Friday, March 25, 2016

The Rolling Stones Playing In Cuba: Has “Never” Finally Happened?

Given that at the height of the Cold War it is more likely that all of humanity will perish in a thermonuclear holocaust than Mick Jagger and his fellow Stones touring past 40, is the Stones’ recent Cuba concert an “unprecedented” rock n’ roll event? 

By: Ringo Bones 

 Given that “older” Stones fans probably thought that at the height of the Cold War that it is more likely that humanity will perish in a thermonuclear holocaust compared to Mick Jagger and his fellow Stones still touring after all of them have turned 40, their concert in Cuba in the grounds of Havana’s huge Ciudad Deportiva venue is indeed unprecedented. Until about 15 years ago Cuba’s communist government had banned most Western rock and pop music and even some music from Latin American countries with a “capitalist theme” as it was deemed decadent and subversive. But Cuba has changed significantly in recent years, particularly in the past 18 months as the process of rapprochement with the United States - as initiated by the Obama administration – has quickened. 

Thousands of Rolling Stones fans have shown up in the Ciudad Deportiva venue on March 25, 2016 after Mick Jagger and his fellow Stones have been granted approval to play there for free, granting the long awaited wishes of Cuban Stones fans. Even Mick Jagger joked that U.S. President Barack Obama was their “opening act” after his state visit earlier this week. All of which is very fortunate indeed that The Rolling Stones and the rest of humanity managed to outlive the “thermonuclear Sword of Damocles” of the Cold War. 

But the “revolution” that paved the way for “The Rolling Stones Live in Havana” happened almost 16 years ago. During the 20th Anniversary of the murder of former Beatle John Lennon, John Lennon Park or Parque John Lennon – a public park located in Vedado district in Havana, Cuba - was unveiled back in December 8, 2000. A John Lennon bronze sculpture sculpted by Cuban artist José Villa Sobern with an inscription from the line of Lennon’s song Imagine – allegedly viewed as the former Beatle’s “fascination” with Marxist Leninist Socialism.    

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