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Igor Talkov

Stamp of Russia, devoted to Igor Talkov, 1999, 2 rub. (Scott № 6549)
Background information
Birth name Igor Vladimirovich Talkov
Born 4 November 1956(1956-11-04)
Origin Gretsovka, Tula Oblast, Soviet Union
Died 6 October 1991 (aged 34)
Genres Russian rock, Bard
Occupations Singer–songwriter
Years active 1973–1991

Igor Vladimirovich Talkov (Russian: И́горь Влади́мирович Талько́в; 4 November 1956, Gretsovka, Tula Oblast, Soviet Union – 6 October 1991, Saint Petersburg, Soviet Union) was a Russian rock singer-songwriter.

He is often compared to another Russian singer and songwriter of that time, Viktor Tsoi, whom, according to his diaries, Talkov highly appreciated and even dedicated a song on his death. Talkov's songs also have much in common - particularly from a lyrical perspective - with Russian bard music.

While Igor Talkov is mostly remembered for his beautiful songs about love and fate, most of his work held a clearly political message against the Soviet regime, desperately calling for a change. This is one of the reasons why Talkov was never popular with the Soviet government; even as a performer renowned and loved throughout the whole Soviet Union, he lived in a small two-room apartment with his wife and son, even composing his masterful lyrics and music "on top of the washing machine in the bathroom", according to the rumours. Curiously enough, he was not satisfied with Perestroika, claiming it to be nothing but the same regime under a different guise. In his post-Perestroika songs, he openly mocked the changes, calling them a ruse. Talkov was an avid reader of pre-revolutionary Russian history, which served as the inspiration for many of his songs. He even guaranteed at his last concert that he was willing to "back up" his lyrics with historical facts.

Talkov also made a brief presence in post-Soviet cinema, acting in the films Za posledney chertoy (Beyond the last boundary) and Knyaz Serebryanniy (The Silver Prince). The latter film he disliked, apologizing to a preview audience for participating in the film. Since Talkov refused to complete post-production sound on the film, Talkov's character was voiced by another actor.

He was fatally shot backstage at the Yubileiny concert hall in Leningrad; the next day was declared a national tragedy throughout the whole former Soviet Union. His funeral was a televised, nationwide event, where his casket was carried by some of the most prominent members of Russian stage to its burial. It is not uncommon to meet people in former Soviet countries who still dedicate October 6th to the honour of Igor Talkov.

While Valeriy Schlyafman, Talkov's one time manager, was found guilty of the murder by a Russian court, he fled through Ukraine to Israel before he could be arrested. He remains in Israel to this day, insisting he is not guilty of the crime while Israel refuses to extradite him. Schlyafman and his supporters have claimed that the KGB orchestrated the murder.

Talkov is interred in the Vagankovskoye Cemetery in Moscow.

In 1999 he was honoured with his image portrayed on a Russian postage stamp. There is an Igor Talkov Museum in Moscow.

Lyrics

Board on a wall of sports complex "Ubileinii" in Saint-Petersburg, devoted to Igor Talkov

My Motherland


I am walking through the shards of childhood fantasies,
In my homeland,
Where it seems nothing happens seriously to me, to me.
I had to get so tired having pulled through to Christ's age,
Oh God.
Yet around me as if on parade,
The whole nation is walking into hell with wide steps.


My motherland, grief filled and numb,
My motherland, you have lost your mind.


In suspended animation Moscow lives out its century,
Its come to that, to that.
Over the church domes Lucifer's star has risen, has risen.
Watching from above,
As you're sold off the mallot for five kopecks,
Laughing over your memory is your past lackey from the West.
Watching from above,
As you're sold off the mallot for five kopecks,
Laughing over your memory is your past demon from the West.


For the eighth decade it is not the rain
Which washes your cross, your cross.
They are the tears of your great sons from the skies, from the skies.
They are watching from the clouds,
As you are bowing before the yoke of idiots,
Either you drink up and grieve,
Or you hunger in silence,
Or pray.


They are watching from the clouds,
As you are bowing before the yoke of idiots,
Either you drink up and grieve,
Or you hunger in silence,
Or pray.


My motherland, grief filled and numb,
My motherland, you have lost your mind.
My motherland, destitute,
My motherland, you have lost your mind.

Igor Talkov

External links

Talkov's grave







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