The producer of “Mirage” Lityagin spoke about gang violence over the group

The producer of “Mirage” Lityagin spoke about gang violence over the group

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“The song “New Hero” has its own backstory,” he recalls. — While I was working on the second album, fermentation began in the group, and Natasha Gulkina went into free swimming. The group continued to tour, first with Natalia Vetlitskaya, and then with Irina Saltykova and Tatyana Ovsienko. And so the group travels around cities and villages somewhere, and in Moscow an advertisement appears that “Mirage” will take part in a concert organized by the theater of a famous singer at the Dynamo Sports Palace. We began to figure out what was what, and found out that a former member of our group was supposed to perform at the concert under the guise of “Mirage”. We wrote letters to the management of the Palace of Sports and Theater – and after some time we received an answer: representatives of the theater of this famous singer invited us to… the arrow! In general, this was not surprising: at that time, many serious issues were resolved in this way. They told us that now whether we like it or not, the Mirage will be under them. The matter was taking a serious turn, but I decided that I would fight for my brainchild to the end.

– And how did this fight begin?

“At that time, my ex-wife Lena and I lived at VDNKh, and, of course, we were well known there, including those guys who had weight in certain circles. As soon as I mentioned that the Mirage was being squeezed out of us, a whole team of strong guys immediately gathered who were ready to go and defend our interests. Of this entire company, I only knew a couple of people. They told me: you shouldn’t take part in the conversation, it’s better to stay at home, we’ll solve everything. But this was about my life’s work – how could I sit at home with folded hands at such a dramatic moment?! I said: “I’ll go with you,” and even grabbed some kind of sharpening just in case…

“I hope it didn’t end in a fight or something worse?”

“It was probably all really stupid and naive, because armed people came to the meeting from the other side!” One person separated from our company – he was short and not even muscular at all, but he walked up to them with a confident step, made some kind of gesture and said literally a couple of words that I did not hear. After this, the people on the other side suddenly “blown away.” They talked for a few more minutes, then this guy came back to us and said that the issue had been resolved.

Yes, the times were difficult, our problems were of no interest to the police, party committees, or trade union committees, and often issues were resolved this way. And this inconspicuous guy who defended my Mirage was a unique representative of that time, and for me he was the person who defended our truth.

Then these events made an incredibly strong impression on me, and I came up with the idea of ​​a song about a hero – as a result, the hit “New Hero” appeared.

I used different authors to write the texts. He wrote some of the songs himself, gave some to his ex-wife Lena, and asked Svetlana Razina, who was still a member of the group at that time, to write the lyrics to the songs “New Hero” and “I’m Not Joking.” And, it should be noted, Svetlana coped with the task perfectly. Of course, she made the image of this hero romantic, but how could I have done otherwise?

— And what was the fate of the Mirage?

“We were not allowed into state studios, and others simply did not exist at that time. But my friends collected the necessary equipment to record the first albums, and I was able to record them. We were not distributed by Melodiya on vinyl and CD, but these songs were scattered across the country on millions of samizdat reels and cassettes. We were not allowed on TV, but when the songs sounded from every iron, the management of Central Television was forced to give in – and as a result, we won the “Song of the Year”, and more than once. At the same time, the group has been collecting sold-out crowds all over the country all these years.

– They say that not everyone believed that the soloists were singing live, and because of this, funny stories even happened…

– Yes it is. In 1991, a new soloist, Ekaterina Boldysheva, joined the group, and with her arrival, our hits were heard live at concerts. Spectators often did not believe that a live voice was being heard, and there was always someone very brave who wanted to check whether the live vocals really sounded or whether it was a phonogram. Such a character will come on stage, give a flower, and he will grab the microphone and try to yell something into it, and listen to whether the voice of the soloist continues to sound in the hall or not. One day, this not-so-sober handsome guy jumped out, grabbed the microphone, yelled into it, realized that the voice sounded live, and, satisfied, headed back to the hall, but missed in the spotlight and fell headlong into the orchestra pit. The band stopped playing, the audience gasped, and silence reigned in the hall. But literally a minute later, this poor guy’s head emerged from the hole, and he crawled onto the stage alive and unharmed. The audience sighed with relief, the concert continued, and the guy walked with an uncertain gait to look for his place. By the way, if I were sober, I would probably break something…

And when the group performed in Georgia, the song “New Hero” almost ended in a shootout.

– And detail?..

— It was in 1994, shortly after the end of the civil war. People in civilian clothes with machine guns over their shoulders walked along the city streets, and each of our concerts was always attended by a certain number of these machine gunners, who were allowed in for free: who would dare to block the path of an armed man at the entrance to the hall? This was the case in the city of Gori: a concert was going on, several people with machine guns were sitting in the hall. And so the group performs the song “New Hero”, during which pyrotechnics go off according to the script: a loud bang is heard, flames momentarily burst out of firecrackers, and the stage is enveloped in smoke. And when the smoke cleared at the end of the chorus, it suddenly turned out that not a single head was visible in the hall: all the spectators hid under the chairs! The organizers ran backstage in horror and said: please, no more pyrotechnics – people here are afraid of these sounds. Georgians are hot guys, and those who had weapons with them could easily start shooting!..

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