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.”
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.