Visit and concert of Michael Jackson in Moscow (1993)
The visit of the legendary "King of Pop" to the Russian capital in 1993 was not accompanied by such a colossal hype that Michael Jackson used to expect. There were no problems with the number of tickets - the only difficulty was getting them. Moreover, the weather decided to throw out the trick ... Actually, the performance was still imprinted in the history of music as a grandiose historical and cultural event for post-Soviet listeners!
Today, many people remember the beginning of the 1990s as an amazing and alien time... Concerts by famous Western performers were a novelty for the Russian public. And the arrival of Michael Jackson in Russia became one of the brightest sensations! The pop king joined the ranks of foreign performers who were the first to visit our country after the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Organizational arrangements were taken over by the Dess firm, headed by Samvel Gasparov himself, a film director in the past, who was shocked and fascinated by Michael Jackson's performance in Bucharest a year earlier.
It is difficult to imagine how many circles of Hell the organizers of such a concert had to go through. Gasparov and his subordinates made a lot of efforts, and even made sacrifices, just to make the show take place.
Later, Samvel Vladimirovich recalled:
“We were suddenly attacked by the press. They wrote that vodka would be sold at the stadium, and Michael himself was not Michael at all, but his double!
Hundreds of TV cameras met the star at the plane ladder! Michael landed at Sheremetyevo-2 airport. Looking at the pictures of those years, you can see a certain puzzlement in the face of the artist: Jackson is worried, because he still does not know how the Russian public will accept him ...
The excitement turned out to be in vain - from all over our vast country, young people came to Moscow who wanted to see the pop idol with their own eyes, follow his unique “moonwalk”, sing the words of their favorite hits in unison with him ...
Fans tried to keep up with the cortege even for a minute. And this despite the fact that even the personal security service of the king of pop had no idea where exactly the route of the star lay! Agree - it's hard to imagine that a world-class artist will be interested in antique shops, book boutiques and just department stores on the Arbat! However, this was exactly the case.
Michael did his best to hide his face from annoying journalists and overly annoying fans. From the entrance of the next store to the door of the limousine, Jackson walked crouched. He wore black glasses, and in his hand he held a leather jacket, with which he covered his face from time to time.
The show was planned to be held at Luzhniki. Tons of scenery and structures needed for the erection of the stage were delivered by two cargo planes. The arena was carefully prepared by several dozen people.
So what sacrifices did the organizers of the show, led by Gasparov, make? Before the performance, Michael received a strange prediction that he would allegedly slip on stage and break his spine. For this reason, the artist was under stress. In addition, by the time the show started, it started torrential September rain ... The situation was overshadowed by a meager number of tickets sold. The king of pop said that he did not intend to perform in front of an empty stadium. Gasparov had no choice but to fill the large sports arena with spectators.
It is hard to imagine what it cost him, but Samvel Vladimirovich did get permission from the stadium director Vladimir Alyoshin to let the ticketless crowd gathered in front of the entrance pass!
The rain did not subside, but the guests of the show were not up to it: as if bewitched by Michael's "moonwalk", they enjoyed the performance of the foreign idol with trepidation and delight...
The concert started with colorful fireworks and loud cheers from the 80,000th audience! Outrageous and unique - Michael went on stage, as if an alien from another planet had descended to Earth ...
The breaks between songs did not exceed five minutes, during which Jackson skillfully managed to change his costume and image. And as soon as the first motives of the hit "Billie Jean" were played, the whole arena perked up despite the vagaries of the weather!
The show ended with the touching "Heal The World", performed by the children.
This is how the first visit of the king of pop to Russia turned out: due to organizational difficulties, the audience was much smaller than Michael and the organizers of the show themselves expected. The September weather, which is typical for Russia, did not please that day either ... As a result, the concert turned out to be a big loss for Dessa. The company soon went bankrupt.
However, to my great surprise, it is precisely such "problematic" performances that become legendary, and it is they who adorn the history of music with dignity ... Michael Jackson's concert in Moscow became a starting point for the arrival of such popular Western bands and performers as Madonna, Paul McCartney, the legendary Rolling Stones and more!