Many years before Braty bluzu was formed Serhiy Taftay played with many different groups. In the early 1980s while playing with one group in Western Ukraine he simply wanted to have the best possible instrument, so he somehow managed to scrape together 6,000 Rubles to by himself a Gibson Les Paul guitar and he did. I don’t know what the official exchange rate was at that time, but in 1985, while studying in Leningrad, I had received 100 Rubles from my uncle as a gift, I had a damn hard time spending it. I during a whole week I would take 5-6 friends out for dinner every night, still had lots of money left over. Officially, the rate at the time, if my memory serves me was about 2 Roubles for every US Dollar.
While playing in somewhere near Voronezh, Russia, with the band he was with at the time his guitar was stolen before one of the gigs. A number of years later, some Ukrainian musicians were in Moscow at a gig, one of them noticed Andrei Makarevych the cofounder of the group Mashina Vremeni a popular Soviet rock band, which had even achieved cult status, had Taftay’s guitar. When he was asked where he got it, his reply was, “I bought it from someone!”
From musicians I know from the period, it turns out that the theft of Taftay’s guitar became quite a legend during the 1980s before the collapse of the SU.