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Why not be ashamed to confess your love for the songs of Yura Shatunov

Yura existed within the framework of a very specific genre, which, with some stretch, can be called Soviet pop-punk

Yura existed within the framework of a very specific genre, which, with some stretch, can be called Soviet pop-punk

A photo: Alexey BULATOV

In the second half of the 80s, when the pop expanses of the USSR suddenly appeared “Tender May”, listening to an orphan boy band among advanced youth was considered bad form. If you are a cool person, if you please, declare your sympathy for Western music – Depeche Mode, Duran Duran, Metallica, but patriotic music lovers were invited to love Kino and Nautilus. You sing “White Roses” – therefore, a sucker, a person unworthy of respect. And even if you liked something from the “May” repertoire (here, for example, “Pink Evening” – well, a pretty song!), It was shameful and even dangerous to admit it – who wants to be recorded as gopniks? Attitude towards “Tender May” and its main frontman Shatunov formed automatically: low-grade bullshit, unworthy of the attention of highbrow intellectuals.

Years later, one such high-browed intellectual, that is, your humble servant, already in the status of a Komsomolskaya Pravda journalist, got on the set of the rollicking comedy series Happy Together. According to the plot, a star character was supposed to visit Gene Bukin and his friends – it just turned out to be Yuri Shatunov, at that time already an adult, slightly plump man under forty.

According to the scenario, Yura, who played himself, entered a room where several half-dressed people were lying on the bed and said: Uh, no, I don’t participate in group sex, then you won’t get enough money for a genetic examination! ”The tiny episode was filmed by several hours: Yura was not given the word “genetic” in any way – he was able to pronounce it clearly and legibly from about the fifteenth take. Watching all this, my fellow journalists from other publications grinned arrogantly – they say, well, everything is clear how Yura was an orphanage fool , so they remained!

After the protracted filming, a personal communication with the “fool” took place, and here a surprise awaited me. Shatunov turned out to be the sweetest guy, incredibly modest and even shy, which looked surprising for a person who has been in the status of a national star for most of his life. It seemed that Yura woke up only this morning, found out about his popularity and was terribly frightened, having only one desire – to give all this glory to someone else. A more sincere and anti-star person, I confess honestly, I have never met.

Naturally, since then, disdain for Shatunov has been replaced by sympathy and even respect. Yes, all his creative life (and, despite his early death, it was very long), Yura existed within the framework of a very specific genre, which, with some stretch, can be called Soviet pop punk (as once “Sex Pistols”, “May” the boys impudently performed, not knowing how to sing or play music). But it was Shatunov who was the face of this genre (who now remembers the other soloists of “Tender May”, of which there were a million in the group?), It was he who steadily raised the stadiums at nostalgic concerts, it was about him that a film was made (in the film “Tender May” Yura played later famous Sergei Romanovich), it was about him and his songs that jokes were composed (“What if the night turned gray only because Yura Shatunov trusted her with his secrets?”). Is this not evidence that a modest and shy guy with not the most outstanding voice has staked out his place in history? And the tragic death in the prime of life, sometimes helping less significant artists to score whists, in this case only confirms the obvious – Shatunov was the most important component of that difficult part of the biography of our country, when one world order was replaced by another, and all this was voiced by “White Roses” and Pink Evening. A good song, by the way, I always liked it – now it’s definitely not a shame to admit it …

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