UNITED STATES—Since, I haven’t had a haircut in a while, let me pay a vintage visit (2012) to the greatest of them all, Yuri.:
“They say, Yuri, what kind of front do you have here. They think I’m rich and the hair salon, what is this? They see a massage parlor, a body shop; the way people’s minds work, they get suspicious. We have an expression; in Russian the words are more juicy, ‘I like to sleep in my bed,’ and I don’t like to eat in the restaurant close to the music, like the Godfather, or have to go to the bathroom with the Kalishnakov, you know, a guard with a gun. I like to be free. Hair dresser to the stars? The way I look at it all of my customers are stars.
Some want to be Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise. We don’t need another Tom Cruise. We don’t need another Tom Cruise, he is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t want to be him, though Scientology is not a gang. It is an institution. He is not free; I am freer. His bed doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to Scientology. We don’t need another Kim Kardashian, big-assed. We already have one. What you need is to be yourself. I don’t copy this hairdresser and say he is the greatest. I copy him, I lose what is mine, of original. I lose my signature.
I am an artist. I can select ingredients from others, and maintain my own way. This must be very hard for a writer or musician. Hemingway – (Yuri did something with his enunciation to make that name unrecognizable). He had his time and he is dead. We don’t need another. Sinatra, why do him. On ‘America Has Got Talent,’ others try to be Sinatra. It is hopeless. Why try to be another Pushkin? We already have Pushkin. As an artist my aim is to be the best that I can be, and my clients are stars.
John from England here for many years, and we spend time, it is pleasurable. (After tha creamy ‘Hair of the Dog beer. What rich foam.
“If this was Miller draft it would not be special; he justifies the expenditure of eight dollars a bottle at Whole Foods. So rich, so good!) People see me in my little shop and they see a loser. I am a struggling artist. There was a hairdresser with a big salon around the corner, Ruben, he had 20 chairs and girls and a big business. He has money and a big car, a beautiful wife and a big house. He was a star, hiring and firing.
All the headaches. And I am comfortable to be here myself. He opened a new salong in Pasadena, and in sic months it burned. I mean, it went through all the money. Then he had to pay attention to the first salon after this ‘earthquake.’ It is rare that a place without parking has success and by now the first location was burning. I never did ask him what his boom secret was, but he came to see me. He bought some hair color from me. I did not go to visit the big shot, but the big shot came to visit me.
I think he may have been jealous of me, the struggling artist, Beyond the appearances, I don’t think he was happy; he was spending to keep up the big business, the hiring and firing of stylists, his beautiful wife and house. . . the pool cleaner. I am here in my humble way and he got sick and he is dead. I am here (clip clip) I don’t think he liked what he had but he was obligated to keep it up. I am freer than he was. People think I am a sissy or nerd. But you can’t be a sissy or nerd to follow your own way.
“You must be strong. And to be the best you.”