Values that disappeared without a trace

  • 2009-09-23
  • By Anton Ponomarenko

JUST HAVING FUN: The boys are back with their crowd pleasing routine.

RIGA - Summer's over, and we're starting to see new posters around the city, invitations to see all sorts of shows and concerts.

That people can now just relax and, instead of having to ponder and think about what to do on holiday, can simply buy themselves entertainment in the evenings, is a wonderful thing. That is the beauty of living in the 21st Century. You can just lay down, put a laptop on your belly, Google the date on which you'd like to go somewhere and a couple of clicks later your printer spits out your tickets. You don't have to stand in a queue; you don't have to call all of your friends to learn if anybody has seen this show and ask if it is any good; you don't even have to be rich to go to the opera anymore, because most people go there wearing jeans and a sweater.

The world has changed immensely, so now you can find all sorts of fun on your own.
This offers a broader range of opportunities to the entrepreneur operating in the entertainment industry; all they have to do is think of projects that people would love to see.

There are night clubs, bars, rock concerts, restaurants and cafes. If you're reading this newspaper while the ink is still wet, you should probably know that right now, at this particular moment, some guys are working hard setting up a stage and adjusting the sound in one of Riga's most popular night clubs, LaRocca, so that in the evening, a famous band from St. Petersburg with a spelling mistake in its name 's Splean - just like the Beatles had, will make thousands of its fans go crazy with their musical genius.
If they would have been born twenty years earlier and would have given a single concert in the USSR, they would probably have been sent to Siberia, to entertain the bears. But they weren't, so now all of us have the opportunity to enjoy the controversy of the lyrics written by Alexander Vasilyev, the founder and the lead singer of the band.

In fact, many of today's celebrities would have been shoveling snow right now, if they did exactly the same things they have, but lived in the Soviet Union. And perhaps the first in line would have been the Chippendales. They are also coming to Riga, by the way. This selection of the world's greatest and best male strippers are on their world tour again, breaking hearts and popping women's shirt buttons, who are falling in love with the gorgeous dancers on first sight, with nothing but their good looks. The brilliance of the show is said to be in the atmosphere in the audience, where no men are allowed and women feel secure and relaxed.

Another reason for them being so popular is the interest in the history of the foundation of the show. It would make a good action-thriller. Once upon a time in Los Angeles, California, there lived an Indian immigrant called Somen (Steve) Banerjee. He wasn't a brilliant entrepreneur, but a fair bit of luck made him a millionaire, whereupon he bought a failed club in LA and turned it into a nightclub featuring female mud-fights, the first one in the U.S. He later came up with the concept of a touring cabaret featuring male strippers - The Chippendales. But where there are large amounts of money involved, there are always people who don't want to share, and in the best traditions of the genre, somebody dies. As a result, some twenty-something years later, Banerjee pleaded guilty to numerous criminal offenses, and was sent up the creek, where he met an untimely end.

His business was later sold by his wife, so the modern Chippendales have nothing to do with this Godfather-type legend. They simply do what they're best at. They take off their clothes to the rhythms of women's hearts and music. And they will be doing it in Riga, at Sapnu Fabrika, on the evening of Sept. 29, so,  ladies, you'd better get a ticket, before it's too late…