On his 80th Birthday, Paul McCartney is Yesterday and Today

On his 80th Birthday, Paul McCartney is Yesterday and Today
Fecha de publicación: 
23 June 2022
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Just writing "Yesterday" before turning 23, one of the most covered and interpreted songs in the 20th century, Paul McCartney could be satisfied with what he played and contributed to life, but even today, when he turns 80, the ex-Beatle continues to move crowds with his concerts.

"If someone asked me what I did in life, I would tell him that I composed

songs with John Lennon. That was my great achievement. And I don't think it's little stuff". This is how he summed up his existence not long ago, after reconsidering some of his positions and statements.

Considered among the greatest musicians of the past century, this son

of a midwife mother and a jazz musician father, along with John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, earned a place forever in the history of music and in the memory of entire generations for his role as bassist and one of the singers of The Beatles, the most popular and influential band in the history of modern music.

To say that he accumulates sixty gold records, twenty-one Grammy Awards (won both individually and with The Beatles) and that exceeds 100 million albums sold, can never really portray his imprint on the world of music, which is not only specified in what has been achieved together with The boys from Liverpool, also includes his solo career or with other bands and performers.

McCartney in Cuba

On January 14th, 2000, the flight controller at international airport Atonio Maceo, in Santiago de Cuba, requested identification to the pilot of the private jet that requested permission to land and after hearing the answer, there are those who claim that he repeated the question because it seemed too incredible what the radio waves had carried to his earphones:

– “It’s Paul McCartney with two of his children.”


– “McCartney, from the Beatles”.

Thus began the unannounced and almost clandestine visit of the famous musician to Santiago de Cuba. So much so, that there are hardly any testimonies of the event, occurred when digital technology had barely made its way into the Island.

However, the airport workers themselves spread the great news and received the famous British, semi-hidden behind his glasses for the sun and a cap.

Along with his girlfriend at the time, former model Heather Mills, he toured the historic center of the city and other relevant sites such as the old Moncada Barracks and the Tree of Peace, where Spain signed in 1899 its capitulation to the United States.

The Casa de la Trova "Pepe Sánchez" was a must in this surprising walk. There for about an hour he enjoyed traditional Cuban music and he exchanged with the troubadours René Urquijo and José Aquiles. It’s commented that he said he knew the keys and some say he even played a little.

From that anthological location on Heredia street, he had with him records of Compay Segundo, Eliades Ochoa, and Benny Moré, while his children completed the acquisition with phonograms of Van Van, the Aragón orchestra, Adalberto Álvarez and his Son, and NG la banda.

The last point of his tour was the Castle of San Pedro de la Roca, known as the Morro de Santiago de Cuba and declared Historical Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In the adjoining restaurant and according to the testimonies of the clerk who waited on them, Reina Reyes, and the local cook, Santiago Téllez, had tortillas with vegetables, a Pineapple Delights cocktail, Mayabe beer and chocolate ice cream.

The plates and cutlery used by Paul later became part of the restaurant's heritage and add to its attractions.

Regarding that very special client, Reina Reyes evoked his preference for vegetables and she commented that he “behaved like any other customer and he defended his privacy, which was respected by the staff”.

In January 2018, coinciding with the 18th anniversary of the visit of the musician to the land of Santiago, the life-size sculpture was inaugurated dedicated to him by Mariano Frómeta Stivens, right in the place chosen by the ex-Beatle for his lunch. The table and the stool are the ones he used.

From his stay in that place next to the Caribbean Sea, one of the few evidence confirming McCartney's visit to Cuba was not just a legend kicked off by fanciful admirers - a fake news from before the term became viral.

The proof was left in his own handwriting when he wrote in the guest book: “Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, Paul McCartney in Cuba.”

Moments before his departure, already at Santiago airport, they say he promised return to Cuba. Things could work out and Paul McCartney may keep his promise.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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