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Friday, June 15, 2007

Elton John in Kyiv

I really try not to be cynical, but sometimes it is really, really hard.

So the beknighted singer is going to Kyiv, supposedly to raise awareness of AIDS. As if Ukrainians aren't quite aware already.

More likely, given that billionaire Viktor Pinchuk has arranged it all, it's probably more to raise awareness of western music and culture, which would help make Pinchuk a kajillionaire.

Yes, I know. That is such a cynical view... but IMHO it would be more impressive if Viktor and Elton demonstrated their concern for AIDS victims by spending their own money on, say, building a hospital or two in Ukraine instead of on flashy shows promoting wealthy western pop stars.

H/T to Vasyl at UAMuzik for this story.

And this one, which rings rather much more sincere vis-a-vis charity in Ukraine...


Michelle said...

I don't think you are being cynnical, just honest and realistic. I too wish money would go towards solving world problems then spending tons of money to showcase celebrities and their personal perspectives of life.....but on the other hand, while I am not an Elton John fan per se, it will be nice to have some great music for free!

Pawlina said...

Well, enjoy the concert!

I have to admit that, while I am not a fan of Elton John either, much of his music is very good.

Anonymous said...

I think you're a little too cynical. I don't think that the concert is meant to promote western music or culture at all. Elton's AIDS foundation does give money to help the Ukrainian people and others worldwide. For example, all of the money he makes from his music singles since 1992 have gone to AIDS research. He also does other things to generate money for his foundation. If he were interested in making money off of the event, his concert most certainly wouldn't be free. Enjoy the concert Kyiv!

Anonymous said...

whatever the politics behind it, the show was a nice excuse to get together with friends and feel slightly more "European"...

Pawlina said...

I agree, Elton John doesn't need to give concerts to make money anymore ... but I still suspect he and Mr. Pinchuk will have reaped more benefits (in terms of influence if not money) from this concert than AIDS victims in Ukraine ever will.

Since I don't live or produce my program in Ukraine, some may feel (but are too kind to say) that it's not my place to comment on this event. Fair enough.

However, my problem with it is that glitzy, prominent western acts like this invariably overshadow, and thus effectively devalue, indigenous Ukrainian music.

That makes it easier to encourage the production and sale of more plastic pap that is, save for the lyrics' language, indistinguishable from what comes out of any other country in Europe or North America.

Which, in the end, means less authentic Ukrainian music for me to share with my listeners.

Vasyl Pawlowsky said...

Well let's just say that the show was be far the most professionally performed concert I have ever seen in Ukraine. But this is what happens when musicians play together as long as the guys who were with Sir Elton.

While many thought the show would start at 20:00 that was the start of the one hour leading up to the concert to increase the awareness of AIDS on Noviy Kanal.

Pawlina said...

Yes, I imagine it would have been quite the spectacle. Elton John is a consummate professional, and he and Mr. Pinchuk know that all it takes to put on a perfect show is enough money to pay the top professionals in the biz.

And so, when you can dazzle a crowd of 200k like that, you can peddle pretty much anything successfully.

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