Times Staff Writer

Stas Namin, who might best be described as the Soviets’ Bruce Springsteen, will bring his popular rock band to Los Angeles and 10 other American cities for the first time this fall on a joint U.S.-Soviet musical production tour called “Peace Child,” it was announced here Monday.

Stas Namin has reportedly sold 25 million records in eastern bloc countries.

The troupe will also include Namin’s wife, Soviet folk singing star Ludmilla Sentchina, and 12 youths aged 12 to 20 from each country who will perform a play in which children persuade Soviet and American leaders to cooperate and ensure peace.

The play was performed by American and Soviet youths in Moscow last July. But this trip, sponsored by the nonprofit Peace Child Foundation and Moscow’s world trade center, marks the first time that Soviet and American children will tour both countries together.


“This is not an easy thing to do,” said David Woollcombe, president of the foundation and tour director, who has spent months working with Soviet officials on the arrangements.

“We hear all sorts of bad news about the Soviet Union,” he said, “especially in the weeks after Chernobyl. We hope this tour will give Americans a positive feeling about the Soviet Union they’ve never felt before.”

The exchange is a direct result of last fall’s agreement at the Geneva summit to promote cultural exchanges, especially among youth, between the two superpowers.

The group will tour the Soviet Union for three weeks in August and then head for the United States, giving a special performance at the United Nations to celebrate the U.N.-designated International Year of Peace.


The troupe will appear in San Francisco Sept. 27 and 28, in Los Angeles Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and Santa Barbara Oct. 4, with finale here at the Kennedy Center Oct. 8.

Gwen Ross, a 20-year-old singer from Washington who made the trip last year, is anxious to go again, dismissing concerns about contamination of food and water that might have been caused by the Chernobyl nuclear accident and the Soviet leadership’s slow response in warning its people.

“I’m not threatened by it at all,” Ross said.

Added 15-year-old performer Colleen Barry, “The risks aren’t great enough to miss seeing the (Soviet) kids.”