Alexander Bashlachev

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Alexander Bashlachev
Cropped Башлачёв.jpg
Bashlachev in Moscow (1987)
Background information
Born (1960-05-27)May 27, 1960
Cherepovets, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Died February 17, 1988(1988-02-17) (aged 27)
Leningrad, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Genres Singer-songwriter
Instruments Acoustic guitar
Years active 1983 – 1988

Alexander Nickolaevich Bashlachev (Russian: Алекса́ндр Никола́евич Башлачёв; IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr nʲɪkɐˈlajɪvʲɪtɕ bəʂlɐˈtɕɵf]; May 27, 1960 – February 17, 1988) was a Soviet poet, singer-songwriter and guitarist, one of the most influential performers in Russian rock music, included in the 27 Club.

Early life[edit]

Bashlachev was born in Cherepovets, Soviet Union, the son of Nikolai Bashlachev and Nellie Bashlacheva.

In 1977, Bashlachev graduated from Cherepovets High School in Cherepovets, and worked as a painter at the Cherepovets Metallurgical Plant with his father. In 1978, he resigned from the plant to enroll at the Ural State University in Yekaterinburg (then called Sverdlovsk) as a journalism major.[1] Bashlachev graduated in 1983.


In early 1983, Bashlachev wrote a song entitled "Griboyedov Waltz", which would be the first song he had written. Throughout the 1980s, Bashlachev wrote and composed music. After he graduated at the Ural State University, Bashlachev left Sverdlovsk and returned to Cherepovets, where he worked for a year with the newspaper The Communist. There, he wrote articles about the power plant, and, later, about cafés.[2]

In May 1984, Bashlachev attended the Leningrad Rock Festival in Leningrad. There, he bought an acoustic guitar which he had taught himself to play. In September, he played some of his songs at his friend Leonid Parfyonov's apartment in Leningrad. Over the years, he would play several flat concerts. It is worth noting that rock music was under extreme censorship in Russia during the 1970s and the 1980s. To get around this, musicians played for small audiences at their homes or at the homes of their friends. These gatherings were called "kvartirniks". In October, Bashlachev met music journalist Artem Troitsky, who invited Bashlachev to Moscow to write and compose music.[3] In December 1984, Bashlachev settled in Leningrad.

In March 1985, Bashlachev along with Yuri Shevchuk played at the Leningrad Rock Festival. The two performed before an audience of six hundred concertgoers at the Leningrad Veterinary Institute in Leningrad. A recording of this concert was released under the title of "Kochegarka". It was there that Bashlachev played at the Leningrad Rock Club and also played at the Kamchatka boiler. In June 1987, Bashlachev also played at the Leningrad Rock Festival for the second and final time.

the age of little bells (1984)

we was going in heat and cold so long.

we bore all sorrow to be free.

we were guzzling snow with porridge of birch-rods.

and growing high like a bell tower.

when we had cried – we didn’t skimp any salt for it.

when we had feasted – we didn’t skimp any honey-cake.

bell ringers by their black callosities

were tearing a nerve of brazen speaker.

but every day times change.

cupolas lost its gold.

bell ringers knock about the world.

bells are threw down and split.

why we are staying now

on the our grounds like undergrounders?

if we don’t have a church-bell –

it means it’s time for little bells.

ring for me, my heart under my shirt!

crows are flying away in a harry.

hey! take out the middle horse and the side horses of a troika

and let’s go wherever we wish.

but how many years these horses are not shoed

and wheels are not oiled.

there is no any lash and the saddles has been stolen.

all knots are unbound.

under rain all roads are look like a rainbow!

fat is in the fire and there is nothing to laugh about.

but when there is a small bell under the horse’s shaft bow

it means it’s all right, we are ready, let’s go!

how we shall jingle, whistle and crack!

it will strike you to the marrow of your bones!

hey guys! are your feeling

how it is scaring when Russian bells are laughing?!

we live confusing abuses with prayers.

we live in darkness as if we are blind.

we are sleeping and drinking all the time

and we don’t sing any more because we broke off this habit.

we are waiting so long. formerly all of us were dirty

therefore we were very similar,

but under rain it’s clear we are different.

the most of us are good and honest people.

and even if, our father, the Tsar Bell is broken

we came we came with black guitars

because big-bit, blues and rock-n-roll

fascinated us at once

and there are electrical sparks in our chests!

let’s throw down on snow our caps аnd let’s ring louder!

rock-n-roll is good paganism!

i so like the age of little bells.

Accordingly Russian specialists in literature studying national rock poetry (conference: “Russian Rock Poetry: Text-Context”, 1998-2015), Alexander Bashlachev is one of the greatest Russian poet of the Perestroika period (1985-1991). His poetry is an epical picture of Russian society from ancient times to post-industrial period. He was able to reveal distinctive features of the Russian culture, which was dramatically changed under the influence of the Soviet system. On the one hand, Bashlachev wrote about the death of the Russian spirit, but on the other hand, he kept hope alive for revival of the national culture. It should be noticed, that many of the greatest Russian rock poets appreciate his poetry. Among them are Boris Grebenshchikov, Yuriy Shevchuk and Egor Letov. A matter of particular interest is the interpretation of dystopian CONCEPTION of national culture in Bashlachev’s poetry. In this point Bashlachev continued the tradition of modernists (“Momotaro” by R. Akutagawa, “Devastation” by N. Klyuev, “Hibiya” by Kyōjirō Hagiwara , “Amarcord” by F. Fellini etc.). However, his modernist STYLE is very specific and it is difficult to say who his precursor in literature was. It is as difficult as to trace the origin of poetry Boris Pasternak or Marina Tsvetaeva, who was one of the greatest Russian poets of 20th century. May be Alexander Bashlachev is the last epical poet in the Russia (


Grave of Alexander Bashlachev.

Shortly before his death, Bashlachev had difficulties with writer's block, rarely writing new songs and tending to avoid performing old ones. His last song, entitled "Cherry", was written in August 1987. Also, he had become more isolated as his depression and alcoholism grew more severe.

On February 17, 1988, Bashlachev died after falling from the window of the ninth floor of an apartment on Kuznetsova Avenue in Leningrad. The most likely cause of his death was suicide, however there is uncertainty in that claim.[why?] He was buried at the Kovalevskoye Cemetery in the Leningrad Oblast.[4]

Bashlachev's son, Yegor, was born to his girlfriend a few months after his death.[5]


  1. Time of Bells (1989) - recorded in January 1986 during the second of two single-day sessions at the apartment of the administrator at the Moscow rock laboratory, Alexander Ageev. Bashlachev sang 24 songs.
  2. Everything Will Be Fine (1990) - recorded in January 1986 during the first of two sessions. Bashlachev sang 24 songs.
  3. Third Capital (1990) - recorded on May 30, 1985 in Leningrad in the home studio of Alexei Cherry.
  4. Taganka (1992) - recorded by Andrei Zachesova on January 22, 1986 in Taganka.
  5. Eternal Fasting (1994) - recorded in May 1986 in the studio of Alexander Lipnitskaya.
  6. Famously (1994) - recorded on January 20, 1986 in the home studio of Alexander Ageev (Moscow).
  7. VII (1994) — recorded by Oleg Loaf at a concert at the home of Egor Egorov in Moscow on January 14, 1988, and at a home concert at the home of Marina Timasheff in Moscow on January 29, 1988. Entry is also known as "Last Concert".
  8. II (1996) — Recorded at the home of Marina Terganovoy and Alexander Nesmelova in Moscow on April 14, 1985.
  9. IV (1996) — Recorded by Oleg Zamovskim at her home in Vladimir in June 1986, Tatiana Nilova and Yuri Morozov in the studio of Radio House in Leningrad for the documentary, Peter Soldatenkova's studio in June 1987 and Igor Vasiliev's home in Alexander Agayev of Moscow on January 20, 1986.
  10. Kochegarka (1997) - recorded on March 18, 1985.
  11. Moscow (1998) - recorded by Artemy Troitsky in Moscow on October 20, 1984 at the apartment of Sergei Ryzhenko.
  12. I (1998) - recorded at Alisova Viktor and Igor Vasiliev's home studio in Moscow on September 17 to 19, 1984, at a home concert at Cherepovets in the summer of 1984 and by Sergey Firsov at his home in Leningrad in September 1985.
  13. IV (1998) — recorded by Oleg at a concert at the home of Egor Egorov in Moscow on October 4, 1985.
  14. V (1998) — recorded by Igor Vasilyev at the house of Alexander Ageev in Moscow January 20, 1986, and by Mark Kopelev at a concert in Novosibirsk of Leningrad in December 1985 and July 1986.
  15. Chernobyl Loners at the Edge of the World (1999) - recording made by Sergei Firsov August 15, 1986 on household equipment. Personnel: Alexander Bashlachev - vocals, lead guitar; Andrew Shatalin - bass guitar; Pavel Kondratenko - piano, and Sviatoslav Zadere - percussion.
  16. VI (2002) — 1, 2, 7 - recorded by Oleg at a concert in Moscow in October 1986. 3-6 - recorded by Boris Pereverzev at a home concert at Artemy Troitsky's apartment in Moscow on January 15, 1986. 8—11 — recorded by Oleg at the home of Egor Egorov in Moscow on January 14, 1988. 12, 13 — recorded by Kirill Kuvyrdinym at his home in Moscow on July 5, 1987. 14 — recorded at the Mitkov exhibition in Leningrad in July 1987; harmonica - Boris Grebenshchikov. 15-20 - recorded by Sergei Firsov at his home in Leningrad on August 22, 1986.


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