The 'Age of the Bones'

This cartoon shows a scene poking fun both at the Soviet authorities and those involved in the culture of X-Ray records.


The scene is a club or cafe.  Patrons (perhaps the famous 'Stilyagi', or cold-war era soviet hipsters) are interrupted jiving to Rock and Roll by a policeman who has been alerted by an upright, and uptight good communist comrade. The background mural shows a cosmonaut, probably Yuri Gagarin a great symbol of official pride, but in the foreground, sharp dressed flash boys drink western liquor and do shady deals.

On the table are several Bone records but two customers are bowled over by the sight of apparently real actual Western vinyl records - one, Bill Haley's 'Rock around the Clock' (a great favourite amongst Bone buyers) and another unspecified Jazz record. The cover of the latter shows a rather racist parody of a black face (one of the reasons Jazz was banned was that it was often of black or gypsy origin and considered to be low culture).  

Whilst the practice of making bootlegs on X-Rays was largely pioneered by music lovers, selling them could be a lucrative business and therefore attracted its share of spivs. Punters did not always get what they had paid for..