Publications / Mass Media

Birthday of domestic show business

Compilation by 



with the use of text of the book

Free Russian Master,
created in the co-authorship



Tours, organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy. Konstantin Kinchev  gives an interview. On November 22-23, is the Birthday of domestic show business. The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR.

On November 22-23, 1987 is the Birthday of domestic show business.

The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners. Konstantin Kinchev (Group ALISA) during a break between concerts.



Group ALISA is onstage of Chelyabinsk circus. The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners. On November 22-23, 1987.


Group ALISA is onstage of

Chelyabinsk circus.

The first legitimate nonstate tours

in the USSR organized by

Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners.

On November 22-23, 1987.


Group ALISA is onstage of Chelyabinsk circus. The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners. On November 22-23, 1987.


Group ALISA is onstage of Chelyabinsk circus. The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners. On November 22-23, 1987.





Svyatoslav Zaderia (Group NATE, Group Alisa founder) onstage of Chelyabinsk circus. The first legitimate nonstate tours in the USSR organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners. On November 22-23, 1987.

Svyatoslav Zaderia, Group NATE

(Group Alisa founder) onstage of

Chelyabinsk circus.

The first legitimate nonstate tours

in the USSR organized by

Vasily Smelyanskiy and his partners.

On November 22-23, 1987.




Vasily SMELYANSKIY expedition to foothills of the Tulymsky ridge, down the river Vishera (Northern Ural, Perm’s region).

Vasily SMELYANSKIY expedition to

foothills of the Tulymsky ridge,

down the river Vishera

(Northern Ural, Perm’s region).

2nd half of the 80s

Home -> Publications / Mass Media -> 2008 -> Birthday of domestic show business




November 22, 1987 is the official birthday of domestic show business. That time 21 years ago 4 legal concerts of a rock band Alisa organized by Vasily Smelyanskiy, Anatoly Badanov, Valery Suslov and Boris Kalyuzhniy took place on arena of the Chelyabinsk circus for the first time in history of the USSR. For this sensational action the organizers gain a reputation as impetuous and a simply mad people.



The beginning. The Cooperative Tvorchestvo



In the second half of 1980, Vasily Smelyanskiy was living in Chelyabinsk and working in the Regional scientific-methodological center under the Department of Culture, he has rushed in then muddy enough waters of cooperative movement. He has created cooperative Tvorchestvo which could deal with tour activity at complete support of the Regional Department of Culture. Boris Kalyuzhniy, longtime friend, a good lawyer and the former employee of a city criminal investigation department, helped with charter and became one of three founders of cooperative Tvorchestvo. The third one, Pavel Antonenko, carried out administrative functions.


At that time anyone had no idea that in the first severe laws on the cooperation, blocking to a private sector all openings for an encroachment on the Gosconsert diocese, the legislator has left a "loophole". Having found out this "loophole", «great schemers» have included outwardly harmless kind of activity in the cooperative' Charter: the organization of creative evenings. It was possible to name any tours, any shows «in the creative evening», performances of artists to accompany the interactive communication of entertainer with the hall, and in posters instead of "concerts" and "tours" to write «creative evening». Such here was a know-how...


1980's — the years of illegal and «apartment» concerts of legendary bards and real fees «in envelopes» (not under tariffs) of leading Soviet entertainment stars. Even at that time the Young Communist League actively implemented palliative forms of cost-accounting relations: the Youth Centers, the creative communities. But it was all looked like a frank crime. It was impossible officially to pay worthy fee to the actors and to get profit from a concert without any tricks under these schemes. Monopolists, the Gosconsert and State Circus had no any real legal rivalry.


Prior to the cooperative Tvorchestvo held on November 22-23, 1987 the first legal private tour in the USSR.



New York — Chelyabinsk



At the request of regional committee of Young Communist League, on behalf of which acted tenacious and energetic Valery Suslov, Vasily Smelyanskiy and Palace of Culture Monolit undertook carring out concerts of the Leningrad rock band Aquarium in Chelyabinsk , by passing the Regional Philharmonic and Gosconsert. Four concerts in a circus ring have been planned and 8000 tickets worthing an average of eight rubles (for those times it were huge money) have been sold. By the way, and the scenographic idea — a rock band in a circus ring — has been used for the first time, later it was expounded a blatantly across the country... Audiences has stood pending. Aquarium's tour in Chelyabinsk! Event for South Ural equal arrival of the Pope...


But exactly two days before the start of the concerts Michael Feinstein, director of the Aquarium, phoned and with a sad voice said: Bob won't go. Gosconsert has resolved to Boris Grebenshchikov (before that the rocker could not travel abroad) a trip to America, but with one condition: either Chelyabinsk, or America.


All spoke simply: preparation for the first in the country private tours has stumbled on a total opposition to the Gosconsert and the Regional Philharmonic. Officials realized that for them these tours were like a death: after Chelyabinsk - gateways was going to crash down, all singing and dancing freemen rush in free tours.
And then who needs all these state mediators? .. But what about the pullbacks, expensive gifts, tribute in kind from celebrities and a sweet sense of "cabinet power"? ..


Such levers have been involved that cooperative Tvorchestvo would sink into a twilight non-existence. Founders of the cooperative Tvorchestvo were reprimanded in a city committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and openly warned: «If tours will be held, you will be punished...» But suddenly support was provided by the Regional Committee, they demanded an end to the persecution (which was not stopped, but the pressure eased). The reason for the sudden love of the regional authorities to daring destroyers of the foundations was very simple: Anatoly Badanov, the director of the Palace of Culture Monolit, the recognized leader of informal youth, and Valery Suslov, the instructor of Regional Committee of All-Union Leninist Young Communist League, have developed such "Bolshevist" subversive activities that on streets of Chelyabinsk unless only patrols of nonconformists with rifles didn't wander. Demonstrations, posters, skillful ideological games in the spirit of the times: not on those concert officials have run. "Kooperativschiki" were not only young and daring, they were smart ...


Then Gosconsert pulled his ace of trumps – guest actor will not be on the tour. Three organizers might get real criminal afterword because of failure of the tour.






The situation had created: 48 hours before the concerts — 8000 tickets had been sold, the hall was purchased, magnificent equipment was rented, the mounted scene, reserved lux. And crowds of the raging youth were ready to take storm a philharmonic society, circus or anything else...


Then Smelyanskiy and Badanov dared at impudent voyage to Leningrad. They was a understanding that only equal names on popularity can replace Aquarium... They took the box of perfect cognac, a 3-liter jar of red caviar and chubby packs of the Soviet money with image of the leader and went to Northern capital.


Shortly before that on November 17, 1987, the band Alisa acted in the Leningrad Palace of sports Jubileyniy and then Leningrad newspaper Smena has published the devastating article: "Alisa with a oblique fringe" where nazi propagation was attributed to group. It was absolute slander. As an occasion scandal in Jubileyniy was the reason: police beat crowd up and didn't start up on a scene of Konstantin Kintchev, the leader of band, and also his pregnant wife have offended and have knocked down a kick in a belly. After that Kintchev at the concert has devoted one of songs «to foreign visitors if these are in a hall, cops and other bad people». What it has begun!.. The police densely were engaged in Leningrad rockers. All it resulted in the subsequent long-playing and noisy «Kintchev's Case» ... To put it briefly, Alisa has left in a deep underground.


Then "korporotivschiki" have agreed about arrival to Chelyabinsk with punk band Nate!, but the scale was not that. "Alisa" was necessary. With help of legendary Maryana, highly successful producer, Victor Tsoi's wife, Smelyanskiy and Badanov found Alik Timoshenko, the director of Alisa, the veteran of a St. Petersburg rock'n'roll, the founder of bands Argonavtu and Ornament. After long secret conversations and categorical denials on the phone, he has agreed to personal meeting.


The next secret meeting and the first big victory: all "illegal" band led by Kintchev, besides Alik, has gathered on meeting. Cognac, red caviar, good company, chat... About concerts a question wasn't rise at all. Musicians categorically did not want to be shone and voluntarily get into the hands of police. Among other things, they are not allowed to give a concerts. Everybody just drank, ate, talked. Finally, Vasily Smelyanskiy presented a powerful trump: packs of money with portrait of the beloved leader and the promise to pay to band for each of four concerts 2000 rubles, and half right here and now. And all it was legally, in full conformity with the native Soviet legislation. Director of the band was unable to speak, rockers were in shock. Two thousand for a concert! It is absolutely unreal fee in the USSR ...
The ice broke up!


Money is money, but the main thing - Alisa wanted to act to spite everything. Musicians have felt that before them the same desperate guys. And that somewhere there, in Ural Mountains, thousand people were waited for them and they were ready to blow up the city... Another glass of cognac, and under the slogan of the day: "Yes, hell with him, with the KGB! We don't care about anything when there in far Chelyabinsk people are worry!" - a team of rebels rushed in Pulkovo, where the band's most notorious punks of Petersburg - the band Nate! led by gang-leader Mariana have been waiting for them... At Pulkovo, even in the parliamentary office, there was no tickets to any direction, the musicians, instruments, how can they fly - is unclear... Do you think there was a problem for the resounding success of the Ural guys?.. They broke through to the head of the airport - cognac, caviar, and intimate conversation ... Night Head of the Airport was also against the lawlessness Philharmonic Mafia and retrogrades of any kinds. Badanov and punks flew in Chelyabinsk, Smelyansky and Alisa flew in Yekaterinburg ...


After a couple of hours late at night, from Yekaterinburg in the Chelyabinsk raced two taxis in which were drinking, eating and singing victorious robber songs Kinchev's band...


And in Chelyabinsk musicians was going to have meeting and arrangement which hardly would receive Beatles: visit of Petersburg rockers was long hope... The Best Hotels of a city, black "Volga" at an entrance, an escort of long-legged models (it was impossible to imagine in the USSR), princely menus, fans with posters ... Alisa performed perfectly as for the last time. Barefooted and semi undressed Kintchev ignored a cold and had the admired hall...


Four concerts! Overnight Vasily Smelyanskiy became a known figure in domestic show business.



Not to go in jail for a just cause



Three days after concerts the Office of Public Prosecutor opened on the cooperative Tvorchestvo criminal case. Nobody were not surprised. The prosecutor's office pursued the other participants - Badanov, Suslov, and even the circus director Gennady Smirnov, who from the very beginning of this story has been an active supporter of the idea and openly "flag" city committee and all the others, they forced him to terminate the lease with the cooperative Torchestvo. The inquest continued for a few months. Young girl, the graduate of Sverdlovsk legal institute conducted criminal case. Persons under investigation sympathized a girl: "You dragged into the dirty story of exclusively political nature. You cannot catch us in wrongful acts - there were not. You do not even have the right to take us on recognizance not to leave. Thank you for your attention..."


Police did not put anyone in jail.


Precedent has been created. Domestic show business was born and has said the first loaded word.






Soon after tours of Alisa Vasily Smelyanskiy went to Moscow where he took part in the creation and work first in the USSR show-firm Stas Namin Center. His further destiny is known thanks to numerous publications in a mass media. Today the artist, the poet, the printer, Vasily Smelyanskiy directs publishing group «RIG PERSONA®».



Boris Kalyuzhniy went into business, nowadays he is the owner of several companies.


Valery Suslov in 1990th years also went into business. Today he owns group of enterprises Shtern.


Anatoly Badanov organized own video studio.


The destiny of a rock band Alisa and its outstanding leader Konstantin Kintchev all known and needs no additional comments.




For the first time, the article was published on the site of RIG PERSONA®, November, 2008


The article was written using the text of the book Free Russian Master. This book was created by V. SMELYANSKIY and co-author Y. SHEVELEV and inspired by memories of Vasily Smelyanskiy, Boris Kalyuzhny, Anatoly Badanov, Valery Suslov, video recordings of concerts and Konstantin Kinchev's interview and rock band ALISA during tours in Chelyabinsk on November 22-23, 1987.


Events and quoted statements mentioned in the text are based on memories of the main characters and have been reconciled to the historical authenticity with other documentary sources which are opened for free access on the Internet.


For the first time selected chapters from the book Free Russian Master was published in the book LIFE of PEOPLE by Yuri Shevelev (Chelyabinsk, Dialog-Holding, 2008).


Photos from the archive of V. SMELYANSKIY



Photos and production stills from the archives of

Anatoly BADANOV 




English translation under order of IE Smelyanskiy V.Y.



Analog to digital conversion have been carried out by



Photography and video filming
with using the analogue camera
of the rock band Alisa’s performances
and interviews with participants
conducted on the initiative
cooperative Tvorchestvo for their own use,
including commercial,
it was stipulated in the contract
(Labor agreement) with collective of Alisa.
Shootings have been carried out
by commercial partners
(Physical persons) of Cooperative Tvorchestvo.
Photography have been carried out by KLEPIKOV Vyacheslav Mikhailovich.
He placed part of photo at disposal
founders of the cooperative Tvorchestvo.


© Compilation article, LLC RIG PERSONA®, 2008
© the Text of the book Free Russian Master, Smelyanskiy V.Y., Shevelev Y.P., 2008
© Archival Photo, Smelyanskiy V.Y., 2008


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