So I noticed this series of headlines:
- Pope tries to stop Rolling Stones from playing in Cuba
- Pope Francis tried to ban the Rolling Stones from playing
- The Rolling Stones defy the Pope by playing historic gig to 500,000 fans in Cuba on Good Friday
- Rock legends Rolling Stones defy the Pope and play free Cuba concert on Good Friday
Basically the same basic story appeared in British news sources:
An insider on the tour added: “The band’s team were flabbergasted when the Vatican got in touch via letter and couldn’t believe their eyes.
“As much as they didn’t want to upset the Pope, they had a contract in place to play on the Friday – and in their mind they were going to honour it. They have made a promise to the Cuban people and won’t let them down.”
My spidey-senses are tingling and my first instinct is to call BS on this story (my second and third instincts as well). First off the story is being shaped as “Pope bans”, when at most it might have been someone in the Vatican. Even that seems rather fishy. Where is this letter they received? Seems to me that if The Rolling Stones management ever actually received such a letter it they would make the most of it by posting it online. It makes great publicity.
I really don’t think the Vatican is going to get involved in rock band tour dates.
Although I remember when the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper L’ Osservatore Romano decided to get into music journalism and released a list of the top ten rock and pop albums of all time.
At the time I envisioned their new direction which thankfully didn’t bear out.