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Thread: The Reverb Guide to Soviet-Era Guitars (Partly for Spell)

  1. #21
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spellcaster View Post
    The issue of smuggling into restrictive nations is interesting. I remember reading that in the early days, Beatle recordings were piggybacked onto x-rays to get them into Russia. I wonder how a person would smuggle in a guitar.
    Maybe those were the first partscasters?
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  2. #22
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    There had to be some sort of permission for musicians, assumiong they were let in in the first place

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    There had to be some sort of permission for musicians, assumiong they were let in in the first place
    Not necessarily for electric guitars though--they could have been seen as rebellious--so there had to be official Soviet ones...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  4. #24
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    That would be a pain- you go on tour and have to buy all equipment locally. Although no roadies needed!

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    That would be a pain- you go on tour and have to buy all equipment locally. Although no roadies needed!
    Why?
    How many bands actually toured inside the Soviet Union?
    I would only be Soviet bands for most of those years--and every little Rock N Roll until near the end.
    The Soviet bands woudl have Soviet guitars (& presumably Soviet gear as well)
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  6. #26
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I was referring to non USSR bands- I can't say how many non-Soviet bands toured in the Soviet Union but for those who did it would not be easy to guarantee that you would get decent amplification and instruments if you had to buy everything locally. For Soviet bands of course it is another matter

  7. #27
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    I was referring to non USSR bands- I can't say how many non-Soviet bands toured in the Soviet Union but for those who did it would not be easy to guarantee that you would get decent amplification and instruments if you had to buy everything locally. For Soviet bands of course it is another matter
    I was referring to them as well--I do refer to Soviet bands as the exception.

    In any case the earliest I could find an example of a "Western"--(Non Communist) rock/pop type act in the USSR was Elton John in 1979
    But it was the last 80's before it happened again as far as I can tell--and by then the Soviet Union was loosening up--so it wouldn't have been an issue.
    And it wasn't to say a band touring couldn't bring their own gear--but importing for sale and that sort of thing would be the issue.
    So musicians of more serious music and athletes woudl enter--but they were under careful scrutiny as to what they brought in & what they took out.

    The guitars in question were pre Elton John.
    If they guys making the guitars couldn't legally get their hands on a "Western" guitar--how would most people.

    And the point of the article was more the quirkiness & then the development of the Soviet guitars.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  8. #28
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I must admit it would be very interesting being able to see the Communist Bloc countries back then. My wife grew up behind the Iron Curtain so for her it wouldn't as interesting

  9. #29
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by die Bullen View Post
    I must admit it would be very interesting being able to see the Communist Bloc countries back then. My wife grew up behind the Iron Curtain so for her it wouldn't as interesting
    I can see why she would feel that way.
    I know others who were behind the Iron Curtain, as they said...
    Didn't sound like fun.
    Heard many tales of government corruption--which made some things possible, but expensive--even legal things were expensive due to corruption--at least in some places...
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  10. #30
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    An excerpt that fits in with this line of discussion:
    Yuriy Shishkov, a Belarusian luthier who went on to work for Fender, describes the frustration of acquiring a decent guitar in the USSR:

    "Since buying a Soviet-made electric guitar was not an option I was willing to consider, I was left with only one possible solution: the black market. Everything from keyboards, amplifiers, and electric guitars could be purchased from the underground dealers. The only problem was the astronomical price on these items, rendering them impossible for me to afford. To pick up a Japanese or American guitar through these sources was also not so easy, as there were few options to choose from and limited availability." – If Guitars Could Talk (pg. 286)
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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