Vostok Cable editor, Josh Black, reviews How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin. The untold story of a noisy revolution. By: Leslie Woodhead. Publisher: Bloomsbury, New York, 2013.
What began as the peak of youthful idealism collapsed under unprecedented cynicism, long before outsiders expected. Whether it was external influences, the corrupting influence of money, or sheer internal opposition, the departure of a key member meant that the rest could not go on. The stab in the back myth continued for many years. Some still refuse to forgive Paul McCartney for leaving The Beatles.
Of course, the lifespans of the Soviet Union and the Fab Four were not exactly parallel, nor entirely similar. Yet according to Leslie Woodhead, a documentary film-maker and former associate of The Beatles, the role of the latter in the decline and fall of the world’s foremost communist state deserves more attention. In a series of visits to the former Soviet Union, Woodhead made it his mission to track down the Soviet Union’s Beatles generation. How The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin is the story of their resistance to the norms imposed by leaders who, if not omnipotent, allowed no area of popular culture to survive independently of the state.