In 1973 the enthusiast Yuri Morozov recorded his rock-disc “ The Cherry garden of Jim Hen-dricks’. At that time 20 years old Andrew Makarevich played on the dance areas in the southern camp ‘ Burevestnik’. The person of his age Boris Grebenschikov appeared on the stage with the songs of Cathie Stevenson.
So this fact gave the right to Artemiy Troitsckiy, the author of a book “Rock in the USSR.”, called Morozov as a “pioneer of self-made sound recording studio’ in the USSR.
The recording of an album took place illegally. It was one of the room in a communal flat. By the way Morozov was not only an author of the music and the texts. But he was a musician who played all of the parts. The recording technique were the primitive tape-recorders “ The Jupiter -201 stereo” and “Idas’.
It looked like the circus’s show.
Morozov was with the microphones and wires. He looked like the New Year’s fir tree. The head-sets were on his head, the guitar was in his hands. He held on the sugar cane in his mouth. He used it to switch on the recording button. The tambourine was on one of the stand. He hit it with his right foot. The left foot tried to regulate the level of the sound.
With the spurt of his head he switched on the recording than he spited out the cane sugar and began to cry, play the guitar and hit into the tambourine with one of his foot and regulated some-thing with another one.
To record 33 minutes album Morozov needed to have 1.5 month of unstopped work more than 1-12 hours a day.
The fate of Yuri Vasilievich is a separate book ‘The underground blues” written by Morozov. But sorry to say it is not well known because of a small number of editions and the mistake of spreaders. Let’s fill in this gap.
Yuri was born in 1950 in the Crimea. According to his notes it was half Tatarian and Ukrainian town. A father was a front officer. A father was a settler from Siberia. At soon the family moved to Caucasus, Ordjonikidze.
When Morozov was at school he was keen on the radio techniques. He made rather simple his own radio he began to be radio hooligan. He broadcast the recordings of “The rock around the clock” by Billy Hailey, “The jail rock” by Elvis Presley, ‘the Twist again” by J. Holliday and others. The experience of illegal DJ had to be stopped because of the pilengator- cars in the streets.
That time, at the end of 60s he could hear on the radio the song "Can`t Buy Me Love" by Beirut. Since that time his inclination to the Beatles began. “I don’t know what feelings have got other fans of the Beatles, but I got an energy. Having heard it for a half of an hour I couldn’t stay at one place, jumped out and rushed to create something to make me smart. I grabbed a book or dumb-bells, a pencil or soldering iron. I was ashamed to stay unchangeable.” remembered Moro-zov.
He began to play the guitar he was 19 so it was too late. He tried to play the 7 strings guitar using some Vysotsckiy’s accords. Later he taught to play a European six- strings guitar. The next one was his own made electrical guitar.
In 1969 he organized his rock-band. He called it “ Bosiyaki ‘ as the remembrance about his childhood. One part of his playing was the Beatles’ songs. Another one was his own composi-tions very close to the Beatles tunes.
In 1972 he moved to the city on the Neva River. He applied for the job in a recording studio ‘ Melody” getting his 80 rubles salary.
When he was 24 he joined the army because he graduated from the institute without military de-partment in it. He was among the troops of liaison’s masters in the staff of anti-aircraft defence. It was only 20 minutes away of Moscow.
During his service in the army he could unite a small band of musicians- geniuses. They were the citizens of Saint-Petersburg, Riga, Odessa. They created rock band. It gave the concert in the staff. To horrify all of military staff members Morozov sang “ Monkberry Moon Delight.” This song impressed the most part of the listeners in a garrison. In some time Morozov continued to sin during the dancing in a solder’s club, in barracks and other special military places. He was awakening at night by long term solders. They demanded him to sing and play “Get away Man-dalay”. In the middle of his military service the whole choir already sang this song under the running of Morozov. The choir consisted of the sergeants, the solders, the corporals and even one contract soldier.
As the resident of the western reconnaissance he could teach the platoon to play, sing and beat rock-n-roll rhythm. Nobody was interested in final soldiers’ albums, military symbols.
Having finished with the army Morozov came back to Saint-Petersburg, to “Melody”. His new favorite was Jhon Maklaffin, the guitarist virtuous. “ I didn’t leave the guitar even in the dining table when I used the toilet and read a book. Automatically I touched the fingerboard. I didn’t allow myself to relax for a second. “, remembered Morozov. Those days he played more than 20 hours a day. It was the period of compensation of the missed time in the army.
(Later, when he took a decision to study in a Jazz studio, he would be said,” Yura you have got your own manner of the playing. It may be destroyed here. “It should be told that Morozov taught to play the drums, the piano and the bass guitar at the same way.)
Among the musicians, whom he gave the concerts with, were Oleg Gusev ( the keyboard, now he is a master of a clip making), Alexander Lyapin ( he played some time in the Aquarium) and Yuri Ilchenko ( he played in the first band of MACHINA VREMENI). Morozov was mentioned to be the best guitarist of 1978 or 1979 in the charts of “ Samisdat”.
A little earlier in 1976 he recorded his first 24 minutes album “ The wedding of doomed”. He was gossiped about over the towns and cities of the USSR and he became well known among the members of rock-underground. Morozov thought it was exactly that time when he recorded his first “metallic” song in the USSR, “Doomed”.
By the way, one album was released by another one. “To share my treasure with the tape was more pleasant than to share it with the crowd”, said Morozov.
If we only called the name of his albums we’d find out about his interests. They were “ The dream. Superguitar”, ‘The jazz at night’, “Brahma Astra”, “ the Chinese poetry’, “ The gospel of Mathew”, “ The stranger of a blue star”, Auto Da Fe", “ Anti love”, “ The red alarm”.
He recorded, illegally of course, getting into “Melody’ saying he was going to repair something or shooting some unreal copies and others. Morozov could spend more than 8-12 hours in a stu-dio, without leaving it even to the toilet. He usually finished work up to a deep night. It was the time when the metro was already closed. So he had to walk to another part of the city to forget about everything for 2-3 hours. He always got to work on time without being late.
For the years of underground epoch Morozov could have recorded 57 magnetic albums. It was more than 40 hours of non-stop music. The people from all of the USSR arrived to make a copy. Ther were days when the queue was to speak to him. There were 2-3 men. They were the singers, the poets, the musicians, thankful listeners. (Once some of Morozov’s fans sent his cassettes to Kharkov. One side had got his songs another side had got “Aquarium” ‘s works. Without un-derstanding a local crowed took Morozov by the member of this band, “What a class
has been shown by Aquarium!” But the works of aquarium were refused, “This Morozov needs to grow up yet.”
For his copied works he hadn’t taken any rubles. More than 15 years he was unselfish person who gave his melodies, rhythm, solo in the guitar, and mysterious texts among his rock-n-roll friends. He put the way to the epoch of “tape recorded Russian rock”. The only reward was Mo-rozov had got into the list of foreign and native bands which were forbidden to play in the public places, the concert halls and others. The company was full of dignity. They were DDT,
AQUARIUM, KINO, punk band AUTOMATIC SATISFACTORIES, PICNIC and many others.
It was one more calling to KGB. “Shy attempts of impressments I cancelled as a joke and I left the study with feeling of well spent time.” remembered Morozov. When he was asked to bring his works there next time, he recorded 500 meters tape of different strange sounds from one tape recorder to another one for 10-15 times. Gloomy indian-tibet music was added too. He had done it with recovering of one track into another one. “I think those who were good at it they were satisfied and turned to Buddhism,” Morozov was convinced in.
(The result of these meeting was a new album “The caution is necessary.”)
He was possessed with his creative power. His desire to hide himself made his character. It was not easy. He did not communicate either his Mum or his other relatives. He did not try to create a family because he thought they would bother him to create. He wore cheap false jeans and in a navy cotton shirt. In winter he wore security guide coat bought from one of the soldier. Morozov did not read soviet newspapers; he did not listen to the radio. He didn’t know any celebrities. He did not use the word “comrade’ and he had never paid fare in a public transport. One of the con-ductor was said,’ Let me go away, the dog of bolshevism and all the sins will be forgiven to you!” He could not get well with some of the members of an underground movement.
In Saint- Petersburg’s rock-n-roll underground he was known as a lonely wolf. His hard exercis-es of hatha yoga, the eating of fresh vegetables, refusal of all drugs and alcohol added to Moro-zov the special aura as a guru. At the same time his texts with mystical or sometimes addressed to God’s topics was the reason of misunderstanding and irritation.
Morozov repaid the crowd the same. All of Yuri Vasilievich’s kind words towards our rockers were possible to put on one side of a post stamp. And there was enough places yet. Once in Nev-skiy Prospekt I saw a boy in a quilted jacket. There were the words “Fox’s fur coat’ painted with white color. I often remembered this note working with native stars. He was impressed only with one band Urfin Juice by Alexander Pantykin. He was also very categorical towards other rockers’ texts. “For a song but not for a poem under the guitar the balance of the tune and the words should be found. The text doesn’t have to make any trouble to the song and the music shouldn’t bother the song. So if we take this into account “ Maksims” by Shopenghauen or “ The discus-sions’ by Platon are potential hits. A real song is very simple in the text and it is foolish some-times.’ That’s why Morozov was not impressed with rock-bard Sasha Bashlachev. He was able to have heard him at one of the festival of 1984.
“To say the truth neither music nor the texts had jargon. So it made me up with it because he had aggressive feeling towards it. “
By the end of 80s the pressure of the soviet censorship became weaker with the beginning of the perestroika. Rockers began to come and see “Melody”. Exactly at that time Andrew Tropillo, the producer of many magnet -albums in Saint-Petersburg, tried to spread their creative power using the gramophone records. As for his request Morozov cut the most of clicks and wheezes out of master-tape “The white line” of the band ZOO. So the album of low quality became the best one. Mike composed a song “A Guru from Bobruisk” with such line “We have got Morozov Yura, and he is very well-known. “ It was like the thanks giving words for his work. Approximately at that time Morozov, as a sound director, helped to make the recording to arkhangelskaya band “ Oblachniy Kray” by Oleg Rautkin. Also he made it for Boris Grebenschikov, and for Yuri Shevchuk who had just arrived to Leningrad from Ufa. In 1988 Morozov and DDT made a con-cert trip over the Far East.
In four years, in 1992 Morozov accepted an invitation of Shevchuk. He was offered a position of
A sound director in the concert where the band showed their new program ’Saint-Petersburg – a
Black dog”. It was at home than it was in Minsk, Kiev, and in Moscow. Those who visited the
concert said the sound had been excellent.
Hard work in a studio and during the concerts helped his skill to achieve the highest level. “ A
real master should only touch a remote control with his intelligent fingers, But only unintelligent
damaged them that it is very difficult to put them on the same positions.” thought he. His fingers
had been valued at the first day of their arrival to Paris. In two hours of mutual work Fillip Lafon
called Morozov “a Guru”. He worked with Tina Turner and DURAN DURAN.
Today Yuri Vasilievich goes on working in “ Melody”. Sometimes he tries to make up his own
album. The number of the album is known only by Morozov. He has recently got his birthday.
He is 50 now. The anniversary has not been noticed by any Moscow or Saint-Petersburg editions
(c) Musical Newspaper