Day I was born (Dec. 11, 1957, in the USSR - back then, under Khrushchev): "Geologist" (a song glorifying brave Soviet young men and women who abandoned their comfortable homes in the European part of the USSR and traveled to the taiga of the far North and Northeast of the USSR to join expeditions of geologists, aiming at finding rare minerals; a truly, truly wonderful tune - Michel Legrand played it on the piano in the Great Column Hall in Moscow, after "Les Soires de Moscou," and sang in his feeble coarse voice, "Le geologue..." There were numerous parodies, of course, like there were parodies on everything in those days of Khrushchev's "thaw"; my mom and her friends at work wrote the lyrics (to the same tune) of "The Hematologist," "The Transfusiologist," "The Radiobiologist" and "The Medical Radiologist."
Day I turned 18 (Dec. 11, 1975) - in the already disintegrating, utterly cynical USSR drowning in vodka and frustrated kitchen frondeur talk, it was perhaps Vladimir Vysotskiy's "Bathhouse" ("Prrrrrrrraaaaaa-ta-piiiiii ty mnye ban'ku, khozyayushka..." - "Woman, you just make the fire hot, hot, hot in that small country bathhouse, so that we can bathe in hot water and steam and forget all our misery"). The lyrics went on to describe how people bathe in that bathhouse and suddenly they notice that one of the bathers has a tattooed profile of Stalin on his chest; and he tells them that he was a prisoner in the Gulag, and he, as well as many other inmates, sincerely believed that He, the Great Leader, does not know about their mistreatment, so they asked some knowledgeable people to make these tatoos on them, and hoped, day by day by day for all these long years that HE will learn the truth about their innocence some day and that He will free them; ... and then, boom, the XX Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union declares that "He" was, in fact, the chief villain; so, what's next - all the life was in vain?.. Vysotskiy, a professional actor, a member of the troupe of the famous, elite Moscow "Taganka" theatre, one of the best Hamlets in the world, had this incredibly powerful husky baritone that would penetrate under your skin and live there forever. He died of heart attack (aggravated by alcoholism and over two pack-a-day cigarette smoking) at the age of 42 in July 1980.
Day I graduated from high school - that was in May 1975. For some strange reason, I remember hearing a tape of John Lennon singing "Imagine" on the day we had our graduation party. To this day, I cannot disconnect this song from my HS graduation.
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