. 16 May 1957, Magadan Oblast’) actively tour and record new music, but their reputations resonate most widely as instigators of a genre that has significant national and historical meaning. 1 Within contemporary rock music, a genre that retains an important place in the Russian music industry, musicians tend to be framed in relation to this generation and to the mythology of the genre’s origins in Soviet non-official culture and the heroic perestroika years. In Gorbachev and Zinin’s book on Russian rock of the 1990s, Ol’ga Baraboshkina, now a music promoter, and a member of the generation that followed, recalled the transition to commercial conditions: ‘all the structures needed for normal show business to exist appeared. And those who, objectively, could make it […] made it [vstroilsia]. And those who couldn’t stayed as they were. A clear division took place’ (2014: 441). This moment ‘crystallized’, to use Baraboshkina’s word, a rupture in rock music’s meaning as the economic situation in which it was created changed fundamentally. My contention is that echoes of this moment of transition still animate an anxiety about the way in which rock music is interpreted in Russian culture and about its relationship to power structures – political and, still more, commercial.
MCMICHAEL, P. (2018). ‘That’s Ours. Don’t Touch.’ Nashe Radio and the Consolations of the Domestic Mainstream. In V. Strukov, & S. Hudspith (Eds.), Russian Culture in the Age of Globalization (68-98). Taylor & Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315626628