The desperate call for change in his work was one of the reasons why Talkov was never popular with the Soviet government. Even as a performer renown and loved throughout the whole Soviet Union, he lived in a small two-room apartment with his wife and children, even composing his masterful lyrics and music "on top of the washing machine in the bathroom", according to rumours. Talkov sang to the defenders of the White House, the Russian Parliament, during the coup attempt in 1991, but curiously enough he had never been impressed by Perestroika, which he claimed was nothing but the same regime under a different guise. In his post-Perestroika songs, he openly mocked the changes, calling them a ruse. Talkov was an avid reader of pre-revolutionary Russian history, which served as the inspiration for many of his songs.
He even guaranteed at his last concert that he is willing to "back up" his lyrics with historical facts. His songs often sounded strongly patriotic notes, for example when Talkov lyrically sang about how he would return at Russia's rebirth, "after the war". Critics have gone as far as describing him as a "Christo-facsistoid singer". Talkov also made a brief presence in post-Soviet cinema, acting in the films "Za posledney chertoy" (Beyond the last boundary) and "Knyaz Serebryanniy" (The Silver Prince). The latter film he disliked, apologizing to a preview audience for participating in the film.
Since Talkov refused to complete post-production sound on the film, Talkov's character was voiced by another actor. Igor Talkov's passion, openness, and talent has eventually built him a cult following throughout the whole Soviet Union, eventually even surpassing popularity of Viktor Tsoi and Mashina Vremeni, two of the most renown bands from the Soviet era. Thus, when he was fatally shot backstage at the Yubileiny concert hall in St. Petersburg, the next day was declared a national tragedy throughout the whole former Soviet Union. His funeral was a televised, nationwide event, where his casket was carried by some of the most prominent members of Russian stage to its burial.
It is not uncommon to meet people in former Soviet countries who still dedicate October 6th to the honour of Igor Talkov. While Valeriy Schlyahman, Talkov's one time manager, was found guilty of the murder by a Russian court, he fled through Ukraine to Israel before he could be arrested. He remains in Israel to this day, insisting he is not guilty of the crime while the Israeli government has refused to extradite him, a fact that even four years after his death led the nationalist Pamyat movement to demonstrate in front of the Israeli embassy. Schlyahman and his supporters, meanwhile, have claimed that the Russian government's FSB unit orchestrated the murder. Talkov is interred in the Vagankovskoye Cemetery in Moscow. In 1999 he was honored with his image portrayed on a Russian postage stamp.
There is an Igor Talkov Museum in Moscow. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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