As of 3 p.m. local time Thursday (March 24), Rolling Stones fans had not yet been let into the concert grounds for the British rock band’s historic outdoor free concert on Friday in Havana, Cuba. Although, security was letting people wander on-site of Ciudad Deportiva and stay outside the fencing.
Two such people are Steve Wilkinson, 54, and Peter Happle, 58, both from England. The pair have been Stones concert pals since 1981 and traveled all over the globe to see Mick and the boys.
They were easy to spot amongst the crew and other staffers walking around behind the stage area. They both sported Rolling Stones tour T-shirts from the Quebec City show last summer.
“This was when we went to Quebec, which was the final show ever,” Wilkinson told Billboard. “It ended another tour. Then we had to come back and do the last gig of this tour. We’ve been doing that since 1982. Got to go to the last show; got to go to the last show.”
— The Rolling Stones (@RollingStones) March 18, 2016
Wilkinson and Happle have been to New Zealand, Portugal, Germany, America and all over England to see the Stones’ “last show” of their tours. And what brought the pair to Ciudad Deportiva a day early?
“I’m just going to ask Mick what time he wants us here and where he wants us to stand so he can say hello,” Wilkinson joked. “‘Cause I know Mick from England you see. Just kidding — we’re just going to make the most of it and be with the people.”
He continued, “The most anticipated part is the Cuban people and the atmosphere. It’s going to be unique because they’re going to be asking us the words.”
Happle echoed his buddy’s thoughts, saying, “Basically, the same thing. Go around watching the Stones in places where we’ve always wanted to go, but we’ve never actually been [to Cuba] and the Rolling Stones is our excuse to have a holiday. I wanted to come to Cuba before McDonald’s.”
When Wilkinson was asked if he thinks Cuban musicians will join the band onstage tomorrow, he said it’s very likely but added a tidbit that’s been circulating amongst Stones diehards: “We heard a rumor Guns N’ Roses is to open.”