Posted by on April 3, 2017

Most people of our time, including Google, think of an Apple application when discussing (or searching) the term “Time Machine.”  However, during the timeframe of the sixties in Soviet Russia, Time Machine did not just take up space on your MacBook, but rather it was transcending the barriers of time.  The term Time Machine (or in Russian Машина времени), in the late sixties and seventies,  referred to one of the first Russian Rock bands.

 

 

The Russian Rock Band: Time Machine

 

The Time Machine not being referenced.

 

 

 

 

Time Machine was one of the first bands to contribute their musical creativity to the Russian genre of rock music.  The band originally came together in 1968, however, under a different name.  “In a Moscow school, a group of boys led by the unknown Andrei Makarevich were forming a kitchen band with homemade electric instruments, a band they called The Kids (name in English). Within the year they would rename the band Time Machine (Машина времени in Russian), and would become the first super-group of the unstoppable Russian rock movement.”  Time Machine played many underground concerts in order to gain their fame and continue, or rather start, the genre of Russian rock music.  Time Machine was restricted to many underground concerts due to the fact that older generations saw this genre of music as a threat to Soviet culture.

 

 

 

 

So why was the band Time Machine, or rather the genre of Rock music itself, presenting such an issue for older generations?

 

What the Rock genre entailed, along with other choices of style amongst the Soviet youth, had origins in Western culture.  For example, The Seventeen Moments in Soviet History Module stated the following: “Authorities were extremely worried that the minor unorthodoxies of youth fashion signaled a more pervasive social illness. The desire for western consumer items such as clothing and music drew young people into the gray area of the second economy.”  For the Soviet society this desire presented by the younger generations to imitate Western culture began to divide the Soviet youth from older generations, also known as the “generation gap.”  For the Soviets, Time Machine (Mashina Vremeni) was a rock band that seemed to concern the older members of the generation gap. The Seventeen Moments module emphasized the concern with Rock music by stating the following: “In 1968 the most serious threat, the rock-n-roll music that was already shaking western cultures, was just peeking over the horizon.”

Source: Adweek.com

 

Western music, although important, was not the only characteristic of Soviet youth that put a strenuous relationship amongst generations.  For example, The Current Digest of the Russian Press presented an article in 1969 titled “Pedagogical Reflections: The Adolescent in the World of Adults” in order to determine the reasoning behind the divide within the generation gap.  This specific article noted that the “Young people just aren’t the same any more.”  When determining why, the research conducted stated the following: “The first (reason) pertains to the total quantity of information (radio, television, movies, the press, phonograph records), which has more than quadrupled in the past 20 years.”  Consequently, the youth of Soviet Russia were quite similar to American youth of today: Access to historically unusual amounts of information changing characteristics of the younger generations.  With amounts of information that were unforeseen, the Soviet youth had more access to Western cultures than historically possible.  The quantity of information and the type of information being received certainly had the ability to influence desires and characteristics of Soviet youth, much like Rock music from the West shaping musical culture in Soviet Russia.  However, the major concern presented includes the idea that the youth of the country could eventually westernize Soviet culture.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Parker Leep
    April 3, 2017

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    This is definitely really similar to America during this period and the rise of rock music here – especially how older people and parents didn’t like it and didn’t want their kids to get involved with this genre. I loved the video you found. Great job and really interesting post!

  2. A. Nelson
    April 3, 2017

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    I like how you highlight the ways that rock music challenged social conventions and fed into the generation gap that appeared in the West as well in this period. And I really like the lead-in to your post and the way you connected it to your title. Nicely done!

  3. Johanna Andersen
    April 3, 2017

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    Great post! it was super interesting to see how the dawn of rock music really influenced soviet society. I also really liked to connection to the generation gap because that is still very present in societies today, especially because of this technological age.

  4. Caroline Ritchey
    April 3, 2017

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    I thought this post was really interesting! I usually tend to think of Soviet society as so closed off that they didn’t even have creative movements, but they did and they had some really interesting ones. It’s interesting to see through a lot of these posts that the same things were happening socially in the US and the USSR, but the USSR just tried to quell them more aggressively. Super post!

  5. Moustapha Ouattara
    April 4, 2017

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    Music definitely was a powerful social tool and so I can see how it caused generational rifts in Soviet society, much like the 1960s and 70s in the USA with classic rock and roll and the Hippie movement.

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