Film production update: "How
The Beatles Rocked the Kremlin"
Emmy nominated film producer Leslie
Woodhead continues his efforts to bring Beatle fans the true story behind
the Beatles influence in the USSR that lead to the eventual downfall of
Communism. The film producer recently did major shoots in Moscow and in
"In Moscow, I interviewed the Russian
Deputy Premier, (Putin's number two) Sergei Ivanov who told me how he
learned English from Beatles lyrics and remains a huge fan," said Leslie
Woodhead in an e-mail correspondence to the Ottawa Beatles Site. "I also
filmed with Russia's most iconic Rock Stars - Boris Gribenshikov and
Andrei Makarevich - who talked about how the Beatles changed their lives.
At a theatre in Gorky Park I filmed a musical about how the Beatles helped
to destroy Communism."
Woodhead also filmed highlights in what
he described as "a day-long birthday party for John Lennon, organised by
St Petersburg Beatles Superfan Kolya Vasin. Eleven bands played Beatles
songs, fans from 12 to 70 sang along," said Woodhead. "I also filmed in
Kolya's extraordinary 'John Lennon Temple of Peace and Love', crammed with
every kind of Beatles memorabilia. Kolya told me he plans a huge Beatles
monument on an island outside the city, looking out towards Liverpool...I
also filmed a band who do punk versions of Lennon songs, whose lead singer
Igor Salnikov plans to change his name to 'John Lennon.'" Igor Salnikov
that Woodhead refers to is a member of The Oz from St Petersburg. The band
recently released an exciting new CD called "The Oz - Punk Opera
Che Lennon." They do terrific cover versions of John Lennon's solo
material and hopefully Western viewers will get a chance to hear for
themselves how great this band really is.
"Following my shoot in Kiev back in June
this year when Paul McCartney played a huge free concert, and of course
the great stuff I filmed with Yury Pelyushonok in Ottawa,
I now have a real harvest of material about the extraordinary impact of
the Beatles in the former Soviet Union. I plan more shooting early in
2009, and the film will be completed for screening later in the year,"
According to Woodhead's website, the
film's completion will celebrate the "20th anniversary of the fall of the
Berlin Wall in November 2009."
For more details with pictures taken from the current
production shoot, please visit
Leslie Woodhead's official website.
Update by John Whelan, November 11, 2008.