Creativity in any genre requires a person to give full energy. And you also need talent. Without talent, even a simple craft is futile. Willie Ivanovich Tokarev was a special child from childhood. As it is sung in one swaggering song - he does not look like dad and mom. The parents of the future singer-songwriter traced their ancestry from the Kuban Cossacks. As befits representatives of the service class, they loved and knew how to work on the land. However, the son remained indifferent to work in the garden and vegetable garden. His native country recognized him in a completely different role.
Formation of character
Willie was born a few years before World War II, in 1934. Like many boys of his generation, at the age of fourteen, he began to work and bring a pretty penny into the house. It is interesting to note that the boy went to sea on a ship to the stokers. It is likely that it was during this period that he became familiar with the old sailor song "The sea spreads wide." The text contains the following lines - "Comrade I cannot keep watch, said the fireman to the fireman." Not every mature man gets to know how this stoker lives next to hot boilers. And how many sweats he gets off during the watch.
At the start of life, the biography of Vilen Tokarev took shape according to generally accepted patterns. A real man must eat soldier's porridge without fail. The army, despite the friendly and polyphonic whining of weaklings, is a good school of life. After the service, self-confident and purposeful demobilization went to the city of Leningrad. It is at the present time that St. Petersburg has earned itself the fame of a gangster brothel. In those years, the city on the Neva was the true cultural capital of the Soviet Union. Representatives of the creative elite from all over the world considered it an honor to speak here.
Tokarev easily passed all the creative and technical tests prescribed by the rules and entered the music school at the Leningrad Conservatory. Rimsky-Korsakov. The choice fell on the contrabass as the main instrument. While receiving his education, Vili fruitfully collaborates with well-known musical groups and authors in the country. Contacts of this kind broadened the student's horizons and brought knowledge that cannot be obtained within the walls of the school. Leaving the walls of the alma mater, a certified musician did not even suspect where the difficult fate of a creative personality would take him.
Nightingale in a "cage"
At first, after completing his studies, Willie's career as a performer and musician was quite successful. Suffice it to say that he was hired by the Leningrad Radio and Television Orchestra. It was at this time that they met Edita Piekha. The singer introduced the audience and listeners to the song "Rain", written by Tokarev, which later became Piekha's calling card. Recognition of the young musician by popular people was quite worthy, without any tricks and "calls from the rear." The famous singer Anatoly Korolev at that time performed the song "Who is to blame?"
Music knows no national borders or national identity. Jazz, whose homeland was Africa, has gained unprecedented popularity in America. And from there it began to spread throughout the world. Which of the Soviet cultural officials could have guessed that this genre would appeal to local musicians. They began to fight the alien phenomenon consistently and roughly. Today you play jazz, and tomorrow you will sell your homeland - this is how connoisseurs of Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington reasoned. Tokarev liked this kind of music and he immersed himself in jazz improvisation. It is not hard to guess that this kind of diving ended sadly.
Somehow suddenly there was no work for the musician in Leningrad. Wheely found himself in a difficult situation.On the hands of a family that needs to be supported, there is no money. And worthy offers too. He had to move to Murmansk, a city on the Kola Peninsula. Here he manages to create several songs, which brought the author another portion of fame. However, the general situation has not changed. Administrative pressure and nagging of censors did not allow the implementation of interesting and completely innocent, from the point of view of the country's security, projects. As a result, Tokarev left for America, leaving the double bass and his own handwritten musical notes as a keepsake for the customs officers.
Taxi driver from New York
As it turned out, no one really expected a talented musician overseas. Willie followed a path long trodden by emigrants from Russia and the Soviet Union. As it turned out, there is always work for visitors to the United States. It needs people to clean up the trash, care for bedridden patients, and clean the toilets. The jazz lover had to work as a taxi driver for several years. What kind of creativity can there be? But persistence and faith in his abilities did not allow Tokarev to sink to the bottom of life. Success came as a result of great effort and the right course. At the first stage, the performer of thieves' tunes was powerfully supported by the Russian diaspora. Then the money went from selling CDs all over the world.
Respectable and with a large repertoire, Willie Tokarev returned to the Soviet Union after a long absence. The first tour lasted almost a year. Almost all major cities of the country met the legendary performer. The refined audience enthusiastically applauded the performer of the vulgar hit "In a noisy booth". The jazz improviser's reaction was immediate - well, "if you want street songs, I have them." But this was, though not very pleasant, but a special case.
Willie Ivanovich Tokarev remains a keen connoisseur of musical material. In his repertoire, you can find a variety of works in style and content. It's time to say that the musician's personal life was not always beautiful. Willie married and divorced several times. Love flashed and faded, turned away like a capricious child. Husband and wife should complement each other and balance conflict situations. But this is not always the case. In fairness, it should be emphasized that family troubles act on him like the strongest doping and the musician creates amazing works at such moments.