[Marxism] Solidarity through Rock!

Shane Brinton comradebrinton at moscowmail.com
Sun May 8 19:01:55 MDT 2005

This is really amazing, and very inspiring! (READ ARTICLE BELOW) Before my punk band broke up - about a year ago- I always used to fantasize about going on tour in Cuba. Taking the rock to the people!

It's great that this has finally happened. And it's really cool that Audioslave is the band that's doing it.

When I was in Cuba two years ago with the US/Cuba youth exchange, Tom Morello's old band Rage Against the Machine, was really popular there! The "rockers," as well as my clean-cut tour guides from the Union of Young Communists, were really fascinated with punk, metal, grunge, etc. 

I would like to see this become an ongoing solidarity project. I know there are plenty of hard rock bands on major labels, and even more hardcore independent bands that would be down with playing in Cuba - even without a license from the US government.

There's more about Audioslave and related activism at:
http:www.audioslave.com and http://www.axisofjustice.org (non-profit organization
formed by Tom Morello of Audioslave and Serj Tankian of System of a Down)



More than 3,000 Cubans thronged to hear the group Audioslave play in what was billed as the first outdoor concert by a U.S. rock band in the island nation's history.


Associated Press

HAVANA - The American group Audioslave broke decades-long barriers with a thundering concert before thousands of Cuban fans -- who knocked over barriers to get closer to the first U.S. rock band to play an outdoor concert in Cuba.

Chris Cornell's scream -- ''I won't do what you tell me!'' -- boomed off the high-rise apartment buildings on the south side of the stage Friday night as feedback shrieks from Tom Morello's guitar drifted into the night breeze over the Caribbean to the north.

''This is the best thing that has happened here this year,'' said 25-year-old rock fan Omar Juanes.

''The best thing in your life,'' shouted a nearby friend who darted back into a crowd of more than 3,000 people -- many with dreadlocks, body piercings and tattoos. A few swooped around the edges of the crowd on roller blades.

It was a distinct difference from the orderly, clean-cut crowds who marched in massive anti-U.S. protests along the Malecon waterfront at the same venue: the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribunal before the U.S. Interests Section, or diplomatic mission.

Even before the concert, hundreds of fans were so eager that they sent metal security barricades clanging to the pavement and rushed forward to fill a 50-yard long area that had been reserved for special guests -- mostly workers and teachers with exemplary official records.

Police allowed the fans to stay in the invaded space, and several joked with tattooed youths in Metallica T-shirts swigging rum.

U.S. travel restrictions on Cuba and the Cuban government's ambivalence toward rock music have limited visits by U.S. rockers to Cuba.

Officials often cite Billy Joel's 1979 indoor performance as a rock 'n' roll landmark here.

But elemental grunge, thrash and metal are the most popular styles of rock on an island rich in its own complex, polyrhythmic popular music.

Audioslave had the whole crowd screaming and dancing when it went back to its frantic, pounding, grungy roots, but left those in the back merely toe-tapping to some of the newer, less-frantic songs.

''We would like to have stronger music -- bands like Metallica,'' said a gaunt man sitting with friends who gave his name as Walter Delgado, 32. Even so, 'We are happy for the first time in our rock 'n' roll history.''
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