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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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Thursday, Oct. 30


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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



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Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


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