Kolya Vasin: Russian fan who gave the Beatles all his loving

A Russian whose love of the Beatles led him to turn his flat into a “Fab Four” museum has died in St Petersburg.

Russians knew Kolya Vasin as the Beatles’ biggest fan during Soviet times, when the communist authorities saw western rock music as subversive.

Vasin, who died aged 73, began collecting Beatles albums and memorabilia in the 1960s. He treasured a record – Live Peace in Toronto 1969 – signed by John Lennon and Yoko Ono.

The Beatles had many fans in the USSR.

On Facebook one of Vasin’s friends, Nick Barabanov, wrote that Nikolai (Kolya) Vasin had “gone to join John Lennon and George Harrison. May they have a happy and bright time there!”

He died in a fall at a St Petersburg shopping centre on 29 August.

For more than 50 years the Beatles dominated Vasin’s life. He dreamed of dedicating a “shrine of love” in St Petersburg to John Lennon but the project was never realised, even though city officials found a suitable site for it. Many fans supported the shrine idea.

When asked why he had allowed the Beatles to take over his life he replied that having children would not have equalled the joy and love that the Liverpool band had given him.

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