Nikolay Vasin was one of the most known fans of the Beatles in the USSR and played an important role in the underground pop and rock soviet culture. His passion for music and for the Beatles started in 1963, when he organized the Beatles museum in his own flat (unofficially, his apartment was known as “Yellow submarine”). In 1971 Nikolay with a group of friends made an attempt to organize a Soviet association of rock musicians, which ended up by a prison sentence for one of his friends. The association was not set up, but Nikolay went on making a hand-made rock magazine and organizing illegal open air parties.
- The Beatles Movement in Russia
- The card celebrates the 35th Anniversary of the Beatles Movement that Nikolay (ou comme ceci ?) Vasin launched in 1975.
- Postcard Text
- All you need is love!!!!!
Vasin discovered the Beatles in the spring of 1964. A friend brought him a tape reel he recorded from the BBC, that had begun to broadcast in the Soviet countries that same year. A short time later, Vasin created the Beatles Fan Club, an underground club at Rzhevka, in downtown Moscow.
Nikolay and a friend during a party at the Bealtes Fan Club. Peoples gathered at the club to listen to the on-the-bones records and copy them, to exchange photographs and articles about the Beatles and to celebrate John’s and Paul’s birthdays. They had cheap wine, sometimes there was even medical alcohol, and they smoked menthol cigarettes... There were no drugs as they were too expensive and Vasin preferred to save the money to buy music.
One of the first articles of the Soviet press against the Beatles. The title makes fun of a popular expression used by the BBC, "Beatles the Drummers", changed in "Dung-Beatles the Drummes". Since their first appearance, the Soviet press was very critical towards the Beatles, as symbol of a western, bourgeois and commercial art.
A photograph signed by Paul McCartney that a friend of Vasin brought back from a trip to London. In 1989, during Perestroika, travelling abroad became easier. One of Vasin's friends met Paul McCartney at a party in London, and Vasin himself went to the USA that same year, as a rock ’n’ roll ambassador.
Posters, photographs and objects from Vasin's collection. Despite censorship, over the years Vasin was able to collect photographs, posters and foreign articles about the Beatles. By the 80s the ban on rock music was lifted, and in 1981, the first official rock club appeared.