By Yeny Garcia
The legendary Rolling Stones spent their first night in Cuba getting to know the island's celebs from the realms of art and culture, who did not disguise their enthusiasm at meeting their "Satanic Majesties" after the rock band landed in Havana to give a historic free concert this Friday.
During a reception organized by the British Embassy in the Caribbean country, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood and Charlie Watts were the object of admiration for the many Cuban artists who for hours were like paparazzi trying to click their pix of this unprecedented moment on the island.
According to EFE correspondents present at the event, some 200 people gathered to welcome the Stones upon their arrival this Thursday afternoon from Miami, though only a few chosen ones were given the chance to talk face to face with the rock legends.
Among them were such famed performers as dancer Carlos Acosta, musicians Carlos Varela, Descemer Bueno, Samuel Formell and the Buena Fe duo, together with rock 'n' roll aficionados like broadcast producer Juanito Camacho and writer Guille Vilar.
"Today I have graduated," an emotional Camacho told EFE, still fresh from meeting the Brits, an encounter he said he will remember "forever, because they are living legends."
"This was more than I ever dreamed. I spoke with them and they were very courteous, perfect gentlemen," the music-lover said, adding that "after today, there's very little left on my bucket list."
"The Rolling Stones are very happy to be here, very enthusiastic, as we all are," said the British ambassador to Cuba, Tim Cole, who was thankful for the Stones' "warmth," especially Mick Jagger's, who briefly stepped out on a terrace where he was immediately surrounded by a crowd looking for the best angle for a photo.
Among those attending the event were singers Raul Paz, Haydee Milanes, Leoni Torres, Cucu Diamantes, rapper Telmarys, actor Jorge Perugorria, and athletes Javier Sotomayor, Javier Mendez and Victor Mesa, plus members of the diplomatic corps in the Caribbean nation.
This Friday the Rolling Stones will make Cuban history with a show at Havana's Ciudad Deportiva stadium, the rock band's first free concert since the one at Rio de Janeiro in 2006, and one which organizers expect some 500,000 fans to attend.
The show in Havana marks the climax of their Ole Tour of Latin America, having already played to packed stadiums in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Montevideo, Lima, Bogota and Mexico City.
Upon his arrival, Mick Jagger, co-founder and vocalist of the band, told the press it was a pleasure to be in Cuba and offer a special show for Cubans during this historic moment on the island, where three days ago U.S. President Barack Obama was the first sitting president to visit the island in 88 years. EFE