The history of the legendary Leningrad Rock Club was revealed by the musicians from Piknik and Auktyon banda at the Host City Media Center in St. Petersburg. Edmund Shklyarsky, Piknik leader and vocalist, said that the creation of the club was necessary: before then, the musicians could only show off their skills outside the city, and the rock club provided them with the opportunity to perform in Leningrad.
The Leningrad Rock Club was established in March 1981 and became a point of attraction for such bands as Aquarium, Zoopark, Kino, Alisa, DDT and many others. It was located on Rubinshteina Street and accommodated up to 700 people.
Only selected bands were admitted to the rock club.
"Some people, the club's president Kolya Mikhailov, Nina Baranovskaya, Natalya Veselovskaya or some Komsomol members, came to rehearsals, listened to the performances and if they all voted in favor, the band was admitted as a candidate. We were admitted and had a concert in May. The concert was good, and we became members," said Auktyon front man Oleg Garkusha.
Club membership gave musicians the chance to attend concerts for free and at times to perform themselves. If the rock group proved popular, it would receive the right to perform at the Leningrad Rock Club festivals.
According to Edmund Shklyarsky, "it would be possible to recreate the rock club now if there was a crafty and brave person who would take up this mission."
"It was common values that people sang about, and they are still considered relevant. Many song lyrics are relevant to this day, and people keep listening to them," he said.
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of Piknik. According to Edmund Shklyarsky, the band is preparing a new program, Everything Will Turn Around. Piknik bassist Marat Korchemny added that due to the pandemic, the group will probably celebrate this date for more than one year.
"If this nasty virus is still there, we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary until it ceases to exist," the musician said.
Photographer Valentin Baranovsky told the audience that an exhibition of photos and posters, Leningrad Rock-n-Roll: A Golden Age, is taking place between March 4 — September 10, 2021 at the Museum of Music at the Sheremetev Palace, to mark the 40th anniversary of the Leningrad Rock Club. Baranovsky's works are the staple of the show.
The photographer also spoke about the release of a photo album about the Leningrad Rock Club.
"We have made five copies as presents for Boris Grebenshchikov, Vyacheslav Butusov and Kostya Kinchev. One book I delivered to Yura Shevchuk's studio. All the chapters in these books are about these people and the 15 bands of the Leningrad Rock Club," Baranovsky said.