Valery Leontiev on the road to Hollywood: an abrupt journey

How to enter in two weeks the whole universe? To live a different life?

In another capacity. In another country. With other people.

To try on all the hardships and all the happiness of another being. To feel the taste of an unprecedented artistic glory. To visit a private home, which is more like an alien world.

How? Very simple and at the same time is quite impossible. Need to go on tour in the US with Valery Leontiev, the most American quality of the musical product of the Russian artist and the Russian spirit. Heading to the creative part of his gang, to the hard to know what the touring superstar.


photo: Tatiana Fedotkin

— For what purpose you visit the US? — asked me on the border of the dark harsh American frontier.

I hesitated. How? How to explain to him that I came from Russia to America to see six concerts Valery Leontiev: Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Chicago, new York and Miami. It’s a clean sheau!

Guard of the border my immediate confusion strained, and it is felt at once — the breath of cold.

— I arrived in the United States to the great Russian artist, singer Valery Leontiev — squeaked and I thought, “God, what am I saying? How to fly to the US to the Russian artist?” But my English is not enough.

The guard, however, immediately increased the temperature of the eye and kindly offered to write the name of the singer on paper, so my accent did not prevent him to hear and understand. And glancing at the piece of paper, then asked:

He’s got such dark curly hair? — for clarity, showing a hand hovering curls, and smiled: I know him. You were his friend?

— The lunatics and geniuses don’t have friends, ‘ said I to the American border guard in Russian Marina Tsvetaeva and with greatest pleasure spoke English loudly and clearly: Yes!!

— Welcome to the USA! showed me 32 white tooth guard.

So, with the name of Valery Leontiev on his lips, the first time I stepped on American soil.

A great tour of the artist in the United States — and afford it today, in a crisis, can only truly real crowd pleasers — began in Los Angeles, the city of Valeria close and really loved one. It is here Leont’ev is the first and only Russian pop artists recorded the album at the world famous Studio “A&M Records” in Hollywood, in the premises of the Studio, which in 1917 was founded by Charlie Chaplin. Album created as, then still unavailable in Russia, was called “the road to Hollywood” and included 11 songs. One of them is the “tango-broken hearts” — artist performed in the current concert program. It was during the American concerts, invariably causing a storm of applause. In Los Angeles for the concert came and has long been an American, mastermind of the legendary album Yury Chernavsky is the author of one of the business cards of the Leontief repertoire, beloved margaritas. That hall gave him presents at the concert Leontiev, applause.

Here in USA, another song culture, and indeed a different culture: literature, theatre, thought in conversation with the journalist “MK” Valery Leontiev, Chernavsky was always closer to European American culture. With him I wonder if he was forced to sing a different sound, look for a different pitch, timbre. It was written at the time, American musicians, American sound engineer. Black guy was the sound engineer Jimmy Mayweather, it was his voice after joining the song “the road to Hollywood”: “hi! Welcome to Hollywood”, and after I begin to sing. This was a fanatical people, very technical, of course, happy.

Today we caught up with the technology?

— Caught up, now in Russia, also all computerized. And then we wrote on film, spinning huge reels. And it seemed impossible that it may be that the singer had already left, but in the Studio I listened to all the recording options, and found that none is not read by the letter “n” in the word “son” is gone! So she was taken from another word.

— You promoted the album in the US?

No, of course no one out. Americans need to sing in their native language, even accent them breaks off.

— You were filming in Hollywood video the other methods here work?

— Everything is much clearer. For example, I was told that at seven in the morning coming makeup artist. Of I did for one clip of an old man, and had very complex makeup, it imposed layers, crushes, modeling wrinkles. Then we have this make-up was not, perhaps somewhere on the “Mosfilm”. Of course, I was ready to seven, but thought to myself: “Grimer! At seven in the morning! As well, it will come!”. So at exactly seven there was a knock, and at nine we were already in the pavilion.

— But you were born in the United States, would you have world fame!

Who knows what would have happened. Russia is also a huge country. I do not envy anyone, I’m fine.

— You then or when-then I never thought… well…

— Wag? No, never. I am a sober look at things, and therefore pretended never existed. In order to achieve fame in the United States, there should be born, to breathe this air, this culture.

— What has happened here you have any emergency?

— Once did not notice the sign and pulled into the street, where the traffic from two to four closed — parents pick up children from local schools. The COP pulled me over, said, “Tourist?”. I nodded. Well, he sees the man, however, not in the subject, and waved his hand: “Go to the next street”. No fine did not take anything.

— American stars stick with our equals?

They are not interested in us. But not because they despise, but simply they have no reason to be interested. Well, where they can see us? If, say, ask the administrator to be photographed, to say that you’re russian star, they agree with pleasure. But I never did, I have no photo of the American star.

— But your name is known here and to Americans.

— I tasks never put here to move: not twitch, did not Circassia. However something wrote about me. Jimmy Fallon is again parodied in the popular talk show. And then, Americans are very well curious. Sometimes in life confront them, they ask: “Are you a singer?” “Famous?” “Let me hear something” Then call, say, “Of course, we do not understand anything, but we like the voice so much! Such beautiful songs!”

What is the name of Valery Leontiev known to the American public — a fact that was confirmed in all the six tour cities. At each performance part of the audience, and considerable, were the Americans don’t understand Russian. Although they came in whole companies. The history of their interest in the work of the Russian star was about the same: “they played Russian friends — we loved”, “Traveled to St. Petersburg, heard a song, wanted to attend the concert”. “I had a Russian wife, — said one of the imposing American men, located in the forefront, and I loved going with her to concerts of this singer.” To the question “where, in fact, the wife?” the American, smiling, threw up his hands: “the Marriage broke up, but to come to the shows are still like that.” One of the most numerous and noisy American kompashek at the next concert, which included at least a dozen persons, was accompanied by an elderly but very stylish American woman: “by chance I saw of them on Youtube and fell in love,” she said. Most American ladies at the concert stunned that Russian fans came with flowers. States and flowers at concerts to give is not accepted. Limitations to this exhibit and halls, for safety reasons: never know what you can carry the bouquet! Organizers: God forbid, the actors would slip on the petals will fall, who will pay a huge penalty? But ladies, presenting the Russian artist bouquets at the scene, literally shocked the American mind and soul. The lady was so upset that in the end one of the American fans of the artist of Russian origin, regretting it, pulled out his bouquet of rosettes and gave the American. And she solemnly handed over a flower artist under loud shouts of approval from his friends. Say what you will, but Americans know how to be happy!

But the most surprising presence on the concert of Russian singer did not even Americans — in the end, the interest in our culture were always, and Chinese. That’s who constantly come across in the halls I personally think is amazing. And it was not Russified Chinese, but never in Russia does not happen. They applauded, took pictures and generally felt in the American hall at a concert of the Russian artist home. I decided to invade their little world and wonder what brought them here. “Show! The voice!” — explained the immigrants from China.

Of course, most in the audience were Russian speakers. And not even the second and third, and even fourth generation immigrants from Russia.

— As long you love Leontiev? I asked in Los Angeles, a young and very attractive fan of the artist.

— And that’s how you cut the cord! laughing, she said.

Beautiful women in expensive outfits came with men-Americans. Some called for two, three concerts. One couple, where the wife is Russian, came to the concerts from Reykjavik — abroad decided to respect the wishes of women. There were also those who traveled with the artist the entire tour.

We waited a long time for these concerts, explained they decided to arrange a holiday!

Still, most American fans could not afford to travel with the artist through the cities, how often do fans Leontiev in Russia.

— No, it’s not expensive, it’s not about the money, they explained to me, impossible to miss work. Nobody will give a spontaneous day off. There is no such thing as a day off, not to mention the fact to just ask for a day or two. To go to the next town and see another concert, the work will have to lie, writing a very serious reason for the absence. If in Russia people often lack the means to get some pleasure, in America the money generally is, if you’re working, but sorely lacking free time.

Concerts traditionally attended by many children. Many of them had been at concerts of Leontief, while still in the wombs of their pregnant mothers. So, in Miami adored Valery Yakovlevich asked to be photographed with a real sweet kid — six-year-old Gabriela. Mom willingly showed another photograph of the artist holding a one year old pups, the same Gabriela, only five years ago — that time is now child without the vagaries of survived the show, sitting with my mom in the front row, where the sound can reach a decent decibel.

It was interesting to see how you reacted to the show of the actor security. Almost in all the rooms for the most part were African Americans. From the very first bars they caught the rhythm, began to beat him first with his hands, then could not withstand — began to dance vigorously and clapped.

It should be noted that Leont’ev never changes his concert in favor of one or another audience. In Seattle and Minsk, new York and St. Petersburg, Miami and Moscow, in Israel and the Moscow region, in Germany and in the Russian province of his speech will be equally impeccable and the quality of show the show and the strength of emotional involvement of the artist. And perhaps that is what charms the viewer to Leont’ev forever.

— What is this song about? asked the guard an African-American in new York, when Valera finished the “Culprit”. There were pereyslav, and the whole concert I stood next to her.

— He was lucky to see her in her sleep, she wept bitterly, and called him from the darkness. Late autumn, but blooming wild roses, — how could I translated.

— Oh, yes! Love the snow and all the flowers! Now I imagine Russia! — he smiled the guard.

…I was sitting next to him in his house, feeling that they are in endless space and a tiny cell at the same time. First the illusion has created a series of spaces flowing one into the other, but not through, and through unexpected twists of the corridors and suddenly opening doors. Second — completeness and sophistication every square inch with a minimum of it absolutely addressed things and objects. He built the house himself, and here his inner world is echoed from the floor and walls, every object, every touch. Nothing superfluous — the absolute sophisticated minimalism. I sat next to him and said, I it good.

I’m glad you’re happy, ‘ said he.

— And you? — wanted to ask me.

…But remembered his portrait, which still hangs in the famous Hollywood studios A&M Records, people holding up the walls of the concert hall in new York, but to stand there during the concert is strictly prohibited. But what these Russians begged! Dancing black guards, “cool” Americans, unwavering stereotypes which was broken at a concert in an instant. The carpet of flowers on the stage. The tears of fans: first, joy is finally it! And then the grief — it’s over! Room in Miami, where every second boasted of his acquaintance with the artist, although it could be just a group photo. His old friends and former companions on the stage, who came to the concert and calling him “our Valera”: Liubov Varum, sisters rose… It sold out, infinite energy, superhuman strength talent. Remembered and asked:

— And you?

— He absently watched the gently swaying of the ocean, Cernei is helped by under the stars, then chuckled at her thoughts, and so anything and did not answer.

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