‘Red Elvis’: How Socialism Blinded Popular American Singer Received Thousands of Threats and Mysterious End of Life

American actor and singer Dean Reed would have turned 84 on September 22. His pictures hung in many Soviet homes a few decades ago, a large part of the world knew his name, sang his songs with tears in their eyes, without even understanding the words. And his mysterious death still raises many questions and speculations.

In the eighties, D. Reed’s life began a dark period: the ideal world he created collapsed, so the singer had no idea what to expect next. He was always very sympathetic to the socialist system, he considered it fairer and freer. D. Reed sincerely believed in communist ideas, so he was never recognized in his homeland, according to Reggie Nadelson’s book Comrade Rockstar.

He tried to express his position to his compatriots in 1985, when he visited his native Denver. But from the first days of his stay, Mr. Reed received threatening phone calls, blaming him and calling him a traitor. He was advised not to move to the Soviet Union, although Mr. Reed never actually lived there.

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