DJ Medvedev recalls rock 'n' roll youth with Deep Purple
President Dmitry Medvedev, who has made much of his penchant for rock, shared memories of his Soviet-era youth with Deep Purple and let his teenage son play guitar with the legendary British band.
Meeting the band at his Gorky residence outside Moscow Tuesday night, Medvedev, 45, gushed about his love for rock and said he used to spin rock music at school parties where he was a deejay.
"It was an unusual discotheque because hard rock was the main music there," Medvedev said in televised comments broadcast on Wednesday afternoon.
The president said that before playing rock at his Soviet-era school his playlists had to be approved by the Communist-party youth wing known as Komsomol.
The Kremlin chief met the musicians including the band's lead singer Ian Gillan, showing off an impressive collection of music equipment including a reel-to-reel tape recorder and a vinyl record player as well as the group's top albums, Russian news reports said.
Deep Purple drummer Ian Paice presented the Russian president with a set of drum sticks. The meeting with the band, which was scheduled to play a concert in Moscow Wednesday evening, came just after Medvedev had met visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
The Russian leader, who wore a black suit jacket with jeans but no tie, said he had been a Deep Purple fan for the past 33 years.
"When I started listening to Deep Purple, of course I could not imagine that I would be sitting with you at this table just like that," Medvedev said.
He added that Russians were among the band's most faithful fans and included not only ageing politicians but also a new generation of rock lovers.
"I will introduce you to a young man who is considerably younger than me but also loves your work and even tries to dabble in playing," Russian news agencies quoted Medvedev as saying before his teenage son Ilya joined the gathering and played guitar with the British rockers.
The Kremlin did not publish images of Ilya's encounter with the band. Ilya Medvedev has never been photographed in public in recent years for what are believed to be security reasons.
Medvedev has repeatedly sought to convince Russians of his hip credentials, saying he also enjoyed listening to Pink Floyd and last year he met Bono, the frontman of Irish rock band U2.
The Kremlin chief has said he also occasionally listens to alternative rock bands like US rap-rock group Linkin Park favoured by his son.
Russia is heading for presidential elections in 2012 and both Medvedev, who is apparently keen to reach out to young, educated Russians, and his 58-year-old mentor, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said they may run.
Medvedev's spokeswoman Natalia Timakova told Russian news agencies that the Kremlin chief, who had already attended four Deep Purple concerts in the past, would not attend Wednesday's performance.
© 2011 AFP