July 25, 1980 Marina Vladi woke up at four in the morning. On the pillow, a blood-red spot-crushed a huge mosquito. Time is ticking, the phone is ringing, an icy voice in the receiver: “Volodya is dead.” “That’s all – will write about the day Marina in the book of memories – you crushed the ice, you did not manage to break it.”
On the table of the director of the Vagankovsky cemetery, Iosif Kobzon put a thick pack of hundred-ruble notes: “We need a place for Vysotsky.” The elderly man broke down and cried: “How could you think that I would take money? Because I loved it.”
Vysotsky was loved. Even the KGB officers who followed him at home and abroad. However, even the closest friends could not understand until the end of Vladimir Semenovich. Therefore, painful inner loneliness was his heaviest cross.
Vladimir Semyonovich himself took the challenges of fate willingly, with some kind of inhuman excitement and the absence of the slightest fear. He went on hikes on submarines, pilots took him into the cockpit of fighters, climbers – into the mountains. And they all admitted that they felt confident and calm when Vysotsky was near. Remembering the poet, director Yury Lyubimov tells how in a private conversation one big general, the general, frankly envied Vladimir’s talent to influence people.
However, he influenced not by a rude strong-willed effort, but by an idea and a word, and even by his silent presence. Vysotsky was very fond of the company, but he did not pick up the guitar as often as one can imagine. Basically, he listened to people attentively. Without interrupting, he wrote down something, but more often he memorized, rhyming thoughts into short, meaningful stanzas. The closest friends told me that this is how he began to write songs, in which he tried to reproduce every moment of life.
Astrologers argue that any Aquarius (and Vladimir was born on January 25, 1938) – definitely an alien or a minimum – an alien from the future, who finds it difficult to adapt to everyday life. And every child born under this sign is a small phenomenon and a task without a solution for parents and others.
“His rhymes are absolutely phenomenal,” wrote Joseph Vysotsky, the poet and Nobel laureate. And the already mentioned Yuri Lyubimov frankly admitted that with the popular popularity of Vladimir remained “a phenomenon incomprehensible to many of his closest comrades and colleagues.”
“I will sing what I sing,” Vysotsky chopped off when he was somehow asked to correct the repertoire. “Nervously listening to the two KGB colonels, Vladimir Semyonovich smiled and...
“Life is on the edge, on the edge” – perhaps the most striking feature of Vysotsky, for which there were no halftones. The majority considered “Володьку” the guy – simple and clear. So he was in his work. In private life – both a holiday and a heavenly punishment. And for the rest of “all” – a challenge.
Many hunted for tape recordings of his songs and even invited to the celebration on the occasion of a professional holiday. Vysotsky himself, laughing, told in his conversations with his friends how the “guys from Yerevan” drove a special plane behind him, after the performance they handed him a thick envelope with bills, a fruit basket and a box of cognac:
“Thank you guys, I say what kind of organization?”
“The State Security Committee,” they reply. – Come to us again.
Since 1970, after a marriage with Marina Vladi, the authorities openly interfere in the personal and creative life of the poet. Vysotsky’s assertion of a role in the film for a director or a functionary from culture now means putting his career at the end. But Vladimir Semenovich never betrayed his friends, even when he knew that it would come out to him sideways. In 1967, in his diary, he wrote a short sentence: “I have a lot of friends, God has awarded me, and I will die without them, that’s for sure.” And in one of the few interviews he added: “For me, the most understandable kind of suffering is a person deprived of freedom, his relatives and friends.”
Vysotsky’s estate is more than 800 songs, almost as many poems, prose works, roles in cinema and theater. For people like him, life is an every second war, because “during the war, there simply are more opportunities, more space for disclosure.” People in war are always at the limit, in a second or half a step from death. “In general, for my songs, I try to choose people, which in the situation “nowhere else”.
Perhaps, therefore, his songs became folk songs, and their separate lines – aphorisms. After all, each listener felt in them the “silver strings” of his own soul and, rather, something else that can not be explained. That’s because of this “something” the phenomenon of Vysotsky is still a mystery.
Vysotsky wrote in his own present, but wrote for the future. His work – a message to the world, but the world, as always, was not ready to receive this message.