Old Saint Basil's Cathedral in MoscowJohnson's Russia List title and scenes of Saint Petersburg
Excerpts from the JRL E-Mail Community :: Founded and Edited by David Johnson
#3 - JRL 2008-130 - JRL Home
Medvedev's favorites Deep Purple to roll across Russia this fall

MOSCOW, July 10 (RIA Novosti) - The ageing British rockers Deep Purple, one of the favorite bands of the current Russian president, are set for a tour of Russia this fall, a spokesman for the tour's promotion company said on Thursday.

Vladimir Zubitsky said the band, with a collective age of 297, would give performances in Russia's 12 largest cities, playing mostly old hits, with their final concert to come at the Olympiisky Stadium in Moscow.

"The tour will finish on October 27 with a grand concert at the Olympiisky Stadium - tickets have already gone on sale," he said, adding that the price for the concert tickets varied between 2,000 rubles ($86) and 10,000 rubles ($430).

One of the group's more high-profile fans is Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

In an interview last year with the Russian magazine Itogi, Medvedev boasted of his collection of Deep Purple LPs, saying that he had searched for the vinyl albums for many years.

"Not reissues, but the original albums," he said.

Last year, Deep Purple gave a private performance at Russian energy giant Gazprom's 15th anniversary celebrations. Medvedev, who was sworn in as president this May, was the company's board chairman at the time.

Many ageing British groups enjoy great success in Russia and ex-Soviet states. The most remarkable story of all is perhaps that of the northern English rock band Smokie. All but forgotten in their homeland, the group regularly fills stadiums across the former Soviet Union, and was even invited to play at this year's inauguration of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Many rock groups were banned by Soviet authorities. However, an official 'blacklist' handed out to the leaders of Soviet youth groups in 1985 did not include Deep Purple. Many other famous rock groups were listed though, such as AC/DC (Neo-fascism), Alice Cooper (Vandalism), Black Sabbath (Religious obscurantism), and the Talking Heads (Propagation of the myth of the Soviet military threat).