For decades, rock music was banned in Cuba as an euphemism for European decadence and “mindless consumerism”. Who knows the rights and wrongs of this?
Hot on the heels of President Obama’s visit to Cuba the Rolling Stones performed a free concert in Havana for thousands of admiring fans. In fact, The Beatles did get there first and there is a statue of John Lennon on a park bench with a man – Juan Gonzales (in his late nineties) doing three 12 hour shifts to put the glasses back on John which keep getting pinched by visitors to the statue.
in 1964 Beatles music was banned and in 2000 on the 20th anniversary of John Lennon’s death, Fidel Castro himself unveiled the Lennon statue, reinventing the Beatle as an anti-war activist hounded by the American government. Castro stated that he understood a lot of Lennon’s ideals identifying himself as also being a dreamer.
There are fans of all kinds of groups all over the world. As regards The Rolling Stones, the man who watches John Lennon’s glasses on the subject of the thaw in relations between Cuba and the US, on the grounds of songs, simply says “We’ll see”. Many people do not listen to the old style songs which pervaded the sixties and seventies. If they do, they can always get back to TSH to give their opinions on songs that formed the leisure time of many young people who are now nearly as old as the bands themselves. All good? Mixed reaction? A positive yes? A positive no? Variety of opinions is the spice of life….yes? no? maybe?
Penny Nair Price