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Gorky Park

 

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History

At the end of 1986 coming back after successful tour of The Flowers in USA and Canada in September - October 1986 and participation in Japan festival in December, Stas Namin decided to create a new group which would be orientated especially for the western market.

The success of such project depended not only on the talent and professional skill of the performers the main problem was to create a musical ensemble for different mass culture, with different tastes and traditions. Not to mention avoiding all possible mistakes and making it one of the best in the world. Thats why , undertaking decision to create a so to say export group, Stas started with inventing the name Gorky Park according to the location of his Centre and S-N-C Studio the birth place of the group. GPs logo was also created depicting a sickle and a hammer. He defined then its musical trend and image. The idea was to create a traditional for American pop-culture group of five young musicians, playing modern melodic romantic hard-rock, which basically can be qualified as mainstream, but with some elements of progressive tendencies and Russian melodic. When all had been prepared and decided on, Stas began to look for musicians.

In such groups the main part is played by a soloist, and that was the utmost problem to solve. Stas was keen to find a singer with not only unique vocal resource and of striking personality, but the one who would have been brought up in straight-out authentic rock culture with good taste on top of that, would sing without accent in English and have scenic appearance. That was practically impossible, but Stas knew one potential candidate to suffice all those demands, one known then only among rock musicians- Nikolai Noskov. He had recorded a disc with David Tukhmanovs group Moscow, and many years after that (as all really good musicians at that time) was not called for and worked in a restaurant. Nikolai Noskov became the soloist and in fact the creative mark of Gorky Park, Stas forethought group. Possessing all the demanded qualities, he had an additional and probably the most important value he was, as they say, a personality, real gentleman, honest and worthy.

All the other musicians whom Stas invited to the group were actually members of Flowers and their main task was to professionally accompany Noskov. Stas invited bas-guitar Alexander Minkov ( Marshal), who possessed the qualities indispensable for the new group - he was professional basguitarist and could do back-singing for Noskov; guitar - Alexei Belov who also worked with Stas Namins Group, helping with recordings in SNC Studio, the second guitar - Alexander Janenkov ; Alexander Lvov - the drummer This way four Flowers musicians and Nikolai Noskov as vocal soloist compounded Gorky Park group.

The group started its activities with arranging Stas Namins New York Girl and the other songs to feel and work out the style at which the producer aimed. Stas saw Nikolai Noskov as the main music creator of the group, since his composing talent corresponded best of all to its foreseen image. It really happened that way and in few months Nikolai Noskov had written several songs, one of which -Bang! became later a world hit.

To say the truth Gorky Park" for two years running (1987-1988) was practically being locked in SNC working on the repertoire, arrangements and promotional recordings. There had been no concerts and not even a mentioning in mass-media. Meanwhile Stas was looking for correct partners in USA, who would be ready to start working with him on his new project. SNC at that period played host to such world-wide known producers as Steve Leaber, Don King, such stars as Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, Franc Zappa, Arnold Schwarzenegger and others, coming to get acquainted with new group. Mohammed Ali, Mike Tyson and earlier Michael Jacksons manager, celebrated Don King prepared a special program for USA National TV about Stas Namin Center, including the first Gorky Park video-clip, filmed by his own shooting group.

Only in 1988 Stas decided to present the group to Russian public, organizing joint concerts with Scorpios in St. Petersburg. That turned out to be a unique event, since at that time even the officially accepted soviet artists could not take part in the same concert with invited foreign stars, to say nothing of the completely unknown and not officially enlisted group. Performing before Scorpions Gorky Park, having no experience whatsoever thats being their first appearance, had cut a poor sight in comparison with head-liners and has been hissed off by Petersburg audience. But Stas achieved his aim the group gained huge experience, got friendly with superstars, became more self assured and widely known in the USSR. By that time the promotion recordings, made in SNC Studio were ready and Stas American partner chosen- Dennis Berrardi, the president of famous guitar firm Kramer. The next step was to find a recording firm, which would believe in Stas project and sign a serious contract with Gorky Park. In December 1988 Stas invited Dick Asher, the president of Polygram US, its vice-president, and Bon Jovi group with their famous manager Doc Macghee.The main purpose of the Polygram bosses visit was to sign the contract with Gorky Park and it was actually signed two months later, and Gorky Park was sent to America to work in studio. The sound producer Bruce Farbbar completed mastering in Vancouver, Canada. In order to get the group into the right company and position it on the highest level Stas invited Richard Sambora and John Bon Jovi to write a song for Gorky Park and sing together with Noskov.

When the group returned to Moscow Stas and Dennis Berrardi worked on the strategy of the first disc recording, negotiating with broadcasting radio and TV stations, holding press-conferences. But the main spring-board for the group was Moscow International Rock Festival for Peace in Luzhniki in 1989, organized by Stas. By the release of the first disc three clips have been shot and very active radio and TV promotion started. The success was quite obvious already by the fall 1989. The 3rd place in MTV and 87th in 200 world best performers chart in Billboard. 450 000 discs were sold.

The group stopped its activity in 1991.
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