That is a name I had not heard in decades.

When I studied in the Soviet Union many of the East European students loved the group Boney M and were surprised that none of the Americans in our group had heard of it.  To them, Boney M was supposed to be one of the leading bands in the U.S.

The Soviet Bloc students played Boney M in much the way we might play various classic rock anthems — they knew all the words and swayed together as the music played.

When I returned to the U.S. I even went out and bought a Boney M album, more as a momento than anything else.  It would be impossible to explain to friends the absurdity of the East European perception without actually playing the music.

I can’t recall the last time that I thought of Boney M before today, when I saw a Tweet by the Lebanese website Naharnet that “Boney M’s Bobby Farrell Dies” with a link to this article:

Bobby Farrell, singer and dancer with 1970’s disco group Boney M, died early Thursday in a hotel room in Saint Petersburg, where he had been performing, city officials said. He was 61.

The Saint Petersburg investigative committee of prosecutors said the Aruba-born Dutch singer was found dead in his bed by a staffer at the city’s Ambassador hotel.

“There was no sign of violent death,” a committee source said. “The investigation continues.”

Farrell died in St. Petersburg, Russia.  I guess the former Soviets still were his best fans.

Here is a video of Boney M’s Rasputin, shot on scene in Moscow, which I have to admit I kinda like.  Maybe because it brings back memories.

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