When I heard the announcement on November 9 that Gorky Park, the biggest rock band in Russia, was going to play that day in the Brookline High School auditorium, I assumed that I had misunderstood the voice that crackled through our P.A. system. I had read about Gorky Park in newspapers and magazines, and could not understand why the band that had played with famed U.S. rockers Bon Jovi was going to perform for us.
My doubts vanished when I walked into the auditorium and saw a group of kids huddled around four long-haired, leather-jacketed men, getting autographs on everything from schoolbags to shoes. When showtime came, the theater was full, and many students were still trying to figure out how Gorky Park decided to put on a surprise show at our high school. The band spoke about the organization which is sponsoring their United States tour, the “Make A Difference Foundation,” showed a video that gave a short history of the group, and played some of their music.
Students asked the band questions, which touched on everything from their musical taste to what life is like in Russia. The band brought with them a friendly message of peace between our two nations. We were treated to a showing of two music videos that Gorky Park made, one for their song “Bang” and one for their version of The Who’s “My Generation.” Fans of the group were thrilled, and when they took the stage for their live performance, the place went wild. Almost all of the students were clapping, many were singing or yelling, and a few were seen dancing freakishly on a side balcony. The band played two songs, using only acoustical instruments and no drum set, a rare occurrence for a heavy metal group like Gorky Park.
After the show, school administrators tried to hold a drawing to give away Gorky Park tapes, T-shirts, and posters, but this was stopped when it caused a mob scene on the stage. The items were given away in school the following Monday.
I still do not know how Gorky Park came to play at Brookline High, but it was a fun event for the students, and some teachers were even seen clapping softly in the back of the auditorium. n
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