Zoopark (1981-1991): a Hard Rock band from Saint Petersburg, Russia.
ounded in 1981, Zoopark was one of the founding rock groups of the Russian rock movement back in the days when what is now the 'Russian Federation' was the communist USSR.
Consisting of Mike Naumenko (vocals), Aleksandr Khrabunov (guitars) and a varied group of other artists over time, the first album, All Brothers Are Sisters (1978) was recorded with famous Russian vocalist, guitarist, harmonica player and keyboardist Boris Grebenshchikov. It was recorded on the banks of the Neva River in Leningrad (now Saint Petersburg) with a "choir of drunken friends and colleagues playing percussion on metal cans". Naumenko, however, was a rock outcast, concentrating his work on electrified hard-core blues, while his Russian-language poetic songwriting made him a favorite in the hippie underground; his inspirations including Lou Reed, Bob Dylan, T. Rex, B.B. King and Chuck Berry. Their discography would expand to include Blues de Moscou (1981), Small Town Called N (1983), White Stripe (1984), Life in the Zoo (1985), W (1987), Illusions (1987) and Soundtrack for the Movie (1991).
Naumenko died in 1991, cutting his career short but he remains celebrated as a pioneer of Russian rock music, with his birthday observed in St. Petersburg clubs, along with numerous creative tributes, including a 2009 novel and a "blues opera" that premiered in 2011. A collection of Naumenko's complete written works--including his samizdat translation of Richard Bach's Illusions--was being prepared for publication in 2015.
Dashboard for Zoopark