Monday, November 16, 2009

John Lennon in Havana

I was a teenager when The Beatles broke as a group. I have no recollection of the moment, I never heard on the radio any news or bulletin or headline telling that the British group, who made history changing the face of the pop and rock music, was on the verge of disappear from the music horizon forever.john lennon

I think it should be a shock for the young generation who grew up listening to their music, the same generation in the center of the storm in Cuba who saw how the young revolution broke from the past and swept all the face of my country: politics and politicians, social organizations, government structure and even old customs.

My parent’s generation was the generation who grew up with The Beatles in music, but without The Beatles as we can say it. Their music was the one who couldn’t be heard in any Cuban radio station, or broadcasted in the two national TV channels: it wasn’t officially prohibited, but it was something that everybody knew it couldn’t be on TV or in the radio. American music belonged to the imperialism, capitalism and to the past. Cuba was creating a new future..., but The Beatles were from UK, I wonder...

The late 60’s were obscure years in Cuba’s history, especially in the arts. I have no recollection of American music rather than the one my mother played in her record player: Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and even The Beatles. I have no idea how my mother found those records. There weren’t any of them in my country, neither in libraries nor in stores.

And that was it. I learned about American music and John Lennon and Paul McCartney thanks to my mother’s record player. I still have some of them, and I keep them as treasures of the past, but also as witnesses of an era of social cataclysm in Cuba.

John Lennon died in December 8, 1980, thirteen years later my grandfather would die in the same date. In December 8, 2000 there was unveiled a statue of John Lennon in Vedado district in Havana, seating on a bench and looking how people is passing by. More cynically, it was unveiled with the presence of Fidel Castro, the same and the only one who could order the ban against The Beatles and American music in the 60’s.

It is not a coincidence; it is a pact with the fact than John Lennon will be passing to History for good. Another significant detail: on a marble tile there is an inscription reading: “You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one”.

I guess the artist who designed and created the statue wanted to tell Mr. Castro, with a clever smile, there are more dreamers in this world, NOT ONLY ONE.

Very Clever!!!