Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rocking the Cold War, musician helped bring American music to USSR


Rock and Roll music was such a huge part of growing up in America as a youth. WFIL in Philadelphia was constantly playing wherever I was. Hard to imagine what it would be like if it was outlawed and you would be arrested for playing a guitar!
Valery "Seisky" Saifudinov took the stage in Riga, Latvia, with a plywood electric guitar on New Year's Eve 1962, burst into a set of Chuck Berry and Little Richard songs, and within months, people in Moscow and other major Soviet cities couldn't use phone booths.
"The (word) spread so fast after we played the first time," said Saifudinov, a native of Latvia and an Escondido resident since 1993. "The whole city was talking about rock 'n' roll."
The correlation between guitars and phone booths was a result of the sudden demand for parts, with kids dismantling public phones to build electric guitars as rock bands began forming in the Soviet Union during the early 1960s, he said.
Almost 50 years since forming what is considered by rock historians the first rock 'n' roll band in the Soviet Union, Saifudinov still wears his hair in a shaggy black mane, still dresses like a rocker and still performs.
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Article shared courtesy of Gary Warth and the North County Times, Escondido, CA

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Where did you serve? Military or Civilian? Stateside or Overseas. Fulda Gap? Berlin? NATO? CIA? State Department? The Dew Line? On a Missile Battery? Down in a Silo? At Sea? Under the Sea? In the Air? According to the VA over 26 million Vets are still alive. I'd bet that most served in the 1945-1991 time frame and I'd like to share your story on this blog. As long as it isn't still classified, email me with your story and I will post it here.