About Yuri Shatunov, his friend and colleague director Alexander Igudin, who has known Shatunov for more than 30 years, told Fontanka. He worked as the first press attache of “Tender May”, filmed the artist’s videos and was friends with him:
Yura was a sincere, honest, decent person. I am proud that we were friends. We met in the fall of 1988, when I came to interview him for the Leninskie Iskra newspaper. Recently, we recalled how Yura then ran away from the dressing room and refused to answer my questions. Because in those years, against the backdrop of his frenzied popularity, Yura was simply besieged by journalists. When you’re 15 years old and an avalanche of fan fame hits you, it’s rare for any psyche to be able to withstand it. Yura Shatunov was the most famous person in the USSR after Gorbachev, on the same level as Tsoi. What can I say, even today any person on the street, if he lived in the 80s, will be able to continue the line from his song. At the same time, Yura tried to hide himself from unnecessary attention, to protect himself from it. From that unsuccessful interview, our long-term friendship began – I became the press attache of Tender May, wrote about them, and then started filming. My first shooting, where I only helped, was the video “Pink Evening” in 1989. Almost all of Yura’s latest music videos were shot by me: “Forget it”, “Gray Night”, “Don’t be afraid!”, “From white roses” and many others. His last video, “Snow Sweeps the Leaves” – by the way, Sergey Kuznetsov wrote the words to the song, and Yura himself wrote the music – we shot it remotely during the pandemic.
For him, the victory in court was very important, which returned him the right to perform the songs of “Tender May”. But Yura was not particularly worried about the trial – when there is such a huge path on the stage behind you, when you have seen everyone on your way, it is difficult to seriously worry about something. Yura was calm. He knew that the truth was on his side, and it was only a matter of time.
He was a very self-sufficient person, he got his popularity, and he didn’t need more. He was well aware that now is a different time, another country and other heroes. But he was happy as an artist because he had his own audience. The audience that is exclusively faithful to him. There are fashionable artists – today they are listened to, and tomorrow they will be forgotten. Yura clearly had his own audience, which will always love him.
In the late 80s, when it was necessary to create an image of a superhero from a provincial, we came up with an image for him. Clothes, bouffants, trinkets – it was part of the image, the fashion of the late 80s. The way Yura lived and looked in recent years is no longer an image, but his real image.
Yura lived for music. Many professional artists treat their occupation simply as a job, they are engaged in business at the same time, they start other things. For Yura, only his work existed. In recent years, he began to try himself as a composer, co-author and arranger. There was a story on NTV, where the correspondent asks what these songs mean to him. And Yura replies: “This is my life.”
He was fond of fishing, hockey, karting. It was possible to fish near his house in Germany, which he enjoyed doing. In general, such simple and understandable male hobbies. I was worried, like all men of our age, that the children would grow up healthy and happy, that there would be professional demand. And he had it all. Now there was a big concert tour of his, in my opinion, about one hundred and fifty concerts. Half have already taken place. On Monday, we called up and discussed plans to restore the huge archives of touring life that were filmed on VHS.
I now caught myself thinking that I can’t imagine Yura as old. Like Elvis Presley, like Michael Jackson, like Choi, he left because, bitterly enough, he fulfilled his mission here on Earth. Can you imagine an old man singing “White Roses?” Me not.
About the death of Yuri Shatunov became became known known June 23rd. He was 48 years old.