Manics Make History in Cuba

Manic Street Preachers are first Western rock act to play Cuba in twenty-plus years

February 16, 2001 12:00 AM ET

Leftist Brit-rockers the Manic Street Preachers will revisit their radical roots by kicking off their world tour in Cuba today. The Karl Marx theatre in Havana will host fans as well as seventy U.K. journalists and British fans, who arrived in Cuba on Wednesday for the show. The by-invitation-only concert is free.

This show will also mark the public unveiling of the Preachers' sixth album, Know Your Enemy, due out on March 26th, which features their controversial song, "Baby Elian," inspired by the plight of six-year-old Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez, who became the center of a heated international custody fight between the U.S. and Cuba last year.

"We've just got a lot of respect for the Cuban people and the Cuban culture, and we wanted to do something really different this time," bassist Nicky Wire told reporters.

This show will mark the first time a Western rock act has played Cuba since Billy Joel visited the same theater in 1979.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

Music Main Next
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.


We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

More Song Stories entries »