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Russian rock legend dies

Former Akvarium member Yevgeny Guberman, once described as Russian rock musics greatest drummer, was equally at home playing garage rock and mainstream jazz.

Published: January 16, 2013 (Issue # 1742)



  • A member of Akvarium and other seminal bands, Guberman later emigrated to the Netherlands.
    Photo: A. VARLAMOV

The Russian rock and jazz scenes are in mourning for Yevgeny Guberman, the local drummer extraordinaire who died in St. Petersburg on December 30 at the age of 57.

Guberman played in styles ranging from garage rock to mainstream jazz and was reputed as the citys or even Russias No. 1 rock drummer.

The St. Petersburg Times sat down with Guberman at the now-defunct Dostoevsky Bar in August 2000, when the musician came back to the city to play a few concerts as a member of the Dutch rock trio Kek 66.

Guberman had moved to Amsterdam in 1987, when Russia was starting to open up under Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The drummer performed with a number of outfits there before returning to St. Petersburg in 2004.

In the 1970s and 1980s, Guberman played with a number of bands and styles from the mainstream jazz group David Goloshchyokin Band to Akvarium, which was in its punk stage at the time.

Once described as the greatest drummer in Russian rock, Guberman said: It was what people said it was not my thing. In Holland everything is different theres no concept of whos the best, who isnt the best. Youre a drummer, O.K. Nobody looks at what kind of drums you have, what kind of cymbals, because everything is in the stores. But after a concert people approach you and say: Oh, it was great, and you say: O.K., thanks a lot.

Although Kek 66 was reminiscent of British beat of the 1960s and used Kinks-style riffs, Guberman insisted that the music the band played was American.

We play real American garage punk. It was people who were orientated not to The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, but to The Kinks, Remains, Searchers, The Hollies, he said.

American kids who were 15 or 16 would buy instruments, get into their fathers garages and blast it out at full force this music stems from that.

Apart from Kek 66, Guberman played with four jazz outfits in Amsterdam at that time.

If I had to play five days a week with one and the same band, I wouldnt be able to stand it, it would become a routine, he said.

I need to play different music, with different people just to stay in balance. And I need to play jazz because I love this music, I feel it and can play it not as the greatest players did, but still in my own way.

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Saturday, Nov. 22


Russian Premier League-leaders Zenit St. Petersburg return from the international break to take on Kuban Krasnodar at Petrovsky Stadium this evening at 7 p.m. Tickets for the game can still be purchased on the clubs website, at the Petrovsky Stadium box office or in any of the clubs merchandise stores.



Sunday, Nov. 23


Get in the holiday spirit at todays Winter Bazzar at the Astoria Hotel. Featuring gifts from around the world such as French eclairs, Dutch cheeses and Indian jewelry, the annual event organized by the International Womens Club will feature 18 international stands and raise money for charity through the sales of a diversity of products that further illustrate the citys international connections.



Monday, Nov. 24


Dr. Axel Schulte, Department Head at Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics in Dortmund, Germany, is the featured speaker at the SPIBA Industrial Committee lecture on The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Digitalization of the Supply Chain. The event begins at 4 p.m. at the Graduate School of Management at 3 Volkohvsky Pereulok and registration is required by Nov. 21 either by emailing office@spiba.ru or calling 325 9091.



Tuesday, Nov. 25


Tag along with AmCham during their Industrial St. Petersburg Tour program today. This incarnation of the ongoing series will visit Philip Morris Izhora and include an Environmental Health and Safety Committee meeting.


Find out how to expand your business east during the Business With China forum beginning today and concluding tomorrow at the Lenexpo convention center. The largest Russian forum dedicated to business with the Asian giant, topics that will be discussed include logistics, customs clearance, trade financing and many more.



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