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Leningrad Cowboys

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Leningrad Cowboys
Background information
Years active1986–present
MembersVille Tuomi
Sakke Järvenpää
Tume Uusitalo
Varre Vartiainen
Pauli Hauta-Aho
Sami Järvinen
Timo Tolonen
Okke Komulainen
Pemo Ojala
Pope Puolitaival
Jay Kortehisto
Anna Sainila
Hanna Moisala
Past membersSee below

The Leningrad Cowboys are a Finnish rock band who perform rock and roll covers of other songs. They have exaggerated pompadour hairstyles and wear long, pointy shoes. They often work with the Russian military band the Alexandrov Ensemble.


The band was an invention of the Finnish film director Aki Kaurismäki together with Sakke Järvenpää and Mato Valtonen, members of the Finnish comedy rock band Sleepy Sleepers. The three of them conceived the band in a bar in 1986 as a joke on the waning power of the Soviet Union. The two musicians expressed their wishes that Kaurismäki would direct their first music video, which resulted in the short film Rocky VI (1986). After two further short films, "Thru the Wire" (1987) and "L.A. Woman" (1988), Kaurismäki decided to direct a feature film about them, Leningrad Cowboys Go America (1989).[1][2]

After Leningrad Cowboys Go America[edit]

The band appeared in two subsequent music videos: Those Were the Days (1992)[3] and These Boots (1993),[4] as well as a concert film The Total Balalaika Show (1994)[5] all directed by Kaurismäki.

In 1994, Kaurismäki directed a sequel to Leningrad Cowboys Go America entitled Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses.[6]

December 2012 saw the release of an animated Christmas video featuring Dog'Y'Dog, a dog resembling the dog from the "You're My Heart, You're My Soul" video. The video also featured a cover of "Christmas in Hollis" from an upcoming Leningrad Cowboys album for Christmas 2013.[7][8][9]

Red X-Mas was a tour of Finland by the Leningrad Cowboys and the Russian Air Force Choir from 27 November to 7 December 2013, featuring over 60 performers.[10][11]

In co-production with Anima Vitae, Leningrad cowboys is producing an animated feature Dog'y'dog featuring the half-Siberian/half-Mexican dog (from their "Christmas in Hollis" music video) traveling from Siberia to Mexico via the US.[12]

Dog'y'Dog also appeared in the Bonehead game for Android developed by Leningrad Cowboys Studios and Fingersoft and released 13 May 2014.[13][14]

Band members[edit]

Current members[15]

  • Ville Tuomi: lead vocals (2011–)
  • Sakke Järvenpää: vocals (1986–)
  • Varre Vartiainen: guitar (2003–)
  • Pauli Hauta-aho: guitar (2011–)
  • Timo Tolonen: bass (2003–)
  • Sami Järvinen: drums (2011–)
  • Okke Komulainen: keyboards, accordion (2011–)
  • Tume Uusitalo: vocals, guitar (2003–)
  • Pemo Ojala: trumpet, Mitten (1991–)
  • Pope Puolitaival: saxophone (2003–)
  • Jay Kortehisto: trombone (2003–)
  • Anna Sainila: dancer, vocals (2011–)
  • Hanna Moisala: dancer, vocals (2011–)



  1. ^ Eclipse Series 29: Aki Kaurismäki's Leningrad Cowboys – Leningrad Cowboys Go America (Liner notes). Aki Kaurismäki. The Criterion Collection. 2011 [1989]. ECL136.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  2. ^ "Eclipse 29: Aki Kaurismäki's Leningrad Cowboys – From the Current – The Criterion Collection". Criterion.com. Retrieved 8 May 2012.
  3. ^ Leningrad Cowboys: Those Were the Days (Music), Megamania, Sputnik, retrieved 21 August 2022
  4. ^ Leningrad Cowboys: These Boots (Music), Megamania, Sputnik, 30 November 1994, retrieved 21 August 2022
  5. ^ Kaurismäki, Aki (2 July 1994), Total Balalaika Show (Documentary, Comedy, Music), Provisual, Sputnik, retrieved 22 August 2022
  6. ^ Kaurismäki, Aki (24 February 1994), Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses (Adventure, Comedy, Music), Sputnik, Pandora Filmproduktion, Pyramide Productions, retrieved 21 August 2022
  7. ^ "Dog'Y'Dog Christmas". Dogydogofficial.com. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  8. ^ Archived at Ghostarchive and the Wayback Machine: "DOG'Y'DOG CHRISTMAS – Christmas in Hollis by Leningrad Cowboys". YouTube. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  9. ^ "DOG'Y'DOG CHRISTMAS – Christmas in Hollis by Leningrad Cowboys – LENINGRAD COWBOYS * Buena Vodka Social Club". Leningradcowboys.fi. Archived from the original on 12 March 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  10. ^ "RED X-MAS PARTY 2013!!! – LENINGRAD COWBOYS * Buena Vodka Social Club". Leningradcowboys.fi. Archived from the original on 9 July 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Leningrad Cowboys Red X-Mas". Redxmas.fi. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  12. ^ "Off to Cannes Film Festival 2013 | Anima Vitae". Anima.fi. Archived from the original on 15 June 2013. Retrieved 2 June 2013.
  13. ^ "NEW GAME AVAILABLE - LENINGRAD COWBOYS * Buena Vodka Social Club". Archived from the original on 15 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Bonehead Puzzle - Android Apps on Google Play". play.google.com. Archived from the original on 6 July 2014.
  15. ^ "SPV". Spv.de. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.

External links[edit]