23 March 2011

The purple bear

For the record, I now officially approve of Dmitri Medvedev, who has apparently earned his chops as a space truckin’ highway star. From the Guardian:

Dmitry Medvedev, a big heavy metal fan, has fulfilled a lifelong dream by getting to meet his favourite rock band, Deep Purple.

Classic rock bands enjoyed immense popularity in the Soviet Union, even though Soviet press in Cold War times would describe such a music as an attempt at spreading West's “imperialist pop culture”. The band members had tea with the Russian president at his residence outside Moscow on Tuesday, where he told them they had been his favourites since he was 12.

Medvedev, 45, is known as a fan of rock bands such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, while his predecessor and current prime minister, Vladimir Putin, was reported to be a fan of the Beatles and Abba.

"When I started listening to Deep Purple, I never imagined I would be sitting with you at this table," Medvedev, now 45, told the band in remarks televised Wednesday.

He also revealed that as a DJ at his school in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, he would play rock music at discos, after first getting the approval of the Communist youth organisation. "We had quite a strict system then, you know," he said.

Medvedev's 15-year-old son, Ilya, brought out his electric guitar and used the opportunity to jam with his dad's favorite band, RIA Novosti news agency reported.

I don’t really understand how we on these shores, particularly more conservative Americans, can be so severely paranoid about an ABBA fan. We should just sic Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan on him – and we needn’t even equip Agent 007 with a Walther PPK, since his singing voice is deadly enough…

But seriously, why is it Russia gets all the awesome politicians? We, on the other hand, get Joe Lieberman. ‘Nuff said.

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