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"The Man and the Cat," a soulful hit by Zero, inspired by a true story

It is not uncommon for musicians, as the years go by, to refuse to perform their most acclaimed songs. Our protagonist, Fyodor Chistyakov, has also met such a fate. You can read about why the singer does not like the song "A Man and a Cat" and its hidden meaning in our article.

All about the song "The Man and the Cat": history of creation, interesting facts

The peak of Russian rock's fame came in the early '90s, when rockers who had been active for a long time began to emerge from behind closed doors. One of the mastodons of Russian rock to this day is the band Zerocreated by classmates Fyodor Chistyakov, Alexei Nikolayev, and Anatoly Platonov in St. Petersburg в 1985 year. The rock band recorded 6 studio albums, but the most famous and nationally beloved was their 4th album, which included the iconic song Nola - "The Man and the Cat.".

Today in our article we will try to understand the story behind the creation of this song and why now Chistyakov not really likes to perform it.

A true story from life, which formed the basis of the hit "Zero"

According to Fyodor Chistyakov, the basis of the group's hit Zero is real a story that happened to the musician in his youth. "Uncle Fyodor," as his friends and acquaintances called him, came to a small apartment whose owner was selling a guitar. The musician, who was in his thoughts, found out in a very unusual way that a cat lived in the house: when he thought about it, Chistyakov came I was not able to get my foot right into the saucer with the milk that was meant for the mustached animal. And so it was. an idea was born for a song: Fedor suddenly thought that this man lived so poorly, in this tiny apartment without a corridor, that he was selling his guitar to feed himself and his pet.

These gloomy circumstances and thoughts prompted the musician to write the band's most famous song, Zero - "The Man and the Cat.". After visiting that apartment, the beginning of the lines: "The man and the cat are crying at the window...".

The hidden meaning of the song

Fyodor Chistyakov at the beginning of his career
Fyodor Chistyakov at the beginning of his career

Numerous fans of the band made various assumptions about the hidden meaning of the song. In their opinion, it couldn't have been that simple. And they turned out to be right.

It would seem that such simple lines of the song "The Man and the Cat" are completely transparent. But in Russian rock all lyrics carry a sacred meaning. This composition autobiographical, and is associated with the most difficult period of Fyodor Chistyakov's life.

Fyodor Chistyakov on stage. 90-е
Fyodor Chistyakov on stage. 90-е

Russian rockers could not resist the trends of the Western movement, which is why their lives included alcohol and Drugs. This is exactly what Chistyakov wrote about in his song. By 1991, his relationship with drugs had become more complicated - it was very hard to give up the feeling of euphoria, as without it the deathly longing and pain came over him. You can tell from the song that it tells the story of a man who was densely hooked on the hook of death: all his days are an impenetrable grayness and bright glimmers of life at the moment of the next dose, as well as an endless series of "special doctors" and the tossing and turning between life and death.

Fans who do not believe in this past Chistyakov have other versions. Dreamy fans lean toward a more to the mundane The meaning of the song is about love for our little brothers. Many people think of it as a kind of Oh yeah the cat. The composition, in their opinion, is about how much a cat loves its owner, no matter what. Such interpretation of this song is quite possible - in Chistyakov's lyrics man and cat always do everything together: both crying at the window and taking powder. We can hardly assume, but we can assume that there is Delight the cat that she is there for her owner in all the turmoil of life.

The most interesting covers worth noting

Fyodor Chistyakov. 1967
Fyodor Chistyakov. 1967

Many covers have been made to the legendary song by the band Zero. Today let's look at the most interesting Of which.

Sergey Garmash - "The Man and the Cat"

Most strong A cover of Nol's song is rightly considered to be a rendition of her Sergey Garmash in the movie "Stilyagi", which was released in 2008. This hit is popular again due to the success of the movie.

"The Man and the Cat" performed by Sergei Galanin

Group Founder "SerGa." performed the most "careful." cover of this song. As part of a project on Channel One, the rock singer sang the song in his own way, but retaining Chistyakov's entourage.

"The Man and the Cat" by Tatyana Bulanova

On the 2016 album "Zero +30", the most famous composition was performed by the singer Tatyana Bulanova in a completely new arrangement.

The French version of The Man and the Cat

Despite their huge success in Russia, the band Zero also broke through abroad. The cover of their song was performed by a Frenchman Paul Laurenson. He published a video of the performance on YouTube.

"The Man and the Cat" on the violin

The cover, published by Fyodor Chistyakov himself, is perhaps the most different in the string of imitations of the band Zero. Englishman Mark Russell The band's hit song was played unusually - the main part was played by him on the violin.

Interesting Facts

There are also many interesting things about the iconic band's album and song.

  1. Album "Songs of Unrequited Love for the Motherland", published in 1991, is a fully acoustic album, except for the song "You're a Brake.
  2. Although this record is the most successful in the band's history, it marked their splitwhich would occur a few years later due to creative differences between the musicians, as well as the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
  3. Melodies from the album are used as soundtracks to the 2007 film "Peculiarities of National Under Ice Fishing, or the Full-on Breakaway".
On the stage
On the stage

4. In 2012, the album UpdatedIn which the song "Man and Cat" is presented in a new form: with changed lyrics and music. According to Chistyakov, it's not a cover version, but sequel the band's hit song. The musician performs it at concerts instead of the beloved "Man and Cat.

5. Fyodor Chistyakov does not love perform the band's most popular song, Zero, because, he says, it no longer resonates with him. This happened because of the musician's passion for religion, which he turned to by stopping drinking and quitting drug addiction. He admits that the content of the song is now completely not closeso he doesn't always want to do it.

Chistyakov on stage. 2009
Chistyakov on stage. 2009

The story of the song "The Man and the Cat" is absolutely accurate reflects the life that musicians lived in difficult times for them. Usually many people associated with art reflect their emotions through it, which is exactly what happened to Fyodor Chistyakov. Though the author of sad lines about a man and a cat himself is not recognizedIt's not hard to guess what the singer wanted to show with his music. Inspired by the difficult problem that was pressing on him, the author was able to do, without knowing it himself, iconic a song for the whole vein of Russian rock. And that's probably always the case: Random a visit to a small petersburg apartment can be the beginning of a beautiful song that will be remembered at all times.

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