From Zappa To Lenin

Found on the Where On Earth blog (via, about FZ’s bust in Vilnius, Lithuania:

A few years ago, I had the good fortune to share some beers with one of the students responsible for this very odd monument. He explained to me in a dark Vilnius pub how he and his friends, caught up in the early 1990s euphoria of post-communist freedom, decided to honor one of their favorite American singers whom they clandestinely listened to during communism because authorities banned his decadent western music.

Amazingly, during a crazy time when all things seemed possible, the students were able to convince the city government of their worthy Zappa cause. Even more remarkable, was that the students commissioned local sculptor Konstantinas Bogdanas to create the bust. Prior to this commission, Bogdanas sculpted only what the state told him to sculpt, which was mostly Lenin statues and other heroes of the socialist revolution.

And here is an interview with the sculptor:

In the far right corner is Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus, while rock legend Frank Zappa stares from the left. But the subject that made Bogdanas best known, Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin, is noticeably absent from the cluttered display.

4 thoughts on “From Zappa To Lenin”

  1. Furher disclosure. Yes, Balint, in the seventies I’ve red quite a lot of Lenins writings as I wanted to discuss with communists. These communists -then- said ( just as they did after Lenin died and Stalin took over) : ” Lenin, please come back, they’re all gone mad”. Funny, isn’t it?

    I know that Hungary happened to be a particular case in post world war 2 European history.

    My aim has always been to add some civilisation to capitalism, grown mad. Now – in EU – it’s about combatting the far right.

  2. Let’s take a step further. ( this is not about defending eastern european regimes afeter world war 2).
    Its about basic facts.

    – From both sides now
    – And Music is the Best.

    Horrible regime: the GDR in Germany. DDR.
    Their releases in music.
    Did you notice, just to mention a few:
    – the endless classical recordings at a fixed ( very low) price fromthe GDR label? Meanwhile in Prague it was Supprahon records. Both were truly great.
    – the opportunities they provided innovative western musicians with? Just two examples: Ornette Coleman & Fred Van Hove.

    OK, it happened to be an alibi.
    Modern capitalism didn’ t yet invented a valuable system to promote this kind of stuff.

    The story continues…

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