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17.VII+ A year after. Remembering Vitaly Menshikov, and the state of affairs at www.progressor.net
17.VII+ A year without the founder of ProgressoR.net


Long Live :

A year after. Remembering Vitaly Menshikov, and the state of affairs at www.progressor.net

One whole calendar year have gone by since I received the sad news that my long time collaborator and partner in music reviews Vitaly Menshikov had passed away. Rather suddenly, but not all that unexpectedly, at least for me.

He had been in a challenging health situation for some time, and it was clear to me that his health was fading, to the point of affecting also his spirit. He lost his passion for music in the final months of his life. He still desired to read about it, but listening to music took second place to watching TV series with his beloved Nelly, at least from what he told me.

Vitaly was a stringent task master. If something was wrong he would be open and honest about it, to the point of being blunt. But he was also a great teacher in being that way. And while strict he was rarely if ever angry as far as I can remember. The one time he flared up in anger was when I sent him a monetary gift he didn't ask for. Mainly because it hurt his pride I suspect.

But Vitaly was also a worrier. A chronic worrier are the very words he used to describe himself. If he hadn't heard from me in a week I got an email asking if everything was OK. If that emails wasn't promptly replied he'd go to some lengths to get in touch. He even tracked me down on Facebook on one such occasion. As he didn't care at all about social media that says a lot about how worried he was I suspect. Worrying was also the topic in our final email conversation. When he learnt that I had stopped smoking tobacco and switched to electronic cigarettes, he tried talking me into going back to tobacco, as he had seen so many articles about the dangers of the electronic cigarettes. A conversation that also showed that he had a stubborn streak: He flat out wouldn't believe me when I told him that everything indicated that the electronic cigarettes were much safer.

I worked with Vitaly for almost ten years. Losing him was losing a large part of my life and my existence.

In the year that have passed, I have worked with Vitaly's son Dmitriy to continue the progressor website. The website is still as old school as it used to be. Jokingly I refer to it as HTML v. 0,5. I suspect it is one of the oldest websites from the 1990's that are still updated on a regular basis, using the tools that were available back then in the infancy of the internet.

We work in a much different manner, but are getting to know each other. In some ways we communicate better than what I did with Vitaly, as he was rather old fashioned in some ways while I have been a bit more of a modern person, at least to some extent. There's less of a generation gap these days, to put it that way. As we are a two man operation, albeit one with plenty of helpers doing important work in the background, it is obviously required of us to communicate very well too.

We have pretty much agreed on all steps on how to take this fine, old website forward, and that was accomplished the very first time we hit the Facebook chat to talk about what to do next. Individually we shared the very same thoughts on many fields. The first big decision was to stop doing the news on our internet page. That section had been Vitaly's playground, where he scoured news and presented them in his own unique and personalized manner. One he frequently used to comment on what he liked and didn't like about both bands and the directions he saw the progressive rock scene move towards.

In this age of social media, it was decided to open a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/official.progressor.net, and that all news items submitted to us would be posted there. Hopefully labels and artists will start posting there of their own accord as well, as none of us really have the time available to scour the internet in search of relevant news. But Facebook is the arena for news these days, there's little doubt about that. We also post links to our reviews on that Facebook page, and artists and labels are now informed by way of tagging. A system that works rather well.

We do have plans to develop the website as well, but this is a task that Dmitriy needs to control, as I'm not tech savvy at all on such matters. We have agreed on what we want to do, but finding the time to accomplish this in a busy schedule remains the challenge. But at some point, the progressor website will get a 21st century look and feel to it, of that there is little doubt.

It is also more than likely that when we have a new website up and running we will also hit Twitter. Mainly because there are apps that makes sharing links to Twitter from a modern web page so easy and quick that we may as well be visible also on that platform.

What we so far haven't accomplished is finding writers with a desire to contribute on a regular basis. Good reviewers are few and far between, and we could use a couple of them. We live in an age where all genres of music see more releases than ever before in history, and even if we stick to the philosophy of only reviewing physical productions, we still receive more than most normal persons would be able to handle. There are exceptions, I know one of them, but those exceptional writers may not always review music in the more analytical manner that have always been the creed of our website.

It is cathartic to write about Vitaly and the website I have been a part of for so many years, as well as rather emotional. But at least I can conclude on a happy note: Progressor lives, and will continue to live. For the regular readers of our website, that is, after all, the most important issue I gather.

Olav Martin Bjornsen (Progmessor)

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A year without the founder of ProgressoR.net

July 17, 2017 - a tragic day for our family. Exactly one year ago my father passed away. Vitaliy Georgievich Menshikov (31.10.1961 - 07.07.2017). He was a journalist and musician, the author of the legendary books "Encyclopaedia of Rock Music" (1990) and "Encyclopedia of Progressive Rock" (1996), founder and author of one of the the oldest site about progressive rock www.progressor.net, and also his Russian branch - a site that is a continuation of the books - progrockmuseum.ru, For his accomplishments he receieved the IOSIS FEST AWARD in 2009 "For Contribution to the Development of Rock Music in Uzbekistan". In addition to his books and the Internet sites he recorded 4 albums, 2 with the band X-RELIGION and 2 in cooperation with American musician Jeremy Morris, which was released on various progressive rock labels around the world.

My father's death came as a result of a heart attack and was a big shock for all of us. Nothing foreshadowed his death. It happened that he was not feeling well, but not to the point of causing any worry. His main project in life is the site progressor.net, a project he had been working on for the last 20 years of his life. After the death of Vitaly, the issue of the continuation of the site was not immediately resolved. I had no idea on how to run the site on a technical level. I did not know what the only co-author Olav Martin "ProgmessoR" Bjornsen would say, as well as the people without whom ProgressoR would never have been possible: Francis Monkman, George Chkiantz, Frank Leonhardt. But I really wanted the site to continue.

I have been making music for a long time, but I'm not as good at progressive rock as my father was. I used to be involved with the sites of my music projects. All of them were on modern platforms and this gave hope that I could work in the more ancient code on which progressor.net is written.

Since childhood, I knew by name all of my father's friends, with whom he worked, talked in the framework of the site and in general progressive rock music. But I never talked to anyone except Auntie Dee Ames and Ken Westhphal. On the day of my father's death, I wrote Olav, Francis, George and all his friends. Everyone, who worked with ProgressoR site supported the idea of continuing the work of the site. Thank you so much! Thanks to e-mail and Facebook, I quickly found almost everyone with whom my father worked in recent years. Modern technology, as well as invaluable help from my friend Ashot Khurshudov, provided an opportunity to continue the site, as well as mapping out future developments.

Communicating with Olav, we quickly became friends and found a common language. Communication through social networks turned out to be very convenient and easy for us! We made a decision, which Vitaly often considered, but postponed: We have opened a page for progressor.net in the social network Facebook https://www.facebook.com/official.progressor.net! Also Olav represents the Progressor on Twitter. Now all the news bands and lables are posted on Facebook! There are also links to the traditional monthly updates of the site - reviews of albums in the world of progressive rock. Thanks to Olav Martin Bjornsen, the main author of the site, for continuing to write reviews and work on progressor.net.

A year after his father's death, one can sum up a little and look to the future! In the near future we will develope a plan for moving the site to a new engine. This is a rather complicated process and one must prepare well for this! Also, in the near future we hope to attract new authors who will be able to cooperate with us on an ongoing basis, as well as constantly receive the newest and most interesting albums and links in the world of progress!

Also, a year after my father's gone, I finally was able to update the site progrockmuseum.ru . I hope in the near future this site will be updated again on an ongoing basis!

Remember all those who knew Vitaly!

To lose loved ones is very, very hard!

Take care of yourself and your loved ones!!

Appreciate every moment!

Thanks to all who are around!

Thanks to God!

Long live ProgressoR.net!

Dmitriy Vitalevich Menshikov

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Monument to Vitaly Georgievich Menshikov.

ProgressoR / Uzbekistan Progressive Rock Pages


Andrew Farkas