Yegor Letov Dies...


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whyvern
03-04-2008, 02:19 PM
from the Moscow Times:
http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2008/02/21/016.html

Punk rock icon Yegor Letov, who was once committed to a mental hospital by Soviet authorities angered by his profane and fiercely anti-Communist lyrics, has died of heart failure at age 43.

Letov died in his sleep Tuesday morning at his home in the Siberian city of Omsk, according to a brief statement on the official web site of his band, Grazhdanskaya Oborona.

Investigators from the Omsk Regional Prosecutor's Office are seeking to establish the exact cause of Letov's death, RIA-Novosti reported Wednesday. By law, the investigators have one month to issue their findings, though preliminary results could be released by the end of this week.

Citing anonymous sources, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported Wednesday that Letov's death was drawn-out and painful. The report contradicted the band's statement, which said Letov died suddenly.

The musician's funeral and a public memorial service will take place Thursday in Omsk, said Sergei Popkov, the manager of Grazhdanskaya Oborona, RIA-Novosti reported.

Letov's death marks the end of a turbulent career for one of the only Russian rock stars from the 1980s who kept his outsider status in the post-Soviet era.

He earned his controversial reputation by singing obscene songs at often rowdy concerts, by openly admitting his use of illegal drugs and by signing up with the radical, now-banned National Bolshevik Party -- a move that alienated many in the rock music community.


Letov was a "rebel without a cause," said Mikhail Kozyrev, co-founder of rock station Nashe Radio.

"He was one of those artists that was blessed with enormous talent, but this talent came with a bunch of demons that tortured him throughout his whole life, and I think he couldn't manage them," Kozyrev, who now hosts a talk show on the Silver Rain radio station, said by telephone Wednesday.

Writer Eduard Limonov, founder of the National Bolsheviks and a close friend of the late musician, described Letov as a "comrade in arms" and an "ardent revolutionary."

"He was the musical component of the party. He will not be forgotten," Limonov said, RIA-Novosti reported.

In a column he penned last year for the English-language biweekly The eXile, Limonov said the National Bolshevik flag was first unfurled at a Grazhdanskaya Oborona concert in 1993.

Letov was born in Omsk in 1964, the son of an army officer and a nurse. His name was listed as Igor in his passport, but he became known as Yegor. He never obtained a higher education.

He discovered rock as a child when his brother introduced him to the records of Shocking Blue, Led Zeppelin and the Beatles, he said in a 1989 interview posted on the Grazhdanskaya Oborona web site.

"When I heard them, they had such an effect on me that everything got going at once," he said. "I started recording rock, and I lived on this music for 10 years."

In 1982, Letov founded a band called Posev at a time when Soviet authorities were highly suspicious of the country's nascent underground rock scene. Two years later, he started Grazhdanskaya Oborona, or "Civil Defense."

Letov's lyrics were initially absurdist and apolitical, but everything changed in 1985 when authorities committed him to a mental hospital, a tactic used against especially vocal dissidents. He was kept in the hospital for three months and forced to take anti-psychotic drugs.

After he emerged in early 1986, Grazhdanskaya Oborona began to produce sharply political songs such as "Everything Is Going According to Plan," a mockery of communist optimism that became an anti-Soviet anthem and Letov's best-known song.

It contained the lyrics: "Everything will be fine under communism / It will come soon, you just have to wait / Everything will be free ... and nobody will have to die."

Forced to record in Letov's own apartment, the band eventually gained popularity in the late 1980s, and Letov became known as a Russian version of Sid Vicious, rebelling against everyone and everything.

"During the very end of Soviet rule, [our work was] an extreme provocation, full of the kind of anti-Soviet content even dissidents couldn't allow themselves," Letov recalled in an interview with The Moscow Times in 2000.

Letov remained a rebel even after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He underwent a number of political transformations and ended up as an early supporter of Limonov's National Bolsheviks, a radical group that mixed communist and nationalist ideology.

It was a combination well-suited for Letov, whose interviews with journalists were often reminiscent of his confusing, stream-of-consciousness song lyrics.

"Everybody asks me, 'Who am I? Am I a communist or not?'" Letov told The Moscow Times in 2000. "And I tell them 'I'm a communist and I'm not a communist.' When the political situation changed, I had to find a new answer."

A prolific musician, Letov recorded more than 40 albums in his two-decade career, sometimes solo but usually playing with Grazhdanskaya Oborona.

The band's recordings and live shows were full of "wild, raw, smashing energy," Kozyrev said.

"It was never a mass-audience group," he said. "It was always so raw that you would never put it on the air."

The band released its last album, "Why Do We Dream?", in May 2007. Last month, Letov said the album had sapped all his energy and that he would stop recording, news agencies reported.

At the time of his death, Letov was married to Natalya Chumakova, the bass player for Grazhdanskaya Oborona. He had no children.

He turned into a real nationalist asshole before he died but he left us with a buncha awesome jams from the 80's and with hope that punk can happen anywhere, no matter what oppression tries to keep us down.

Na zdarovje.

Vsjoh, idjot po-planu!

Mav-16
03-04-2008, 02:24 PM
yeah no offense.... but this guy totally seemed like he was full of ****.

"oh no soviet union collapsed what the **** am i gonna do keep releasing political records"

RockThe40oz
03-04-2008, 03:27 PM
yeah no offense.... but this guy totally seemed like he was full of ****.

"oh no soviet union collapsed what the **** am i gonna do keep releasing political records"

What do you think is going to happen to all those PunkVoter bands in a few months?

whyvern
03-04-2008, 04:36 PM
yeah no offense.... but this guy totally seemed like he was full of ****.

"oh no soviet union collapsed what the **** am i gonna do keep releasing political records"


no he was a piece of ****. But like I said, he made alot of awesome music in the 80's when what he had to say was political relevant. I think he was one of those people who always needed something to rebel against.

I'd honor him more as a person who played punk rock and said things they shouldn't have said in a very oppressive environment. I think that's awesome. I think the second half of his life sucked.

Jett Diamond
03-04-2008, 09:04 PM
I just went and checked 'em out cause I'm fairly interested in the Russian culture. I can speak somewhat broken Russian, so it's pretty cool to hear.
they're alright. Don't really catch me, musically. Interesting story though.
Thanks whyvern.

lavazza
03-05-2008, 10:52 AM
Heīs the firts russian / soviet punk I hear about......this used to be a kind of grey area on the punk map

DanRev
03-05-2008, 07:09 PM
National Bolsheviks are ****s.

misfitsdisciple
03-05-2008, 09:02 PM
I bet they injected him with some Magnesium Sulfate. You know how the K.G.B. rolls over there in the U.S.S.R.

BrianApocalypse
03-05-2008, 11:14 PM
Heīs the firts russian / soviet punk I hear about......this used to be a kind of grey area on the punk map

The Soviet Union kicks Germany's ass. :p:

misfitsdisciple
03-06-2008, 11:17 AM
In Soviet Russia, Punx ups you!

FuzzyBear
03-06-2008, 11:54 AM
I'd honor him more as a person who played punk rock and said things they shouldn't have said in a very oppressive environment. I think that's awesome.

you could say the same thing about members of screwdriver....

lavazza
03-06-2008, 12:57 PM
The Soviet Union kicks Germany's ass. :p:

you just say that because thereīs no Wodka coming out of our water taps :(

DanRev
03-06-2008, 01:00 PM
you just say that because thereīs no Wodka coming out of our water taps :(



Germany makes good beer.


Russia makes vodka.



Vodka is ****. You loveable krauts win.

whyvern
03-06-2008, 01:14 PM
you could say the same thing about members of screwdriver....


except screwdriver were preaching hate. In the 80's GrOb were talking about freedom and the need for an anarchist society. They also coulda been shot for that. Screwdriver in comparison were a buncha overprivledged brats wining about immigrants.

Iluvpowerchords
03-06-2008, 01:17 PM
I see very little difference between Vodka and Isopropyl Alcohol.

I had Russian roomates last semester that did nothing but drink stupid amounts of Vodka and throw up.

I hated them and their ****ty disinfectant beverage.

DanRev
03-06-2008, 01:38 PM
The only time I genuinely enjoyed Vodka was when I went prague with our school. We stayed in some crappy high-rise towerblock come "hotel" that had a load of crackheads staying there for some reason. We got alot of cheap vodka and ran riot. There were loads of Germans staying there aswell who let us have free beer if we could give them the cans to build a wall.

Everyone was mashed out of their nut. Vodka was rank, but the night was funny as ****. One bloke woke up in an elevator that kept going up and down tied up to a chair with his trousers on, but no underpants.



But still, would of preferred beer but the vodka was so cheap it was hard to say no.

BrianApocalypse
03-06-2008, 02:00 PM
Oh yeah, well I drew a swastika in the dirt outside Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp without realising what I was doing.

That makes me 10x more badass than you, not to mention 10x more absent minded.

whyvern
03-06-2008, 06:12 PM
^no that just makes you a dick,if you really did that

people who are knocking vodka have never had grass vodka in Poland or real Russian Vodka (you can't get it in the states).

DanRev
03-06-2008, 06:15 PM
If I'm going to spend alot of money on spirits, then I'm going to spend alot of money on a nice whiskey instead.



Vodka just isnt my thing.

lavazza
03-07-2008, 09:42 AM
Germany makes good beer.


If itīs about beer Germany and Britain seems to be brothers in mind even though you didnīt call the Wembley Bridge "Dietmar Hamann Bridge" :p:

^no that just makes you a dick,if you really did that

people who are knocking vodka have never had grass vodka in Poland or real Russian Vodka (you can't get it in the states).

or they know that every second Russian has an alcoholic zirrhosis

StreetLight3989
03-07-2008, 04:33 PM
Oh yeah, well I drew a swastika in the dirt outside Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp without realising what I was doing.

That makes me 10x more badass than you, not to mention 10x more absent minded.
I'm not into the whole PC thing, but swastika and Nazi stuff really pisses me off. It's really not cool to do the heil Hitler salute thing or draw swastikas all over. I mean it's just so disrespectful. I don't know, maybe it's because I have Jewish heritage. I was actually drawn away from punk at first because of the whole swastika nazi thing.