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How Soviet Artists Performed at the Construction of the Baikal-Amur Mainline - Firsthand Memoirs

"What riders, what are you talking about?! Our artists got 3.5 rubles each and were happy about it! And despite all their popularity, they remained ordinary people: there was no pathos, no fan fingers... This Baskov, for example, makes a list of demands long in the book! In those days no one even thought about it. Our stars gladly communicated with working people - railroad workers, cooks... It was a wonderful time!"

"Peace, Labor, BAM" - Construction of a majestic railroad on the right note

About how they built BAM - great and phenomenal in every sense of the word Baikal-Amur MainlineThere's no point in telling you about it. It's a very long, incredibly fascinating history is well known to anyone who has taken even the slightest interest in Soviet legacy. Although it is worth noting that BAM is not just a Soviet project. It is worldwide phenomenon on its scale! The legendary road was built over 12 years old! Thousands of people worked in harsh conditions, surrounded by the ridges of Siberia... Often there was a lack of hands and tools... But people continued this great work for the benefit of their future generations, for the benefit of the whole country... And their dedication is insanely fascinating!

History of BAM knows many memorable moments: positive, sad... and music channels. Yes, it was not without concerts! What else, if not musiccould keep up the fighting spirit of the Soviet toilers? It is music that saves a man in the most difficult times... And the implementation of the most unique and complex in all senses of the word project was no exception.

Iosif Kobzon and the legend of sheepskin coats

Iosif Kobzon as a young man
Iosif Kobzon as a young man

During BAM construction in the North of the USSR visited many artists - whether they wanted to or not, and it was mandatory. Yes, yes, under the Soviet Union there was a state planThe musicians were obliged to visit the harsh dalas with concerts... Joseph KobzonUnlike his colleagues, he even exceeded this plan!

However, later a whole legend was formed about his visits - allegedly he was so eager to ride to the North... for sheepskin coats.! In those days, this closet item was in a terrible Deficit

Iosif Kobzon performing at BAM
Iosif Kobzon performing at BAM

Organizer Valentina Paciora not without indignation refutes these sordid rumors:

"That's a lie, and what a lie it is! Do you really think that a singer of that rank couldn't get a sheepskin coat? It wasn't a problem for Joseph Davidovich! He did buy sheepskin coats from us - but not for himself, but for his group. He was very careful about his guys..."

American star Dean Reed pleases Soviet workers

Dean Reed
Dean Reed

Valentina Paciora was behind almost all the concerts at BAM! In her interview, the woman proudly stated:

"I've only ever worked with real artists!"

And you can't argue with that. During the time that the great construction was underway, legends of the national stage came here, such as Iosif Kobzon, Lev Leshchenko, Valery Syutkin, Valentina Tolkunova, Lyudmila Sencina... Many VIAs have performed here, such as "Flame." and "Gems", and even an American beauty Dean ReedHe was loved in the Soviet Union more than in his homeland.

Dean Reed performing at BAM, 1979
Dean Reed performing at BAM, 1979

Reed spoke with VIA "Verasy". Many years later, Valentina Yefimovna remembered:

"Before Reed's performance, not many people knew about the Veras - it was a young ensemble, not very popular yet... But after BAM the guys became Soviet stars!

Dean Reed left behind an exceptional positive emotions! Valentina Paciora described him as "imposing guy. with a wide, wonderful smile that made you smile back sincerely. And here's what they said members VeraSy:

"Dean is a gorgeous artist with a capital letter, a real professional of his craft! He drove both women and men crazy... On stage he shone - he was a great ringleader, and sometimes he would say in Russian "now only women sing" or something like that. People absolutely loved that! At the same time he remained a simple guy - no exorbitant demands, no entourage of guards, no whims... He was very much a man with a big soul, who gave himself completely to the audience...".

Reed went on tour with an interpreter, Oleg Smirnov. The man later recalled how the singer donated their own time and leisure for the sake of others:

"Reed was a world star! Soviet people, especially Komsomol members, didn't give him a pass! Some of them even invited him to come over for a drink, to play guitar... Dean himself didn't drink. But he couldn't say no either. And so, he endured these gatherings until late at night, while not showing fatigue - willingly supported any conversation, was always nice and open, joking funny ... ".

Simplicity is the sister of talent

Dean Reed with Soviet women
Dean Reed with Soviet women

Today rider - Integral an item on every modern artist's touring list! And what is not on the list of requirements: plush toys, fancy bouquets, expensive alcohol - even a certain furniture and temperature in the room, which, by the way, should be similar to royal mansion! And if something doesn't please the star - not be to the concert! Period.

Construction of BAM
Construction of BAM

Fortunately, in the USSR there was nothing of the kind did not have. Artists performed for a fixed fee, pies, and a glass of liquor. From memory Valentina Yefimovna:

"What riders, what are you talking about?! Our artists got 3.5 rubles each and were happy about it! And despite all their popularity, they remained ordinary people: there was no pathos, no fan fingers... It's Baskov, for example, makes a list of demands long as a book! In those days no one even thought about it. Our stars willingly communicated with working people - railroad workers, cooks... It was a wonderful time!

Dean Reed at the construction of BAM
Dean Reed at the construction of BAM

No fancy hotels for the artists did not require! At first, the stars of BAM lived in compartment cars, which was very convenient, given the length of the railroad: "We toured every kilometer of BAM with concerts! Pride Paziora stated.

Russian Feast

Builders of BAM
Builders of BAM

And, of course, what's a tour without of a traditional Russian feast? And it was for the artists of the Baikal-Amur Mainline simplebut soulful, delicious and... hot!

"We had the balalaika player Mikhail Rozhkov, the violinists Vladimir Spivakov and Igor Frolov... We had a lot of people here! And everyone was a simple and sympathetic person. We didn't live rich then and we didn't have much choice in delicacies... So I asked the guys what they wanted to cook. Shifrin got drunk on pies, and Leontyev loved my pancakes... And, of course, alcohol was a must. The stars loved to drink, that's for sure. And what's wrong with that? Again, our drinks were the most common, not exclusive bourbons. Almost everybody drank, and before the concerts... But on stage they held their own - they performed above all praise! All of them, Soviet celebrities, passed through my soul and my cakes!"

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