Rockin' the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia

Rockin' the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia

Rockin' the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia

Rockin' the Kremlin: My Incredible True Story of Gangsters, Oligarchs, and Pop Stars in Putin's Russia

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Overview

Read the true story of Universal Music Russia’s first CEO and his quest to bring Western popular music to post-Soviet Russia in an account that Publishers Weekly calls "an exciting and colorful look at a dynamic period in Russia’s cultural history" and Library Journal calls an "absorbing illustration of the mutuality of music and politics."

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, Russia opened its borders, and Russian audiences were hungry for Western popular music and the values it espoused. David Junk was one of the first idealistic, young Americans to seize this opportunity.

Rockin’ the Kremlin is the thrilling true story of how David became the first CEO of Universal Music Russia and built impactful cultural bridges with music—but also how that would all shatter with the rise of Vladimir Putin and invasions of Ukraine. There was no proper music industry in the USSR, and creating a modern music industry in Russia would be far more challenging than anyone had anticipated. David assembled a team of young and talented Russians, and they navigated a terrain filled with political chaos, organized crime, powerful oligarchs, bombings, and violence—with cultural clashes tinting many aspects. They captivated millions by bringing superstar acts to Russia for the first time ever, including Metallica, Mariah Carey, Sting, Eminem, and Enrique Iglesias, while developing local talent such as Alsou and t.A.T.u.—Russia’s greatest selling pop act of all time. Eventually, David would even build a music industry in Ukraine and other countries in Eastern Europe.

While Russia’s descent into authoritarianism and two invasions of Ukraine have tarnished this, the industry that David shepherded has birthed a newer generation of Russian musicians who are speaking out against the war and Putin. Filled with unique insights as well as gripping—and sometimes humorous—stories, this book reveals how it all happened.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538178751
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 07/02/2024
Pages: 294
Sales rank: 277,956
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David Junk was the first CEO of Universal Music in Moscow, and for a decade he promoted international artists in Russia, including stars like Mariah Carey, Elton John, U2, Sting, and Bon Jovi. He also signed many Russian artists to Universal, including t.A.T.u and Alsou. He was vice-president Eastern Europe at Universal Music in 2003, opened the first Universal Music office in Kyiv, Ukraine, and developed music reality shows for Ukrainian TV. He is a founding member of the Russian Music Industry Association and the US Ambassadors Task Force on Intellectual Property Rights.

Fred Bronson is the bestselling author of six books including The Jacksons: Legacy, The Sound of Music Family Scrapbook, Dick Clark's American Bandstand, and three Billboard charts books. For over three decades, he has been reporting on the music industry for Billboard magazine, covering many topics including American Idol, the Eurovision Song Contest, ABBA, and Motown. His articles have also appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and the Los Angeles Times. He is a four-time guest on American Idol and a writer of three Star Trek episodes. Fredbronson.com.

Table of Contents

Introduction

SECTION ONE: MY STRANGE PATH TO RUSSIA

Chapter 1: Cold War Kid

Chapter 2: Tear Down This Wall

Chapter 3: Diamonds Are Forever…Or Are They?

SECTION TWO: MY MUSIC CAREER BEGINS

Chapter 4: Ketchup Or Music?

Chapter 5: Breaking News

SECTION THREE: POP STARS AND OLIGARCHS

Chapter 6: The Oligarch’s Daughter

Chapter 7: It’s In The Bag

Chapter 8: Enrique In The Kremlin

Chapter 9: Did We Have Fun At The After-Party?

SECTION FOUR: THE MOST DANGEROUS BAND

Chapter 10: The Kiss Heard ’Round The World

Chapter 11: Fifty-Fifty

Chapter 12: Broadcast Standards

Chapter 13: “Get Them Out Of Monaco!”

Interlude: Building The Russian Music Industry

SECTION FIVE: THE BUILDING PROJECT

Chapter 14: Pirate Battle

Chapter 15: I Want My MTV (On Red Square)

Chapter 16: Mariah Makes It Happen In Moscow

SECTION SIX: THE GOLDEN YEARS

Chapter 17: The Russian Wham!

Chapter 18: Smashed!!

Chapter 19: Meeting The Maestro

Chapter 20: At The Ballet/Jazzman

Chapter 21: 54 And Above

Chapter 22: Comebacks

Chapter 23: Peak Performance in Eastern Europe

SECTION SEVEN: DARK DAYS

Chapter 24: Band Troubles

Chapter 25: Not Guilty

Chapter 26: The Underworld

Chapter 27: On Dangerous Ground

SECTION 8: UKRAINE AND RUSSIA

Chapter 28: An American In Ukraine

Chapter 29: An American Chance In Ukraine

Chapter 30: An Unexpected Return

Chapter 31: Putting It Together

Chapter 32: Sochi

Chapter 33: Crimea

Chapter 34: A Brave Rock Star

Epilogue

Acknowledgments

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