The Leningrad Cowboys are a novelty classic rock / oompah band from Finland, who famously appeared in Aki Kaurismäki's Leningrad Cowboys Go America
playing themselves on a disastrous Spinal Tap
style tour of America after the fall of the Berlin Wall
The Leningrad Cowboys is noted "for its humorous songs, ludicrous hairstyles and concerts featuring the Russian military band Alexandrov ensemble". In the film, we find out that their dog has the same haircut.
They also produced a concert film in 1993, Total Balalaika Show
Contains examples of:
- A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll": Reversed in Leningrad Cowboys Go America. It's the main characters, the Leningrad Cowboys themselves, who know nothing about rock and roll—or any Western music for that matter—when they come to America.
"Your music will go over big down there. Here we have somethin' different. It's called rock and roll."
- Used to be parodied by the Leningrad Cowboys themselves at their concerts. They announced to play some music known as rock and roll, and the song was even claimed to have been #1 in America for seven years. And then they played something like "Katyusha" or "Kalinka".
- The Alleged Car: The black Cadillac limo bought for a few hundred dollars in Leningrad Cowboys Go America. Despite it being a stretch limo and one of their own lying frozen in a wooden crate that's tied on the roof, the Leningrad Cowboys fail to fit everyone into the car. Solution: They toss two old armchairs into the trunk. It ends up having its engine stolen.
- Audience Participation Song: Used to be subverted with "Kasakka" which the audience sang before the band began to play along.
- The Backwards R: Taken far beyond the Я.
- Brooklyn Rage: Lampshaded in Leningrad Cowboys Go America.
"I wonder when the violence starts. You always get murdered when you come to New York. I've seen it on television."
- Commie Land: Played with. Just look at the covers of "We Cum From Brooklyn" (which looks like a Soviet medal) and "Happy Together" (which looks like a Pravda issue).
- Cool Shades: Part of the standard Leningrad Cowboys outfit for the first few albums.
- Defictionalization: The band remained together after the movie and has toured and recorded albums ever since.
- Fake Nationality: Taken to the extreme in their early days. Finnish musicians pretended to be Russians, and on stage they used to claim they're American rock & roll musicians and cosmonauts (!) who spend most of their time on the moon where they travel from Earth by sputnik.
- Faux Death/Human Popsicle: Pekka Virtanen, bass guitarist and co-writer of the original song material in Leningrad Cowboys Go America, spends most of the film frozen after having rehearsed half the night out in the cold of the tundra. He is hauled about in a wooden crate roughly resembling a coffin with four holes for the hairdo, the shoes, and the bass stuck in his hand, which is filled with ice cubes to keep him from thawing and eventually rotting. At the end, he is reanimated with a swig of either vodka or tequila, so he has never been dead in the first place.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Inverted.
- Then again, Germans do love the Leningrad Cowboys.
- Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Lɘиiиɢяad Cowʙoys and similar wacky pseudo-Cyrillic spellings.
- Lzherusskie: The band often claimed to be from Russia which also explains the name. This was particularly supported by Leningrad Cowboys Go America which featured the Finnish actor Matti Pellonpää as their obviously Russian manager Vladimir.
- The Movie: Subverted as Leningrad Cowboys Go America came before anything else. In fact, the band itself was created for the movie.
- Ruritania: Finland is pretty much the opposite of Ruritania in Real Life...
- So Bad, It's Good: According to their early self-description, they are (or at least were) "the worst rock & roll band in the world", and they played that part pretty well on stage. At the same time, they were celebrated by their fans.
- Within the movie canon, they're even So Bad, It's Horrible. Best example: They drive the Club Zhivago into closure just by playing one gig there.