September 01, 2012

The Age of Aquarium



The Age of Aquarium
Boris Grebenshchikov. Courtesy Aquarium

Aquarium is something of a loner in the Russian rock music world; its often acoustic, spirit-filled, philosophical, almost folkloric music rarely fits into the rock mold. Perhaps that is the secret of its longevity...

Founded 40 years ago, the members of the band have changed many times; yet the group has always been led by poet and musician Boris Grebenshchikov (BG), born in Leningrad in 1953 and educated as an engineer.

The group got its start as underground rockers in 1972, the year of the forced exile of the poet Joseph Brodsky, who had previously been convicted of “parasitism.” Grebenshchikov (then a student in Applied Mathematics at Leningrad State University) formed the group with Anatoly Gunitsky, a playwright and absurdist poet. The young artists – influenced by Bob Dylan and Ian Anderson – wandered the city, composing poetic songs and performing them in acoustic apartment concerts (квартирники), while also taking part in the legendary concerts of the Leningrad Rock Club.


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