Well, last night one of Russia’s musical oligarch’s, Yosef Kobzon had his anniversary concert in Kyiv. Unfortunately the posters promoting it will be around to remind everyone just how great he is. I hope they come down soon I am getting sick of looking at his ugly mug.
In the entry on Wikipedia above there is mention that he was one of the first singers to perform in the Zone in 1986 for those who helped fight the fire in the fourth reactor that had gone critical. A number of years ago, six to be exact, I had the pleasure to meet and MC Myroslav Levytsky’s first Music Without Borders concert in Kyiv together with Ukrainian singer Alla Popova[Link in Ukrainian].
The day after the concert, sitting with Alla, Myroslav, Rens Newland and Lionel Lodge Alla told us how many musicians were supposed to travel to Germany, both the FRG and DDR as well as a few other countries at the beginning of May of 1986. They were told, ‘you will go and sing in Chornobyl, or you will not be going west.’ So whether Kobzon should be viewed as such a good person for singing in the Zone is another matter. Lionel had asked her whether she was worried about the possible outcome of this mandatory performance. Her reply was as she pointed to her thirteen year old daughter sitting with us at the table, “I was a little worried, but as you can see and from what the doctor’s say, my daughter is perfectly healthy!”
As an addendum, I guess there is some justice in this world. During Kobzon’s concert last night a fire started on the stage at 21:05. According to Ukrainska Pravda the first to notice the fire were the musicians on the stage. While no one was injured during the fire caused supposedly by faulty wiring, according to Channel 5, as of 21:50 there were 20 fire crews working to put out the fire.
While I certainly am happy no one was injured, the property damage is a shame. Some reports state that most concerts planned for Palats Ukrainy will most likely be rescheduled, postponed or canceled. Maybe this was simply a signal to our brothers north of the border.