Friday, June 29, 2007

The story of Serhiy Taftay's guitar

Many years before Braty bluzu was formed Serhiy Taftay played with many different groups. In the early 1980s while playing with one group in Western Ukraine he simply wanted to have the best possible instrument, so he somehow managed to scrape together 6,000 Rubles to by himself a Gibson Les Paul guitar and he did. I don't know what the official exchange rate was at that time, but in 1985, while studying in Leningrad, I had received 100 Rubles from my uncle as a gift, I had a damn hard time spending it. I during a whole week I would take 5-6 friends out for dinner every night, still had lots of money left over. Officially, the rate at the time, if my memory serves me was about 2 Roubles for every US Dollar.

While playing in somewhere near Voronezh, Russia, with the band he was with at the time his guitar was stolen before one of the gigs. A number of years later, some Ukrainian musicians were in Moscow at a gig, one of them noticed Andrei Makarevich the cofounder of the group Mashina Vremeni a popular Soviet rock band, which had even achieved cult status, had Taftay's guitar. When he was asked where he got it, his reply was, "I bought it from someone!"

From musicians I know from the period, it turns out that the theft of Taftay's guitar became quite a legend during the 1980s before the collapse of the SU.


  1. Vasyl I have no problem with your politicizing in your posts. I do not know where your comments originate from that I am "sick and tired" of it. Please clarify your position.

  2. Orest,
    I guess I had a bad hair day... The fact that Pawlina drew attention to your blog is great... It seems like you had just started it and the more Ukes we have on the blog block the better!

    No bad intent intended...


  3. Hey you two, kiss and make up, ok? :-) With a story like this stolen guitar legend, we have to remember that разом нас багато!

    "I bought it from someone" ... indeed. How brazen and arrogantly contemptuous. At least it's good to know that pride comes before a fall. Any chance that thieving soviet band is dead and gone?

  4. Well Pawlina, I don't know if there will be any kissing, but a big hug would definitely be warranted. I haven't seen Orest in ages, and if he is ever in town... I hope he lets me know. Orest - You got that!