Rocker Ivan Latour Performed in the Wrong Place

Irina Pino

Rocker Ivan Latour (r)

HAVANA TIMES — With a distinctive rock/folk sound, Ivan Latour, the Cuban musician, who captivated an entire generation in the ‘90s with decent lyrics and catchy music, played recently at the Casa de la Amistad.

As the lead singer of the band “Havana”, he enjoyed the audience’s support, with songs which talked about times the country was experiencing during the so-called Special Period, which was disastrous for all of us poorer Cubans.

Lyrics riddled with metaphors, poetics for love, solitude, a search for answers; plus other subjects which reflected tough situations have meant that we haven’t forgotten his work. I especially remember that beautiful song where Christ is the lead character (Cristo, buena fe) and he invoked him as our salvation, linking him to our moral shortcomings and everyday pain.

On top of all of that, there was his appearance: a blond-haired guy who was charming with beautiful blue eyes. You could say he had it all.

Like many musicians from his generation, he chose to emigrate as a way to make better money, seek stardom or for other reasons; however, several of them have returned to the island definitively, after passing the commercial tests that an industry that is becoming more insatiable demands, where music with trivial content prevails and sells the most, of course.

Latour has already played concerts on the island, but he chose the wrong place this time: at the jam of the band La vieja escuela, who played as an opening act.

Ivan Latour and his band at the Casa de la Amistad.

Everybody agrees that he was accompanied by excellent musicians, although very few people went. Just a small group (his guests and some fans) reacted to his repertoire. Most people didn’t even pay attention to his songs, in spite of his interesting lyrics and other more catchy songs as they were more pop-rock and upbeat. Boredom was the order of the day. People next to me just wanted it to end.

There were songs like La Habana, which reflect his love for the city and his emotional return, and Adria, which are on the album, Flores de mayo.

Wrong. I think that he shouldn’t have performed there, even more so when you take into consideration the fact that this audience is used to listening to English covers.

People just want to have fun and dance at this place, they aren’t interested in existential questions.

I think that he would have had better luck playing at the FAC (Cuban Arts Factory), theater halls or at private cafes.

Irina Pino

Irina Pino: I was born in the middle of shortages in those sixties that marked so many patterns in the world. Although I currently live in Miramar, I miss the city center with its cinemas and theaters, and the bohemian atmosphere of Old Havana, where I often go. Writing is the essential thing in my life, be it poetry, fiction or articles, a communion of ideas that identifies me. With my family and my friends, I get my share of happiness.