- Title: Live from Havana's John Lennon park, Cubans keep Beatlemania alive
- Date: 2nd June 2017
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (JUNE 1, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF CUBANS IN JOHN LENNON PARK CHILD RIDING A SCOOTER IN THE PARK FACE OF JOHN LENNON STATUE IN THE FOREGROUND AND CHILDREN PLAYING IN THE BACKGROUND CAT PLAYING CHILDREN ON SCOOTER IN THE PARK, DOG FOLLOWING (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) WOMAN WHO LIVES NEAR JOHN LENNON PARK, MARIA MERCEDES ALFONSO, SAYING: "The children play, they climb [the statue of John Lennon], they take pictures, the children enjoy the statue a lot. It gets their attention, they shake its hand, bring him flowers. It's cute. It is lovely to have a John Lennon in our park." FACE OF JOHN LENNON STATUE IN THE FOREGROUND WHILE ALEYDA RODRIGUEZ, CUBAN WOMAN WHO CARES FOR JOHN LENNON'S GLASSES, WALKS IN THE BACKGROUND ALEYDA RODRIGUEZ WALKING AND HOLDING GLASSES LIKE JOHN LENNON'S JOHN LENNON STATUE AND RODRIGUEZ APPROACHING STATUE RODRIGUEZ PUTTING GLASSES ON STATUE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN WOMAN WHO CARES FOR JOHN LENNON'S GLASSES, ALEYDA RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "They picked me for this job as an older person who has more responsibility so that they do not take back the glasses that were formerly bronze - and that's why we have to take care of them. They are cared for 11, 12 hours there [at the statue] and then we take the glasses to the house." CUBAN FLAG FLYING AS YOUNG WOMEN IN BACKGROUND TAKE PICTURES NEAR JOHN LENNON STATUE JOHN LENNON GLASSES ON STATUE WOMAN SITTING ON BENCH WITH JOHN LENNON STATUE WOMAN HAVING HER PICTURE TAKEN WITH JOHN LENNON STATUE (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CUBAN WOMAN WHO CARES FOR JOHN LENNON'S GLASSES, ALEYDA RODRIGUEZ, SAYING: "We couldn't (listen to the Beatles). They are rules which over timeâ€¦ Nobody is perfect, what happened happened (censorship), but oh well, it is up to the wise to rectify it. Then there was (John Lennon's) accident which killed him, the Cuban authorities analysed this, Silvio (Rodriguez) spoke with our commander (Fidel Castro), and more or less explained to him John Lennon's ideas, and that is why he is here."
- Embargoed: 16th June 2017 02:45
- Keywords: Fidel Castro John Lennon Park John Lennon
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Music,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA0016JG79KZ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Cubans geared up for a rare Beatles tribute concert in the capital's John Lennon Park on Thursday (June 1), celebrating the 50th anniversary of the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and the permission to listen to the music on the island where it was once banned in the name of, conveniently enough the "revolution."
Among those preparing for the gig, involving seven national groups, was Aleyda Rodriguez, whose unique job is to look after John Lennon's glasses, or rather those of the popular statue in the central square. Rodriguez takes pride in the job, employed she says as an older person with greater responsibility, and works 11 to 12 hour days before taking the glasses home.
After the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power, Cuba banned music from artists such as the Stones, the Beatles and Elvis Presley on the radio and television. It has also been said he intended to prevent the arrival of drugs and hippie culture to the island.
He later regretted the censorship of music and attended the unveiling of Lennon's statue in Havana on the 20th anniversary of his death on December 8, 2000.
Beatles fanatic, Ruben Urias Raurell, says he doesn't usually go for old things, like his wife does, but as he could not enjoy the music in its time, attending a concert like this was something he was always left wanting to do.
The tribute to The Boys of Liverpool was organised by musician and composer X Alfonso, critic Guille Vilar and the Ministry of Culture. Other groups taking part are Coro Renacer, La Vieja Escuela, The Kent, Sweet Lissy Project and the project La Flota.
Released on June 1, 1967, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is The Beatles' eighth album, which won four Grammy Awards in 1968.
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