During my student time I spent summer holydays in the camp outside Kharkov. We called it our Woodstock. There were students from other universities and high schools. The camp was located in the area so beautiful that I still sometimes get bright flashes of it in my memory. Nature, water, sunrises, steam above the water in the morning.
There were courts for different sports, open air cinema and dance floor. Often we had the performances of local rock groups, who played The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Doors, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, T-Rex.
That was unrepeatable blend of nature, freedom, hopes and personal development.
Students and teachers on vacations lived in the small wood houses, painted in different psychedelic colours by pure accident. The idea was to relax, communicate, listen to the music, play football, swim in the river and live, how you do when you are seventeen.
I was a young architect student; we thought we had a blue blood, because it was very difficult to enrol the architect school. Besides the normal exams, we had to pass very complicated drawing and architecture history exams. I was very self secure, had a long hair and boot cut jeans.
We choose to stay in the tent by the river - more cool. In the tent we had a tape recorder and very many tapes. I draw the portraits of John, Paul, Ringo and George on one side of the tent with chalk and all song from "A Hard Day's Night" on another. The whole tent was as a big sound installation.
Lots of young people were coming to our "Hard Day's Night" tent to listen music, smoke, drink and talk. Talk about music, love, art. Free hippie spirit were successfully "destroying" mind of young creative people. (As strange as it can sound, but we were not doing any drugs, we were drinking chip wine and beer, sometimes with vodka).
I had a floral shirt, white Lee and Chinese Converse, almost identical to my children Philip, Erik and Alexandra now, but it was 35 years ago.
Music from the tent – our hits:
"Watt" Ten Years After "Think About The Times", "Gonna Run"
"Green River" Creedence Clearwater Revival: "Green River"
"A Hard Day's Night", The Beatles: "A Hard Day's Night", "Tell Me Why", "Can't Buy Me Love"
"Cheap Thrills", Big Brother & The Holding Company: "Summer Time", "Ball And Chain"
"In The Court Of The Crimson King" King Crimson: "Epitaph"
Compilation "Sunny Afternoon" The Kinks :"Sitting' On My Sofa", "I Am Not Like Everybody Else", "Dead-end Street", "I Need You"
"Flowers" The Rolling Stones": "Have you seen your mother...", "Let's spend the night together", "Lady Jane", "Please Go Home"
"Waiting For The Sun" The Doors: "Hello, I Love You", "Love Street", "Summer's Almost Gone", "The Unknown Soldier", "Five To One"
"White Album" The Beatles: all of them
"Highway" Free: "The Stealer", "Be My Friend", "Soon I Will be Gone"
"At Home" by Shocking Blue: "I'm A Woman", "Venus"
BALOCHKA (Illegal LP market)
Balochka was unbelievable (and untranslatable) phenomenon in 70s in Soviet Union, an example of manual communication. It arose absolutely spontaneously in the middle of Kharkov, close to the Park for Revolutions Heroes every Sunday from 10 to 13, regardless of weather. Hundreds of rock music lovers were coming there to buy a new record, to hear rock news, but mostly to exchange LPs. It were kind of professional intercourse, because everyone, who came to Balochka had from 5 to 10 LP's, at least four of them excellent quality in order to exchange for one week to record them and to continue exchange next Sunday. LPs of less good quality participated in exchanges as a supplement. Usually there were only honest deals, everybody knew each other, but once I was unlucky. It was the time of The Concert For Bangladesh by George Harrison. I did not have an idea how it looked that is why when I saw a new "Harrison", I gave absolutely new Three Dog Night "Harmony" without any doubts. Home, keeping my brief and expecting to hear "My Sweet Lord", I put LP on the record player, only to hear "Microbus". "How can I ever exchange it again?"- were my thought. The episode completed successfully, it was George Harrison's LP after all.
Police watched after "manual communication" very carefully and from time to time showed us who were in charge. Enough were to whisper: "Police" at Balochka and the next moment hundreds of people with briefcases were running in different directions. The surrealistic view. Unfortunately I did not have a camera than.
Sundays from 10 to 13 were the best time in 70s in Kharkov, Ukraine.
P.S. Balochka existed more that less in any large towns in Soviet Union in 70s. LPs arrived to Soviet Union usually from African students, who were getting their education in the Soviet Union, but spending their holydays in Paris, London or Amsterdam or foreign tourists, who were informed about the most profitable product. Prise of new Lennon's "Imagine" were a half of monthly salary of architect. Not many people knew how the originals looked, because once LPs were open, the middle part were cut away very carefully and glued together. "Cutting's" were putted on the wall immediately, the same happened with posters.
The contents of my briefcase in 70s:
SPOOKY TWO by SPOOKY TOOTH,
McCartney by Paul McCartney,
Wild Life by WINGS,
Diamond Dogs by David Bowie,
Revolver by The Beatles,
Harmony by Three Dog Night,
Stand Up by Jethro Tull,
Selling England By The Pound by Genesis,
Look At Yourself by Uriah Heep
Led Zeppelin III
Tons Of Sobs by Free