A man nicknamed Russia’s “biggest Beatles fan” has died in Saint Petersburg at the age of 73 after failing to realize a long-held dream to create a temple to the British band’s music.
Kolya Vasin became a prominent figure of the underground scene in the 1960s, when Soviet authorities considered rock music an unwanted phenomenon of Western bourgeois culture.
“Our friend and colleague Nikolai (Kolya) Vasin died tragically on August 29,” the official website of cultural center “Pushkinskaya 10” that houses the Beatles museum Vasin founded in 1991 said.
Local media reported a man later identified as Vasin had thrown himself from the third floor of a central Saint Petersburg shopping centre on August 29.
“Kolya’s greatest dream was the creation of a temple of love, peace and music dedicated to John Lennon in Saint Petersburg,” read an obituary written by Vasin’s friend Yuli Rybakov on the museum’s official website.
But, while authorities had promised to back such a venue during the liberal Perestroika era, it never became a reality.
“Neither local authorities nor the Ministry of Culture (to whom Vasin wrote) did anything to fulfil Vasin’s dream,” Rybakov wrote.
“He had a hard time accepting multiple rejections. He struggled to accept the tense atmosphere that reigns in our society.”
Locals on Tuesday brought flowers to the building where Vasin’s Beatles museum is housed.