E. Europe rock keeps youth dancing - and officials on toes
``Pershing'' is about to blast off. ``Broom'' is ready to sweep up. ``Pershing'' and ``Broom'' are two 17-year-old Polish punk rockers. One cuts her brown hair to resemble a broom. The other, a black-haired girl dressed in a black-leather outfit, does wild dances that her friends say resemble a nuclear missile ready to explode.
Along with a thousand more Polish teen-agers, the two punks are rocking to the screams of a hard-rock group Siekera at the government-operated Remont Riviera club.
In an eerie echo of America in the 1960s, rock-and-roll is rolling across Eastern Europe, shaking up societies that once prided themselves on the behavior of their young. Polls show that many Eastern European youngsters, such as ``Pershing'' and ``Broom,'' are frustrated with school, and jobs, and are fearful of their future. Like their Western counterparts 20 years ago, East European youth are making rock and roll the creed of their generation.
The music presents East European communists with a dilemma. After long years of trying to suppress rock, authorities now tolerate concerts at places such as the Remont Riviera - while worrying whether they can keep the music, and the problems it illustrates to them, within acceptable bounds.
``When I was in Munich and Budapest recently, I visited pop clubs,'' says Michal Szymanczak of the Polish Institute of Youth Problems. ``In Munich, there were no punks and the music was mellow. In Budapest, the club was filled with punks and the music was alienated and aggressive.''
The Soviet Union is also affected. A film playing to packed houses in Moscow, called ``Is it Easy to be Young?,'' profiles young people at a rock concert in Latvia - and finds none of them interested in communism. East European youth organizations confirm this disenchantment with official ideology, reporting declining numbers of young Communist Party members and candidate members.
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