Bureau of Lost Culture

How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin

April 25, 2021
Cold War Spy meets The Fab Four in the USSR
 
When Leslie Woodhead was asked by Granada TV to film a new young music group in a club in Liverpool in 1962, he had no idea what he was in for - and neither had the rest of the world. He was witnessing the birth of a phenomenon that was about to have a huge impact on both the culture and the counterculture. But by then he had already had another extraordinary experience - serving a stint as a cold war spy, learning Russian on a remote Scottish pig farm and spending time eavesdropping on Soviet pilots from West Berlin.
 
These experiences continued to influence his life as a multi-award winning film maker, finally coalescing in his documentary ‘How the Beatles Rocked the Kremlin’.
 
In this episode, we trace the almost unbelievable transformational effect the Fab Four had on young Russians in the 60s and 70s - an effect that many believed was more significant than all the cold war western propaganda and the threat of nuclear attack combined, in helping to bring about perestroika and the fall of the Soviet empire. 
 
For more on Leslie and his work
 
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