Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky



In 1980, the entire Soviet Union mourned the death of a national favorite, Vladimir Vysotsky. At that time it seemed inconceivable that in a couple of decades the general interest in the personality of this unique person would drop sharply. Just the society got other values. Vysotsky’s genius will not allow his work to plunge into oblivion, but after the withdrawal of frenzied excitement it becomes possible to easily and accurately evaluate his work and life.

Over the years, everyone has spoken about the actor and the musician: wives and mistresses, friends and colleagues. But even today, little-known documents, facts, photographs, new poems and songs come to light. In the flow of love and veneration of Vysotsky, it is difficult to single out really real studies of his work.


Journalists often copy stories and legends from each other, embellishing them. Vysotsky’s life became shrouded in myths, debunking them sometimes encounters resistance from fans. However, we are worthy to know the truth about the great Russian artist and bard, so we must debunk some errors about him.

Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky

During Vysotsky’s life, only one of his poems was published.

This myth is often replicated in articles about the creativity of the bard. It is about the poem “Waiting Lasted”, which appeared in the collection “Poetry Day – 1975”. And then the lines were filed with bills. If you separate poems from songs, then this publication can really be considered the only one. Simply, many people perceive songs as poetry of a lower quality. And of all the publications that published Vysotsky’s works during his lifetime, only the “Poetry Day” is a specialized poetic one. The first publication of Vysotsky’s poem “We Are Telling Without Any Flattery” occurred in the editing recording of the film “Tomorrow’s Street” in 1965. And this is said about the full poem, and the first quotations from the songs appeared in the press back in 1964.

Wysotsky’s wide access to print was a few years away.

In 1967, several dozen works published lyrics from the movies “Vertical” and “I come from childhood”. In total from 1965 to 1980 in the Soviet press was made about 250 publications of works of the talented poet. True, do not exaggerate the significance of this number. Most of the publications fall on the regional or regional newspapers, and even on the multiples. On a national scale, this was a drop in the sea. Other sources include songbooks produced by large, but still inadequate, print runs. Only single editions, the same collection “Poetry Day”, could convey the work of Vysotsky to the mass audience.

The last poem of the poet was his dedication to Marina Vlady.

Poem “and below the ice, and on top – between toil …” was found in the home archive Vysotsky on the day of his death and reprinted on a typewriter close friends. The text is dated July 20, 1980. It is likely that the lyrics were a melody. This is indicated by Bella Akhmadulina, whom Vysotsky performed a new song on July 22. Unusually tragically, the last two lines sound: “I have something to sing, presented to the Almighty. I will have something to answer before him. ” The poet seems to be saying goodbye not only to the Beloved, but also to friends, life in general. Marina Vladi in a documentary in 1987 described how this poem appeared. Vysotsky began to write it on June 11 on the last day of their meeting on the transport form just before flying back to his homeland. The woman was shocked, asked to leave poetry. However, Vysotsky promised to send them to her on arrival.

But was this poem really last?

Here again the notorious division of Vysotsky’s legacy into songs and poems interferes. Specialists consider the last poetic work of the bard the text of the song “My Sorrow, My Longing”. She remained in the form of a phonogram of the author’s performance at the Pasteur Institute on July 14, 1980. The recording was conducted from the auditorium and was poor, but no other phonograms, like manuscripts, were found.So the date of creation of the work is determined conditionally, “until July 14, 1980”.

During Vysotsky’s life, no one else performed his song.

This myth continues to replicate the frenzied fans of Vysotsky’s creativity, who do not perceive concerts in his memory. After all, these fans of the author’s song can not see how the bard songs sound in modern processing and from the mouths of other performers. In fact, this myth has no real basis. In the 1960s and 1970s Vysotsky’s songs were heard in movies, recorded on plates and performed from the stage by many famous singers and actors. For example, in 1966, bard songs were performed by other people at once in three movies. In “I come from childhood” “Mass graves” Mark Bernes sang in “The Last Con” – Nikolay Gubenko, and “Sasha Sasha” – Lev Prygunov. Music to the last two tapes was written by Mikhail Tariverdiev. Vladimir Semenovich did a great job of creating music for movies. Yefim Kopelyan sang a song in the “Intervention” in 1968, in the “Owner of the taiga” of the same year the duet of Vysotsky with Zolotukhin sounded. In 1969 there were “Dangerous tours”, where the Rada and Nikolay Volshaninov sang. Vysotsky’s songs also sounded in the theater, in particular, in the “Last Parade” they were performed by Papanov, Derzhavin, Tkachuk and Vasilyeva. In 1976, there was a disco performance “Alice in Wonderland”, songs to which together with Vysotsky were written by Clara Rumyanova, Vsevolod Abdulov and other actors. And “The Song of a Friend” appeared on the record in 1968, it was performed by pop singer Vladimir Makarov. It is worthwhile to understand that with seeming well-being, each such fact can be regarded as a small victory. Singer Eduard Gil even told that the artistic council did not want to approve the three songs of the composer Veniamin Basner on Vysotsky’s poetry. Then the singer had to lie, that this is a work of a certain Leningrad name-bearer of the poet, named Vasily.

Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky

Life and speeches Vysotsky almost did not take off.

This myth is only fair in part. From time to time, television shows a rare documentary footage, but they were always inaccessible to a simple spectator. But as a result, the entire material was shot in different countries for many years, its volume was impressive. The chronicle was enough to create a full-length six-part film, where only Vysotsky himself would be on the screen. In this case, the farewell and funeral scenes are made in a separate topic. The subject of filming Vysotsky gave rise to several more myths.

Vysotsky’s first shooting took place in 1967 in Leningrad at a concert in the DC of the food industry.

It is better to use the term “first concert shooting” for this record. But the very first documentary footage of Vysotsky is dated in July 1963. Actor removed Valery Abramov in the suburbs, at the station “Rest”. There, Vladimir Semyonovich was with his second wife, Lyudmila Abramova.

In the television series “The meeting place can not be changed” did not include a lot of material with Vysotsky.

This myth was created by one of the authors of the script, Arkady Vainer. He told that seven episodes were filmed, only five of them appeared on the screen. It was even believed that these materials could become part of the continuation of the tape. But experts involved in the film archives made a disappointing verdict. At their disposal there is only a five-minute video without sound with the duplicates of the episode “Zheglov and Sharapov in the office of the MUR”.

Vysotsky’s only record on Soviet television was a filming for Kinopanorama.

This myth is truthful in part, if we talk about filming only on central television. And the first to capture Vysotsky was the Estonians. May 18, 1972 in Tallinn was recorded an hour program “The Man from Taganka.” She was shown in a month, and for 6 years she was the only meeting of the actor with the viewers. October 4, 1978 half-hour broadcast with Vysotsky was filmed in Grozny. And on September 14, 1979, the actor gave an interview to a Pyatigorsk television journalist. But this show was shown only once, in October of the same year for the second local program.And in the summer of 1980 the recording was destroyed, only 7 minutes were saved by a miracle, in which Vysotsky performs his songs.

The last filming of Vysotsky took place on April 16, 1980.

This myth is replicated by various media. It is believed that the last time the actor filmed Vladislav Vinogradov in Leningrad. The documents say that the last lifetime shooting of Vysotsky took place on July 18, 1980 at the Taganka Theater. The documentary director filmed the actor for two minutes in the role of Hamlet in the play of the same name.

The only mention of Vysotsky’s death in the Soviet press was in “Evening Moscow” on July 25, 1980.

On that day the newspaper placed on its fourth page a small obituary for the death of the actor, not even placing his photographs. However, this was not the only publication. The same edition on July 28 in a short note “On the Last Path” reported on a memorial service and funeral at the Vagankovskoye cemetery, listing wreaths from important organizations. The next day a small obituary was published in the newspaper of the CPSU Central Committee “Soviet Culture”. On the fortieth day after the death of the poet in “Soviet Russia” an excellent article in memory of Vysotsky was published by Alla Demidova. On August 1, the mourning material was published by the Tallinn “Sirp I Vasar”, noting the artist’s talent. But even such a silence of the authorities about the death of Vysotsky did not stop the gathering of tens of thousands who wanted to spend it on the last road.

Vladimir Semyonovich Vysotsky

Creativity of the poet fit in two volumes.

The decline in interest in the work of Vysotsky was also due to the fact that his collections are poorly compiled. Book lovers think that all the creative heritage has already been published and well known to all. The audience is offered a two-volume book compiled by A.Krylov. Each subsequent edition copies the previous one. The interest of the reader falls, because he is offered all the same 200-300 known poems. Even worse is the case with Vysotsky’s prose. A wide audience is known only for “The novel about the girls” and “Life without sleep.” Meanwhile, the most complete and best collection of Vysotsky’s works is the five-volume edition published by the publishing house Tulitsa. It included 877 completed and unfinished poems, 13 prose works, diary entries, scripts, sketches. But even this collection is not complete. There are also oral stories and speeches to the public, answers to questionnaire questions. Specialists have not yet received access to the poet’s letters to Marina Vlady. Friends and relatives of the poet find and restore his forgotten works.

Vysotsky was closely associated with Shukshin.

The destinies of two great artists often try to artificially twist. Biographers Shukshina remember that he was practically not familiar with Vysotsky. At some time both of them intersected in the circle of Levon Kocharyan at the Bolshoi Karetny. But then there were many famous people rotating around, including Tarkovsky. In his later interviews, Vysotsky recalled that he was always impressed by Shukshin’s work. The same tried the artist for the role of Pashki Kolokolnikov in “There’s such a guy,” and then promised to engage in “Razin” in the title role. True, the memories of warm relations with Shukshin are not confirmed by them. Perhaps Vysotsky just slightly embellished history, creating this myth. In neither Shukshin’s letters, nor in his writings or publications, the name of Vysotsky is never mentioned.

Vysotsky decided to become an actor on New Year’s Eve in 1956.

There is a beautiful legend about Vysotsky’s youth. December 31, 1955, two students of the Moscow Engineering and Construction Institute pored over the drawings, wanting to get the desired access to the exams. Only in the morning the young people finished their work. And then the young Vladimir, glancing at the paper, rolled on the floor, poured the contents of the coffee pot onto the paper and announced that he was leaving for the actors. Here only the application for expulsion from the university rector received on December 25, so that the New Year’s night held over the drawings, and the overturned coffee pot was not.But the legend has already gone to the people, confirming that the people’s favorite had talent, stubbornness, will power, and character.


Vysotsky did not sing blatant songs.

Vysotsky’s singing career began with songs that somehow defeated thieves’ themes. There is even a legend that the first performance occurred before the party bonzes, and the young man decided to show his character by singing blatant songs. Then still Vysotsky had no songs of his own. The first song of the artist is “Tattoo”. It says two men who loved the same woman and made a tattoo in memory of her. Biographers believe that this song Vysotsky wrote in 1961. Later there were other blatant songs. When the all-Union fame came to the bard, this undesirable trail began to drag after him. In the minds of party leaders Vysotsky remained the same raucous performer of criminal songs. Later, Vysotsky himself began to abandon the authorship of frivolous songs created by him at the beginning of his career. In addition, his authorship was attributed to completely extraneous criminal songs.

“Tattoo” – the first song of Vladimir Vysotsky.

This song was written in 1961 and in many sources is called the first for the author. In fact, this is the song “49 days”. It is dedicated to the brave struggle for the survival of the crew of the barge “T-36”, carried away to the ocean. This song Vysotsky wrote in 1960. Later he himself was very skeptical about his first experience. That’s why the song was almost forgotten, but its record has reached even now. Vysotsky was not baptized.

This myth is refuted by his son. As a child, Vladimir Semenovich really was not baptized. In those days, this ceremony was simply risky. However, close friends Vysotsky said that he was baptized shortly before his death. However, it was not possible to confirm this fact in the church. Nevertheless, is it possible to consider an atheist a person who writes “I have something to sing, presented to the Almighty”? Vysotsky was not churched, but visited the services. In his library found religious literature, including the Bible. At some point in his life, the artist wore a cross, and clearly not for beauty – in the house stood and icons. Many of Vysotsky’s friends know nothing about his baptism or believe that this fact was not. However, it was funneled in the church, albeit in absentia. On the day of the funeral, a memorial service was sung in the church at the Vagankovskoye cemetery.

Vysotsky fought at the front.

During the years of Vysotsky’s life there were many people who had gone through the war. Frontline lyrics could not leave them indifferent. The fact that the performer understood the material so deeply, sincerely presented it and sang from the first person, formed the basis of this myth. Even the memories of those who fought at the front with Vysotsky began to appear. But this simply could not be – the artist was born only in 1938.

Vysotsky had no musical education.

If we talk about education, how about studying in a music school or a specialized institution with a diploma, this really was not in Vysotsky’s biography. True, he had a musical education in another sense. In his childhood, Vladimir was taught to play the piano, instilling initial knowledge of music. Something he got at school, then friends taught Vysotsky to play the guitar, some skills were acquired by him on his own. School-studio MKhAT, finished Vysotsky, of course, added to him musicality. I had to study in the theater, and with musicians, arrangers. As a result, at the end of life Vysotsky played quite professionally, his musical education was much higher than that of some graduates with diplomas. Vysotsky absorbed new knowledge, like a sponge, without forgetting anything.

Vysotsky died of acute heart failure.

The exact cause of the poet’s death remains a mystery. The poet’s parents insisted that they do not make autopsies. Some experts believe that Vysotsky died because of asphyxia, others blamed it for myocardial infarction.Marina Vladi claims that her husband died because of drugs, but the version of the overdose is not confirmed by anyone and has not been investigated. In any case, Vysotsky’s health was undermined by countless tours, alcohol, nervous breakdowns, the same drugs. For a long time this could not continue. In 1979, Vysotsky already experienced a clinical death on tour. Then its cause was heart failure, which occurred after the introduction of a potent drug. Vysotsky’s personal doctor, Anatoly Fedotov, was able to save him, but a year later he was powerless. Vysotsky was a real fighter against the regime.

Sometimes the actor is a person who was unbearably stuffy in the walls of Soviet reality. In addition, the state pursued him, not allowing him to turn around. This is what is called one of the causes of Vysotsky’s death. In fact, it’s worth looking at the truth. Vysotsky was allowed a lot and said goodbye. He tore off the shooting and performances, going into booze and leaving for Europe. Together with his wife, French Marina, Vladyka Vysotsky traveled the world, visiting Hollywood and even in Tahiti (twice!). The artist traveled around Moscow on a blue Mercedes, and before that he had Renault and BMW. A typical Soviet citizen could not even dream about it. Paid performances in the Soviet Union were banned, but unofficially Vysotsky received 150 rubles per concert. Again, the authorities closed their eyes to this, as well as to supply the artist with drugs, including from abroad. The genius artist was allowed a lot, but he did not refuse to use all the benefits provided by the regime.



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