UNDER SKY OF AQUARIUM
Sometimes, in order to say in concise and succinct phrases about a group, its place in the musical horizon, and its role in the life of fans, you need to try to summarize all the many years of the work of the team. Or you can just give the group members the opportunity to say their own creation. Boris Grebenshchikov called the Aquarium group a shining beast that brings people something that they lacked, which they themselves did not know about. In this one phrase, the whole secret of the popularity of “Aquarium” is revealed.
Looking for like-minded people
The chronicle of the Aquarium group opens in 1972. Since then, dozens of famous musicians from different countries have visited the band – Vsevolod Gakkel, Sergey Kurekhin, Oleg Sakmarov, Boris Rubekin, Alexander Lyapin, Dzhivan Gasparyan and Igor Butman. The history of the group can be divided into several stages. During these periods, not only the composition of the Aquarium participants changed, but also the corporate sound.
The group appeared at the behest of two young people who studied at the same St. Petersburg school. These were Boris Grebenshchikov and Anatoly Gunitsky, nicknamed George. Initially, the group was conceived by the group Aquarium as a poetic and musical. It’s definitely impossible to say how its name came about, since Anatoly claims that it appeared by analogy with one of the city’s beer bars. But Boris is inclined to the version that the word “aquarium” was approved as a name after three-day painful searches of many phrases.
Be that as it may, Aquarium got its name and plunged into the musical flow. True, at first the group had to confine itself only to rehearsals in connection with the instability of the composition. The musicians first appeared, then left, some of them became iconic figures in Russian rock space. Among them was Edmund Shklyarsky, the current leader of the rock band Picnic. At the same time, Mikhail Fainshtein-Vasiliev (nicknamed Fan), one of the main participants in the early gold composition of the Aquarium, joined the band, and a year later keyboardist and flutist Andrei Romanov (Dyusha) appeared on the team.
First gold line-up
Aquarium recorded its first magneto-album in 1974 using ordinary household appliances. But the official release of “The Temptation of the Holy Aquarium” (such was the group Aquarium its name) waited only in 1997. It included other early work of the team. In 1975 there was another recording (“Minuet to the Farmer”), but this phonogram, unfortunately, was irretrievably lost.
Soon Anatoly Gunitsky leaves the group, however, he maintained friendly relations with other musicians who, after such a turn, tried for some time to realize themselves in the amateur theater of the absurd. Boris Grebenshchikov very quickly became disappointed in the idea of combining music, poetry and theater, so he completely concentrated on musical activity. And after the cellist Vsevolod Gakkel came to Aquarium, the golden composition of the group formed: BG, Dyusha, Seva and Fan.
The intense concert activity of the musicians of Aquarium began in 1976. One of the fateful was a trip to the festival in Tallinn. It was there, in an ordinary city trolleybus, that Boris Grebenshchikov met Andrei Makarevich. Since that time, the participants in the Aquarium and the Time Machine have been “collectively” friends. Around the same period, Grebenshchikov met the leader of the Aquarium group of the Zoo Mikhail (Mike) Naumenko. Together they recorded the album “All Brothers – Sisters.”
The apotheosis of the touring activities of Aquarium was the performance at the famous rock festival in Tbilisi in 1980. In an interview with one of the correspondents, Boris Grebenshchikov said that the value of the music of Aquarium is that it does not comply with standards and crawls out of all the templates. Then at the concert, the musicians behaved frankly shocking by Soviet standards. As a result, the jury openly accused the team of promoting homosexuality. After such a speech, Grebenshchikov was expelled from the Komsomol and expelled from work. Although Boris himself believes that these circumstances only helped him in self-realization.
A new milestone in the chronology of Aquarium was the meeting of Boris Grebenshchikov with the famous St. Petersburg sound engineer Andrei Tropillo, who is called the first Soviet producer. It was he who helped to record the first albums of most groups of the Leningrad rock club – “Zoo”, “Cinema”, “Alice” and others. He worked in the House of the Young Technician and equipped a studio there, where all the plastics of the early period of the Aquarium group were recorded.
The studio story of the team began with the release of the Blue Album in 1981. After that, the musicians create the Triangle. Subsequently, this album is recognized as one of the most significant in Russian rock music. Then “Aquarium” becomes a member of the newly founded Leningrad Rock Club and thus receives the legal status of the group. Already in 1982, the band’s musicians recorded the record “Taboo”, and a year later “Radio Africa” appeared.