Sunday, November 28, 2010

Once upon a time, there was a bear. This great big bear would drink lots of vodka, wear wife-beaters, and work in the widget factories. This bear was the Soviet Union. It was the greatest hypocrisy of the 20th Century. And that's why Heavy Metal smashed the bear, because it sucked.

Much has been written about the fall of the Soviet Union. Why did it fall? When exactly? Was it the fall of the Berlin Wall, when the communist bloc broke off, or when Gorbachev officially resigned?

Yo, the answer is obvious. After conducting some research, the date is clear. The Soviet Union officially ended on September 28, 1991. This was the greatest day in Russian history. This was the "Monsters of Rock" concert.

Metallica visiting Russians right after the August Coup
and then their Opening Song, Enter Sandman

Five bands met at Tushino Airfield outside Moscow on that date to do two things:
     1)  to rock the freggin' socks off some vodka swillin' freedom lovers,
          and
     2) to take down the Soviet Union with the force of their epic-ness.

The bands that played were (from opening to closing): Pantera, E.S.T. (Russian band), The Black Crowes, Metallica, and AC/DC. It is believed that this was one of the biggest rock shows of all time -- with about 1.6 million people in attendance.


As myth has it, Gorbachev gave this as one of his final orders before abdicating the premiership. Of course Gorbachev was a huge metal fan. He was a badass dude, who was known to wear KISS makeup to cover the funky skin discoloration on his big ol' noggin'.

Gorbachev c. 1987
After giving the order to allow metal into the hearts and minds of the Russian people, the hardline communist party members were upset. They were unwilling to allow Gorbachev to have his Metalstroika. The hardliners organized loyal military commanders and their units, and rolled into Moscow to take Gorbachev down before the new democratic government could enter at the end of the year 1991. Needless to say, thousands of metal heads, as well as merely average Russians, rushed to the Soviet premier's defense -- knowing that not only freedom was at stake, but also the future of metal in the Eastern hemisphere. These brave vodka swillers stood down the tanks, and many people were killed. In the end, the hardliners backed off and eventually gave up, realizing the futility of their efforts. This eventually became what is now known as the August Coup -- the communist hardliners' last ditch effort at holding together the Soviet Union.

The August Coup was defeated largely due to heavy metal.

One month later at Tushino Airfield outside of Moscow, the five aforementioned bands joined forces in solidarity to oppose any lingering communist sentiment. This was the final battle, which put Russia finally into the freedom category. As you may know, Russia has slipped backwards towards its old habits in recent years, particularly since KGB hardliner Putin took control. We should call for another Monsters of Rock at Tushino. While freedom may not be free, it certainly is metal.

For the full video of the Monsters of Rock concert at Tushino Airfield, click here. I think Metallica starts at around 27-30ish mins in.

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