Before Billy Joel Toured the USSR in 1987, which American/British rockstars played a show(s) in the USSR?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Before Billy Joel Toured the USSR, which American/British rockstars(if any surely there has to be something) played a show in the USSR?

A Look Back: 30th Anniversary Of Billy Joel In Former Soviet Union Circa 1987

Thirty years ago this month, the whole world looked on as Billy Joel took his family, his music and his concert show to the former Soviet Union.

The signing of the Soviet American cultural accord during the Geneva summit of 1985 had opened a new era in cultural relations between the two countries. After a half dozen fallow years following the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1979, Soviet cultural planners and American impresarios once again started to lay the groundwork for ambitious cultural exchange projects. Concert tours, movie co-productions, record deals, art exchanges, and a host of other programs were proposed by both Soviets and Americans. Gorbachev’s glasnost (policy of greater openness) encouraged artistic expression and cultural exchange in areas that had previously been taboo or strictly controlled. The most visible and glamorous of these areas was that of rock music.

Billy’s tour was not only unprecedented at the time, it was tremendously exciting, and a vivid demonstration of music’s power to connect and communicate. Pulling off the historic tour – which began July 26, 1987 in Moscow and ran through August 5 in Leningrad – was a monumental task, and was an important moment in Billy’s career. The sheer exuberance of the Soviet concertgoers was clear as they were energized by Billy’s music with six total shows in the two Russian cities.