(On left: A delighted Jimmy Buffet smiling from ear to ear while greeting Fidel Castro himself in 1999. On right: Jimmy Buffett who from his base in Key West spends almost as much time in Castro’s fiefdom as in the U.S. wasn’t about to miss Obama’s visit and the Stone’s concert. Here he is last week chumming it up in Havana with John Kerry.)
I’m hearing many outraged chums saying –that owning to the Rolling Stones concert in Cuba–they’ll now “trash!” all their Rolling Stones records!
Well, if you’re a major pop/rock music fan (like me) and that’s the standard for trashing your CDs you better have a pretty big trash can. And you’ll probably end up with a pretty empty CD rack. Also, you’d best turn your car radio to a classical station–and punch it in permanently. To wit:
We’ve already seen the universally beloved “Mr Margaritaville” himself Jimmy Buffet, not only performing in the Castro fiefdom–but check out his smile when he meets Fidel Castro himself. Moving on now:
Billy Joel, anyone? Is there actually a person out there who DOESN’T have (a ton ) of “favorite” Billy Joel songs?
Well, Billy Joel played in Cuba way back in 1979, before it was even “cool.”
Fleetwood Mac? Can anyone actually say they aren’t enamored of several entire Mac albums? Especially Rumors?
Well, Mick Fleetwood played Cuba in 1999, along with Jimmy Buffett at the Music Bridges concert (i.e. tourism commercial.)…moving on now:
Police, anyone? “Every Breath You Take,” maybe “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic”–are you already bobbing in your chair?…Well, Stuart Copeland and Andy Summers were also on hand with Buffett and Mick Fleetwood. A smitten Andy Summers also implored Fidel Castro to autograph Andy’s treasured copy of “History Will Absolve Me.”
“Midnight Train to Georgia,” anyone? Can someone honestly tell me they dislike that song” Along with “Friendship Train” and “Heard it Through the Grapevine–is your bootie already bouncing in your chair from just reading the song titles?
Well, Gladys Knight also gleefully performed during the 1999 Music Bridges concert in the Castro-Family-Fiefdom….moving on now:
“Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head,” What’s it All About, Alfie,” What’s New Pussycat’ can you imagine those famous movies without their famous soundtracks?–all written by Burt Bacharach. Not to mention “Say a Little Prayer,” “Way to San Jose,” “This Guy’s in Love With You”…well I could go on forever…..Burt Bacharach was among the star-studded line-up at Havana’s Music Bridges in 1999.
“There’s a man with a gun over there…telling me I’ve got to beware …Step out of line, a man comes and takes you away” Was Stephen Stills decrying Castro’s Cuba?
HAH! Instead Stephen Stills was among the headliners at Havana Jam alongside with Billy Joel way back in 1979. In gratitude to his Stalinist hosts Stills’ also composed a song in Fidel Castro’s honor titled “Cuba Al Fin!…moving on now:
“It’s Too late Baby” and “You’ve Got a Friend” sold pretty well too, you might say….Well, Carole King not only visited the Castro fiefdom–she sang a heartfelt “You’ve Got a Friend” to Fidel Castro in person during that visit in 2002.
“Stairway to Heaven?” OK, maybe that’s not your favorite. But how about No Quarter? or Dazed and Confused?…Jimmy Page didn’t actually perform in Cuba–but he visited a couple years ago and dutifully bought a Che Guevara poster…moving on now:
Which is lovelier? “Both Sides Now? or “Send in the Clowns?” that’s a toughie. Both songs shine.
Well, back in 1967 Judy Collins also composed a heartfelt song titled “Che”–You guessed it: a love anthem by the grief-stricken Judy Collins to Che Guevara upon his death.
“Help me Make it Through the Night,’ and “Me and Bobby Mc Gee” were both popularized by songstresses. But both of these timeless and widely beloved ballads were written by Kris Kristoferson–who was an eager participant in the 1999 Havana music extravaganza Music Bridges. Not to be outdone he also composed titled “Mal Sacate” where he refers to Che Guevara as a “murdered hero.”…moving on now:
“Gimme All Your Loving”–“Sharp Dressed man?” Who DOESN’T love ZZ-Top’s greatest hits?!–and especially the videos!!!
Well, ZZ Top’s guitarist Billy Gibbons played in Havana only a few months ago….moving on now:
In one of the many ironies that make life unfailingly interesting– compared to the music idols and titans mentioned above–when it comes to promoting Castroism– Carlos Santana (historically much-reviled here at Babalu Blog for his Che T-Shirt) comes across as a D-lister in the genre. Thank heaven for small favors.
All items above fully-documented in these internationally acclaimed books.
“Fontova’s book teaches us truths about Castro’s island that are very discomfiting for many intellectuals.” Ana Botella (Spain’s former First Lady while giving a book reading in Madrid, upon “Fidel; HFT” release in Spain)