On the verge of the 21st century Alexander decided to move to America and made a great number of his fans, especially women, upset. Ladies would flood the radio station, where the singer used to work, with letters and calls, accusing him of all possible things, even of simple bon vivant…
And few years later Kirichenko returned back to Almaty and went about business – started singing in native language, made frequent appearances on TV and so on. A question arises: why did rebel singer make up his mind to return? And why our people who really succeed here and had everything they needed still didn’t manage to find their happiness abroad? What our regional ethnographer Vladimir Proskurin is grieving at in Berlin? And what our music critic Eugene Bychkov is grieving at overseas? So we wanted to meet Kirichenko as soon as possible.
Native San Sanych (Derative of Alexander)
It turned to be quite difficult to meet with him as he was drafted into the army. It’s important to note that Alexander Alexandrovich already discharged his sacred duty twenty years ago, so this time he was very surprised having got the draft note. However the draft board made everything clear rather quickly.
This draft note intended for his son - Alexander. The name Alexander or rather San Sanych is very popular in their family. Alexander Kirichenko’s grandfather was San Sanych, his father - was San Sanych, our hero is also San Sanych, his son is San Sanych and even his granddaughter is also Alexandra. That’s a good family tree, no chances to get lost. So our first question was:
Tell us please how come that such native person like you could move to another country?
Almost accidently. One day I got acquainted with Michael Feinstein, the publisher in Cleveland, and he invited me to work with him in America. The job was quite ordinary, I worked as a presenter on radio and TV and also broadcast journalist in «Russian magazine». Language knowledge wasn’t necessary as I could speak Russian among compatriots – immigrants. And by the way there were lots of immigrants in Cleveland - there are Jew, Russian, Ukranian and even Uzbekistan Diasporas there, all in all about 40 thousands of people.
I took part in documentary films shooting about the way compatriots live there. The films about Savely Kramarov, about Milla Yovovich. There were some interviews with Taison, Julia Roberts. Everything was just right in practical sense. I had a house with three bedrooms (Americans use to measure the size of their habitations with the number of bedrooms) at the Erie lake, car… everything I could dream of.
Savely Kramarov was just a toy in the USA
You know we all grew up in Soviet period. We thought that there is everything somewhere overseas or over Berlin wall – freedom, money, casinos, and yachts. At least many people of my age really believe that. But some time later I gradually realized: the world has changed and now we have the same casinos, freedom, cars here in our country. What should I do then there in the strange state?
The second thing that I realized in America is that it’s impossible to build a new life in a world that you are not get used to. Especially, when the bigger part of your life is gone. You can not just in a moment become as pragmatic as Americans are. You can’t change all your habits and get rid of fecklessness that is in our nature. By the way the fecklessness itself is not so bad thing. At any rate it can deliver you from grunge attitude.
And finally – when we were shooting film about Savely Kramarov it was so obvious to me that this talented person suffered realizing that he is no longer talented in the USA and people don’t notice him, they don’t smile at him at the street anymore. For Americans Kramarov was nothing more than just a sort of exotic and funny toy. And that’s why he really suffered there. I feel important here, people acknowledge me. I can say that I’ve achieved something. But there… Three bedrooms. I don’t need three bedrooms and three lavatory pans. It’s not about having three bedrooms, you know. Here I just can call my friend and say: “somehow I feel bad, let’s suck brew”. And we will go, and we will suck brew. It’s absolutely another thing in America. And again here I do the things I like doing. I’ve written some hard-rock songs with Almaty musicians. Unfortunately the local radio stations’ format does not allow hard rock broadcasting. I will probably try to rotate my songs in Russia. I still like pop music and I sing pop songs with great pleasure.
How did you get acquainted with Milla Yovovich?
I know her mother, Galina Loginova, quite well. I was at her house in a lovely mansion in Los-Angeles.
It’s really interesting that this Hollywood star turned to be quite sociable person. Sociable and the same time very extraordinary. Being a teenager she managed to achieve almost impossible - gain fame and become popular independent and rich.
And then suddenly she declared of her desire to leave the stage and become a designer. Her firm consists of the owner and one sewer who works at her kitchen! Milla works on the models and sewer patterns herself. And the success she explains by her Russian origin.
By the way, did you call her when she gave birth to a daughter?
I would ask you to avoid dirty hints; it has nothing to do with me! (Laughs)
Of course I called and congratulated the mum and the grandmother.
And the last question. Is it true that Cleveland skunk bit you?
He didn’t bite me. I just accidently ran over it. Oh there was such a stench! We washed the car with a shampoo, it didn’t help. But it will never happen again as fortunately there are no skunks here.