Skip to comments.Coming Soon: How Rock Rolled Up the Iron Curtain
Posted on 06/04/2010 10:24:09 AM PDT by kristinn
Most (good) history books correctly portray the collapse of communism as due to the efforts of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and Pope John Paul II. But there were other subversive elements at work, not the least of which was rock and roll, which bled through the Iron Curtain at an unstoppable level. In Seven Events that Made America America, I examined rocks part in not only providing a source of hope and optimism for those youth locked under communisms grip, but also how it became a subversive force within the East Bloc. Through interviews with American rock and rollers of the Golden Era (1965-1990), I found an awareness on the part of the musicians of the oppressive nature of communism.
After I had sent the book off, Marc Leif, a documentary director and superb editor, and I got together to discuss a documentary film based on the rock chapter. As a professor, Id never raised any money in my life, but now I had to raise a considerable sum to make a movie about rock and roll! We began filming in January 2010, with one of our first interviews being Leslie Mandoki, a Hungarian student leader who crawled through a sewer to escape communism. We ALL wanted to be Americans! he insisted. (Mandoki has become quite successful, not only in mainstream European rock, but as the music director for Audi and Volkswagen). As he thrived in the West, Mandoki soon traveled in circles with some well known people, including Bill Clinton and Mikhael Gorbachev, and was surprised to hear Gorby tell him that we couldnt keep out rock and roll.
Rockin the Wall will be out in August and the website/trailer can be seen here.
(Excerpt) Read more at bighollywood.breitbart.com ...
The trailer looks good! Good luck with the book and film!
Any movie that combines rock’n’roll with Reagan saying, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” is pretty cool!
Rock and roll is an insidious force. Just check out the Red Russian Army Choir and the Leningrad Cowboys doing ‘Sweet Home Alabama’.
Wind Of Change - Scorpions Berlin Wall Slide Show
Had an immediate thought of 99 Luft Balloons & hairy armpits.
That’s too much. No question who won the Cold War.
2 Many DJs actually did a mosh of 99 Luft Balloons and some rap song.
I know it’s only rock and roll....but I like it.
Yup...blue jeans and rock ‘n roll brought down an empire.
Unfortunately, once the wall fell, the quality of East European rock’n’roll fell with it, as the disco, techno, [c]rap mass producing hit factories from the West moved in.
Niemen's Enigmatic is simply one of the greatest albums ever made in any language, IMHO.
If I had heard the song without linking to it, I would never have know it was Russians singing it. I enjoyed it.
“...an awareness on the part of the musicians of the oppressive nature of communism.”
So why are so freakin’ many of them wandering around out there in left field?
In the film, we interviewed an East German woman who bartered a “Spooky Tooth” album for headphones and speakers (absolutely unavailable there) or the equivalent of a week’s wages. Another guy, a Romanian, told us that he sold albums for about $80 American dollars (1970s $$).
According to Measuring Worth - Seven Ways to Compute the Relative Value of a U.S. Dollar Amount, 1774 to Present
In 2009 (last year it will calculate), $80.00 from 1970 is worth:
$442.00 using the Consumer Price Index
$361.00 using the GDP deflator
$454.00 using the unskilled wage
$532.00 using the Production Worker Compensation
$733.00 using the nominal GDP per capita
$1,100.00 using the relative share of GDP
Blue jeans, burgers, car culture, and rock and roll.
Pillar by pillar the signs of "Americana" are being knocked down.
For all intensive purposes, rock music (on a large cultural scale) was dead after 1994 when the suits shoved grunge and independent music out the door for another wave of choreographed lip synching boy bands.
Look at the acts playing the big sheds and selling the top tours. Nothing new down the pike. There are plenty of worthwhile bands but the corporations won't ackowlege them.
There was rock and roll between 1959 and 1964 too but again, we are told after Buddy Holly, there was nothing until the Beatles.
Burgers are "now" called unhealthy.
Cars must be made smaller, less exiting, and cruising and drive throughs and road trips are OUT.
And Levis aren't the jeans they once were. Cheap denim and poor quality control when it comes to sizing (plus a manufactured "sag" because the masses are told "that baggy look is in now").
Comic books were killed (just a cottage industry over the titles that sold 10s of millions in their prime). Movies are made for foreign consumption over US interest (truth justice and all that...).
Homes with front yards are old hat, buy a condo skyrise instead...
Never used to be told you couldn't have a hearty toilet or incandescent light bulbs.
Our president says we can't even set our thermostats at whatever we'd like to.
There has been a conscious effort to kill of the America of the 20th century.
LOL. Great source.
A statue of Frank Zappa in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Nah....guess not. No statue there.
While we all thought the Iron Curtain was there to keep its citizens from escaping (and that’s true) It appears at this time it may also have been holding back Communism from flooding the United States.
I watched it again and they sing it again, different costumes. And the lady dancers were a kick. Then after that, they sing another song and show clips of the suffering of the people. Some of it appears to be WWI, some of it the gulags, and a bit from the revolution period.
Everything you list is good reason why conservatives always need to be enemies of the state.
Rock and roll is about individualism and thumbing ones’ nose at the establishment.
Long live rock and roll...
Thanks for posting this article,and i feel that we rockers must stick together.