The BEATLES to the right...


of Slobozhansky



The BEATLES to the left...


  Part 1

It was the Kharkov's fate to become the pioneer of Ukrainian rock and thus to confirm its status of  "The First Capital". Kharkov had the largest concentration of higher educational establishments and secondary schools in Ukraine and for this sake there was the wide students environment in the city both inclined to experiments and sharp-sensible to the novelty. Therefore Kharkov just couldn't avoid the appearance of amateur performers of new fashion music already in 1964. The mane spur to this phenomen as in many other europian countries was made by the music of BEATLES and another representatives of so called "British beat" - first Kharkov groups copied vocal and instrumental manner of their idols from Liverpool, laying stress on the guitar sound and the multivoiced high-pitched vocalization.

The first Kharkov group was "Idols", called so because of the rubric "Youth Idols" in Franch magazine "NOUS LE GARSONS ET LE FILLES", the youth communist organization edition. It was the single - for just clear reason - information source on the new music which was available for kharkovian students and schoolers, who formed the sceleton of original rock-music. They were the first, these 9th form pupils of the 105th School headed by the guitarist Alexey Rossiysky. Their mixture of traditional rock'n'roll, British beat and rhythm'n'blues found the vivid responce in the young auditory and the concerts at the school and students parties, at culture palaces were ''sold out" every time. The Student Palace, The Railway Culture House and The Fooder Culture House became very popular concert halls at that time. Another popular ensemble was "Sorvantsy" ("Madcaps") created by two students of Textile College - Alexey Vetchinkin and Alexander Drozdin, they were the first who had begun to write own compositions (the biggest heat of 1965 - "It's raining all the time" by A.Vetchinkin).

They were followed by "Integral" of G.Akopyan, "Continental" of V.Hurgin and "Leleky" ("Storks"), who had written the first ukrainian texts.  

To the middle of 60th almost every higher school educational institution in Kharkov had its own rock-group (even at the Tank College the group "Epicentre" functioned successfully, it had become famous for the heat "Tanks are moving as rhombus"), and this resulted to creation of the first Kharkov rock-club at the Students Palace in 1967, but - alas! - it existed during several months only.

Kharkov beared the palm in the rock-press also. By the evidence of the authoritative encyclopaedia of underground musical journalizing "Golden Underground", the first such (self-typed, naturally) edition "Beat-Echo" was born at Kharkov in 1966. Only one number had appeared (8 pages of typescript), with the amount of exemplars corresponding to one laying into typewriter - the vigilant authorities had reacted immediately.

To the end of 60th the city rock-culture was subjected to absolute devastation, many musicians were forced either to leave Kharkov or to change completely their type of activity. Perhaps, the ensemble "April" of G.Shvartz (performing at the students club of Kharkov State University) had got the longest life, but in a short time it put the end to dangerous musical studies too.

More than ten years were necessary before the happening of rock-music as legal in Kharkov again. The reading of  "the second wave" is taken from the underground concert of B.Grebenshchikov (1984), arranged by the future organizers of new kharkovian rock-club. But it's already quite another story.


Sergey Korotkov

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