Lukas Devita, 2013-02-11

In brief: The book “Lithuanian Rock Pioneers” written by the leader of the eclectic rock band Skylė Rokas Radzevičius is about the music style that has always been identified with freedom, challenge, creative searches and that can be called “conscience of the awakening humanity”.

The author of the book is a productive song-writer, performer, he has created music for performances, epic music works, he has organised concerts, festivals and understood rock music as idea rather than form. R.Radzevičius is also an alumnus of Vilnius University, Faculty of History, who has been attracted by Lithuanian rock music as a perceptible phenomenon of history for a long time. The early period of Lithuanian rock (before 1980) was really “dipped in twilight”; therefore, R.Radzevičius, may be called the pioneer of Lithuanian rock studies (in addition to the musicologist Darius Užkuraitis or the late editor of music magazines Virginijus Mizeras).

R.Radzevičius started accumulating material while he was still a student of the Faculty of History – he searched for old musicians and took interviews. His Master thesis was issued as an innovative publication in the format of e-book/encyclopaedia “Lithuanian Rock Pioneers 1965-1980” in 2000.

Now, after more than a decade, all Lithuanian rock characters interviewed then and later return in the book, which includes conversations and memories of Lithuanian rock musicians.

The publication of more than 460 pages “Lithuanian Rock Pioneers” perpetuates the early rock and popular music culture until 1980, which is reflected in an authentic manner – by rock predecessors themselves.

The book includes more than 40 interviews, which are unique stories of musicians, band founders, leaders, composers, concert organisers or people important to music culture of many decades, such as the sound engineer Rimantas Pupeikis, editor of Vilnius Vinyl Studio Zinutė - Zinaida Nutautaitė, announcer of the legendary rock festival Opus Gediminas Grigaitis, snappy memories of the lighting master Norvydas Birulis, statements of the historian, professor Alfredas Bumblauskas.

Of course, interviews with the most important Lithuanian rock creators are published: Stasys Daugirdas (Gėlių vaikai), Vydmantas Juronis (rock band Kertukai), Audrius Čiapas, Romas Lileikis (Vaccum), Lilija Milaševičiūtė-Stankevičienė and Virginija Sidzikauskaitė-Čižienė (girls’ big beat band), hippy Aleksandras Jegorovas-Džyza, initiator of several Lithuanian rock directions Vytautas Kernagis, Gintautas Rakauskas (Saulės laikrodis), representative of Hiperbolė Viktoras Praparas, and many others. They all tell stories that sometimes seem like hallucinations or revealing sagas, in which the inner development of a man through rock music, the learning to survive and striving for the aim in any circumstances is pictured.

The book ends with a short but successful text of conclusions and thoughts of Rokas Radzevičius called “Let There Be Rock”. The main accents of development of Lithuanian rock are presented in it, the infrastructure of Soviet stage is described, the importance of local rock music heritage and (non)evaluation is emphasised, and the present rock music situation, its relations with culture institutions, with the nomenclature system is questioned boldly.

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