40th Anniversary of Leningrad Rock Club

Leningrad Rock Club. Circa mid-1980s. Unknown photographer. Possibly Vladimir Bystrov.

March 7, 2021 is the 40th Anniversary of the Leningrad Rock Club, an organization set up by the KGB in order to “monitor” this new youth phenomenon called “rock ‘n’ roll and understand (or control) its influence. The performance venue greatly expanded the reach of the so-called “non-official” musicians (who were required to work regular jobs) and effectively drew the underground bands out of the shadows.

This image shows a collaboration of two of the most radical and experimental bands of the time, the new-wave-punk-ska band Strange Games (Strannye Igry) and the multifaceted performance-art band Pop-Mechanics (Pop-mechanika) with visionary conductor and composer Sergey Kuryokhin (right, playing saxophone). Strange Games’ brothers Grisha Sologub (center, playing accordion) and Viktor Sologub (left, bottom, playing a guitar) later broke away to form the band Games.

In the collection of author and performance artist Zarina Zabrisky, this window into a bygone world is complemented by her personal stories of that time, which we have just published on The Nomadic Journal.

Read more about the Leningrad Rock Club and Zarina Zabrisky in her short story. A SCRIPT: CHILDREN OF DECEMBER.

Find out more about the Leningrad Rock Club in this article by Kat Ganskaya on Music Journalism Insider.