Viktor Tsoi, legend of Soviet rock
Viktor Tsoi was a Soviet musician, leader of the band Kino. He was one of the pioneers of Russian rock and had many devoted fans. And there are a lot of his fans even today!
Viktor was born on June 21, 1962 in Leningrad into the family of a schoolteacher and a Soviet Korean engineer. In 1977 Tsoi was expelled from the Serov Artistic Academy for poor grades. At the age of 17, Viktor began to write songs. In the 1970s – 1980s, rock was an underground movement limited mostly to Leningrad, rock music was not popular with the government. Tsoi went to underground concerts of Leningrad rock musicians. After Boris Grebenshchikov’s solo concert Viktor played two of his own songs to him. Boris was very impressed by his talent and took him under his wing. It was the beginning of Tsoi’s rock music career.
In 1982 Tsoi debuted on the stage. His innovative lyrics and music impressed the crowd.
In the same year the band Kino released their first album 45. For the song Suburban Electric Train the band was banned from performing this song live. Regardless, the political message of the song made it popular among the youth of the anti-establishment movement that now began to look at Viktor Tsoi and Kino as their idols.
1987 was a breakthrough year for Kino. The band released their 7th album Blood Type (Gruppa Krovi).
According to the annual poll by Soviet Screen magazine Viktor Tsoi was named the best actor in 1989 for his role in the film Igla.
Over the next few years, Tsoi appeared in several successful movies and also traveled to the USA to promote his films at film festivals. Even though Viktor was a huge star, he still lived an ordinary life, worked in the boiler room of an apartment building. This made Tsoi even more popular among the people because he was down to earth.
In 1990 62,000 fans filled the stands of the Luzhniki Stadium to celebrate the triumph of the USSR’s most successful rock group.
Tsoi died in a car accident on August 15, 1990, aged 28.
In 2000 some of the nation’s top rock bands came together and released their interpretations of Kino’s best songs as a tribute to Tsoi on what would have been his 38th birthday. Even though he is gone, Viktor still lives in the minds of many Russian youths.
Tsoi is the last hero of rock!
On June 21, 2012, Google commemorated Tsoi’s 50th birthday with a Google Doodle reminiscent of the Tsoi Wall.
In 1982, Tsoi met Marianna. They got married in 1985. She gave birth to their son Alexander (Sasha) on August 5, 1985.
In 1987 Viktor left the family and went to Moscow to be with Natalia Razlogova, film critic and translator.
Marianna died on June 27, 2005. Alexander, the only child of Victor, works as a programmer. He married Elena Osokina.
Last love of Tsoi Natalia married journalist Eugene Dodolev and went to the US, they have two children. She starred in documentaries about Tsoi – Sunny Days (1996), Viktor Tsoi. Children of Minutes (2008), Life is like a movie (2005).