If any single event encapsulated the massiveness of hard rock and heavy metal at the end of the 1980s, it was the Moscow Music Peace Festival, which put six megawatt bands – Skid Row, Cinderella, Mötley Crüe, Ozzy Osbourne, Scorpions and Bon Jovi (along with Russian rockers like Gorky Park and Brigada-S) onstage for two days at Moscow’s 100,000-seat Central Lenin Stadium for what Scorpions singer Klaus Meine dubbed the “Russian Woodstock.”
Organized by Mötley, Bon Jovi and Skid Row manager Doc McGhee along with Soviet musician Stas Namin, the event took place on August 12 and 13, 1989, and marked the first time Western hard rockers were permitted to play in the Soviet capital. It was a significant musical moment...and also a killer show. As Ozzy Osbourne so eloquently recalled in the ‘80s hard rock history Nothin’ But a Good Time, which I co-authored with journalist Tom Beaujour, “Doc McGhee came around to my house and he says, ‘We’re going to Moscow! I’ve got a private plane.’ And he asked me to this Moscow Peace Summit thing. They were just in that perestroika stage over there. Whatever that means.”
Cinderella's Tom Keifer, Gorky Park's Alexei Belov, Scorpions' Klaus Meine, Ozzy Osbourne and Bon Jovi's Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora touch down in Moscow
Skid Row's Rachel Bolan and Dave "Snake" Sabo join a bored-looking Ozzy at the Moscow Music Peace Festival press conference, while Sebastian Bach and Cinderella's Fred Coury have a laugh behind them
Skid Row's Scotti Hill and Cinderella's Jeff LaBar talk guitars backstage
Tom Keifer takes a breather during Cinderella's pre-show soundcheck
Sebastian Bach caught mid-croon onstage at Lenin Stadium
Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora hit the Moscow streets for an afternoon busk...
...and then hit the Lenin Stadium stage at night to rock
Ozzy takes it all in...
...before taking a bow with Geezer Butler, Randy Castillo and Zakk Wylde
Mötley Crüe are all thumbs with Soviet soldiers backstage
Vince Neil takes it to the top during Mötley's set
Richie Sambora, Tom Keifer, Klaus Meine and Gorky Park's Nikolai Noskov share an onstage moment during the end-of-show all-star jam
All hands on deck for the grand finale