Monday, January 5, 2009

Moscow Music Peace Festival 1989

The Moscow Music Peace Festival was held in 1989, and was an effort by the Make A Difference Foundation and rock producers and organizers in the US and USSR. It was held over two days at Lenin Stadium in Moscow, and was essentially the first festival of its kind, that is, that openly was presenting Western heavy metal acts with an emphasis on international cooperation on preventing drug abuse.

The acts presented were Skid Row, Cinderella, Bon Jovi, MotleyCrue, Gorky Park (a Russian act), Ozzy Osbourne, and the Scorpions.

All the acts were in the heavy metal genre and apparently all in favor of the cause they were presenting, which was the continued efforts of the US and USSR governments' to prevent drug abuse, especially by young people who listened to this sort of music. This took place was reported to be the largest rock stage in the world at that time, which was about 6 city blocks long.

What is interesting about this event, from the video of the performance, which is publicly available, is the openness and freedom that the audience had compared to the relative underground nature of the music. The militia stood by, by and large just enjoying the show, as many fans waved the Russian Republics' flag (openly displaying the current nationalist feelings).

Sadly, the musicians from the West were a conceited lot, and implied that USA had a monopoly on rock music, that only they had the capability of presenting a "Russian Woodstock," which was simply not true. Mkrtchian in Armenia, showed us that the Soviets could do a fine job on their own, and the concerts organized by Pugacheva and Troistky for Chernobyl were only a few examples of the concerts they could present. The West often provided the tools, but the Soviets had the desire and ingenuity to make rock 'n' roll their own way.

Download a 7MB film of John Bon Jovi's summary of the event

Hear only the soundtrack of this film (mp3)

In 1991, after the failed coup that led to the dissulution of the Soviet Union, a second large outdoor concert featuring such acts as AC/DC and Metallica, was sponsored in Moscow by Time/Warner.

Read the Article by William Schmidt of the New York Times (29 September 1991)

The Moscow Peace Music Festival as stated above promoted "say no" to drugs and headlined great heavy metal / hard rock bands such as Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne and the Scorpions; however after looking at the entire concert, which you can purchase on DVD, the live performance of Cinderella's "Nobody's Fool" was one of the best. Cinderella has always been typcasted as a Glam Hair Band, but they have written some really good songs. See their live performance below at the Moscow Peace Music Festival in 1989. Ken Leibow

Cinderella - Nobody's Fool
Live 1989 Moscow Music Peace Festival

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